St. Francis College President Brendan Dugan Dies at 69

Mr. Dugan
Mr. Dugan

A Mass of Christian burial for Brendan J. Dugan, president of St. Francis College, Brooklyn Heights, was celebrated on Friday, Dec. 23 at St. Mary Star of the Sea Church, Court St., Carroll Gardens. Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio was the main celebrant.

Dugan, a 1968 graduate of the college, died Dec. 18. He was 69.

He served as president for the last four years following the death of Frank Macchiarola, who died four years to the day prior to Dugan’s death.

Dugan worked in commercial banking for 40 years before becoming president of St. Francis College on July 1, 2008. Before that, he was chairman of the college’s board of trustees and was instrumental in completing the college’s $40 million Campaign for Big Dreams, a transformational project that resulted in the building of the Anthony J. Genovesi Athletic Center, the Academic Center and set the stage for the Eileen C. Dugan Life Sciences Center, which opened during his presidential tenure and houses the college’s fast-growing nursing program.

He was honored Dec. 7 at the Bishop’s Christmas Luncheon with the Emma A. Daniels Benefactor Award. The honor was accepted by his son Joseph Dugan, principal of Cristo Rey Brooklyn H.S., Flatbush.

Reading from President Dugan’s comments that afternoon, Joseph said, “Barbara (Dugan) and I would not be the people we are today were it not for our Catholic faith and the Catholic education that we have received throughout our lives. It has formed our identity, and that of our family, reinforcing the values and beliefs that our parents lovingly instilled in our homes.”

President Dugan was involved with the diocese for many years, serving on the diocesan finance council, as trustee for the St. Mary Star of the Sea parish, and spending years on the board of the Futures in Education Foundation and Bishop Loughlin Memorial H.S.
Last week, he also was honored by the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce at its Annual Gala. His son Patrick Dugan, a 2001 graduate of St. Francis College and a senior director at Cushman & Wakefield, accepted the award.

During his four decades of banking, Dugan served at a number of institutions, his most recent banking position was chairman and CEO of Sovereign Bank’s Metro NY/NJ Division. Sovereign had recently acquired Independence Bank where Dugan served as a senior executive since 2003.

Prior to joining Independence, he served as chief operating officer of Citibank Commercial Markets, 2001-03; president of European American Bank, 1991-2001, and president and C.E.O. of NatWest USA, 1974-91.

In June 2009, Dugan was inducted into the Pontifical Order of the Knights of St. Gregory the Great.

Other community organizations bestowing honors upon him include the Greater Jamaica Development Corp., the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai Brith, Helen Keller Services for the Blind, the Crohns and Colitis Foundation, the American Jewish Congress, Neighborhood Housing Services, Good Shepherd Services, Touro Law School, St. Francis College, the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, the Brooklyn Children’s Museum, the Boy Scouts of America and Brooklyn Legal Services Corp.

Dugan cherished his Irish heritage. His family hailed from Kilcar County, Donegal. He was honored by both the St. Patrick’s Society of Brooklyn and The Great Irish Fair.

Dugan is survived by his wife Barbara A. Dugan, his sons Joseph, Michael and Patrick, and his six grandchildren. He is also survived by his sister Patricia Curtin and brother Brian.

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