Jesuit priest was the 21st president of Creighton

Jesuit Father Matthew Creighton, who was president of Creighton University in Omaha from 1978 to 1982, died Nov. 23 in Pontiac, Mich. He was 91.

A funeral Mass was held Nov. 29 at the Colombiere Center, a Jesuit retirement community in Clarkston, Mich., with burial in the center’s cemetery.

A memorial Mass will be held at St. John Church on the Creighton campus at noon Dec. 11.

A native of Chicago, Father Creighton entered the Jesuits in 1944 at Milford Novitiate in Milford, Ohio. He was ordained in 1957 at West Baden College in West Baden Springs, Ind., where he also took his final vows in 1962.

Father Creighton taught Greek and Latin at Ignatius High School in Chicago and West Baden College, before moving to Loyola University Chicago where he spent the majority of his teaching career.

In 1978, he became the 21st president of Creighton University. 

During three years there he helped stabilize the university’s finances through endowment growth and a five-year development campaign. Enrollment also hit a record 5,420 students, necessitating expansion of the library.

From 1981 to 1982, Father Creighton also served as director of national and international programs for the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities.

In 1982, he returned to Loyola University, serving as executive assistant chancellor from 1982 to 1986 and assistant vice president for development from 1986 to 1987. 

He resumed teaching Greek and Latin from 1987 until his retirement to the Colombiere Center in 2008.

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