Skip to main content

McCoy, Cornelius J., S.J., Fr.

 Person

Fr. Cornelius J. McCoy, S.J. was President of Santa Clara University from 1926 to 1932. Father McCoy’s plans for Santa Clara were less ambitious than his predecessor’s. In 1930, he erected a new dormitory named Nobili Hall; however, the top floor was left completely unfinished as the project faced heavy criticism and faculty claimed it would never be filled. Father McCoy predicted that Santa Clara would never be a large institution, and he emphasized the family spirit a feeling of intimacy that a small college provided. He also emphasized the importance of theology and Jesuit morals and beliefs in a Santa Clara education. On October 25, 1926, the Mission Church suffered damage from a fire that also damaged nearby buildings. Reconstruction on the church began in 1927 and was finished a year later, although some decorative details continued to be added one-at-a-time as funds became available. Only one of the previous three bells survived the fire. Of the two that didn’t survive intact, one was melted completed beyond repair and required a substitute bell be made, and the third was melted and recast. A fourth bell was gifted by King Alfonso of Spain, whose ancestor, Charles IV, gave Mission Santa Clara the original three bells. This fourth bell was dedicated on Columbus Day 1929.