The Loyola University Maryland community is mourning the Most Reverend William Borders, retired Archbishop of Baltimore, who passed away on Monday, April 19, at the age of 96.
Loyola honored Archbishop Borders, who led the Archdiocese of Baltimore from 1974 to 1989, with an honorary doctor of humane letters degree at its 1985 Commencement Exercises.
“Archbishop Borders had the great gift of loving people, and as a result, people loved him,” said Rev. Frank Haig, S.J., professor emeritus of physics. “He was a gentle but strong man who could give you good advice, as he did to me. He was a leader who kept his troops happily gathered around him to support his goals, and they in turn supported him.”
Archbishop Borders’ tenure was distinguished by his concern for social justice, outreach to the poor, support for diversity, and emphasis on collaboration. His most highly acclaimed innovation was the division of the Archdiocese into urban, eastern, and western regions led by auxiliary bishops, a model which has been replicated in many other archdioceses around the world.
Born and raised in Indiana, Archbishop Borders was ordained to the priesthood in 1940 and served in the U.S. Army in North Africa and Italy during World War II. Throughout his career, the future archbishop held positions including rector of St. Joseph Cathedral in Baton Rouge, La.; chaplain of Louisiana State University; and Bishop of Orlando. He was also the author of a book about spiritual living in a secular society.
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