Let us pray in thanksgiving for the life Fr. Raymond C. Baumhart, SJ, who died on October 10, 2019, at Colombiere Center in Clarkston, Michigan. He was 95 years old. May he rest in peace.
Ray was born on December 22, 1923 in Chicago, Illinois. He entered the Chicago Province of the Society of Jesus on September 1, 1946 at Milford, Ohio. Ray was ordained on June 19, 1957 at West Baden College and pronounced final vows on August 15, 1969 at Loyola University Chicago.
Before entering the Society, Ray graduated from DePaul Academy in Chicago and attended DePaul University while working as the Associate Director of the Chicago chapter of the Boys Club (now named Boys and Girls Clubs of America), an organization which provides after-school programs and mentoring for young people. In 1943 he transferred to Northwestern University (from which in 1945 he earned a Bachelor's of Science in Business Administration) and enlisted in the Navy. Ray began his navy career by studying at Northwestern and, in 1944, studying Business Administration at the Harvard Business School. He went to sea on the President Polk, a troop transport ship, as a junior officer in 1945. Ray was honorably discharged from the Navy and entered the Society in 1946.
While in the Society, Ray earned a Bachelor's Degree in Latin from Loyola University (1950), a Master's Degree in Business Administration from Harvard University (1953), and Licentiate Degrees in Philosophy (1952) and Sacred Theology (1958) from West Baden College. In 1963, Ray was the first clergyman to earn a Doctorate in Business Administration from Harvard University. His dissertation was on business ethics.
During Regency, Ray taught algebra, economics, and business law at St. Xavier High School in Cincinnati (1953-1954). After ordination and the completion of coursework for his doctorate, Ray spent over three decades at Loyola University Chicago. He taught personnel management, business ethics, and statistics (1962-1966), was assistant dean (1963-1964) and dean of the School of Business Administration (1964-1966). He then spent two years (1966-1968) researching and writing at the Cambridge Center for Social Studies (a Jesuit think tank aimed at work on business ethics and social justice). Ray returned to Loyola as the executive vice president (1968-1969) before becoming the acting vice president of Loyola's Medical Center (1969-1970). He had a major hand in the 1969 opening of the Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood, Illinois.
In 1970, Ray became the twenty-first (and longest serving) president of Loyola University Chicago (1970-1993). His tenure saw the university grow in both enrollment and physical space. When Ray was elected president, Loyola University owned 31 buildings and when he left office, the university owned 83 buildings. Flanner Hall, Maguire Hall, Halas Sports Center, and the Crown Center are four examples of campus buildings constructed during his presidency. Additionally, Ray oversaw the merging of Mundelein College with Loyola in 1991.
After a well-deserved sabbatical, Ray served on Cardinal Bernardin's and [then] Cardinal George's advisory cabinet, became the Director of Evangelization and Christian Life for the Archdiocese of Chicago (1994-2000), and served as a personal consultant to Cardinal George (2000-2011). He also served the Loyola University Jesuit Community as superior of the Jesuit residence (2006-2007) and treasurer of the community (2007-2011). In 2011, Ray was missioned to Colombiere Center to pray for the Society of Jesus, pray for the Church, and care for his health.
Ray was always a gentleman. He graciously greeted and conversed with those he encountered. He had a big smile and an infectious laugh. In all of his jobs and ministries, Ray humbly practiced servant leadership and encouraged (and empowered) others to do the same. He was greatly admired and respected by colleagues and counterparts alike for his insights, strategic planning, and gentle but direct capacity for making decisions, large and small. He was a very effective mentor to many younger Jesuits as they prepared for or began their administrative service to the Society or in one of our apostolic works.
Ray was a talented writer. He wrote regular newsletters for the Boys Club (before he entered the Society) and for the faculty at Loyola University of Chicago. Some of his articles appeared in the Harvard Business Review. He also authored several books: An Honest Profit: What Businessmen Say About Ethics in Business; How Ethical are Businessmen?; and Ethics in Business.
When asked about his time in the Navy, he often joked about the similarities and differences between the Navy and the novitiate. They were similar in that young men were living, working, and studying together towards a common goal. Another similarity was a strict daily "ordo." But Ray liked to tell a story about a big difference between his time in the Navy and his time in the Milford Novitiate: In the navy he was in charge of over $4 million in cash. As a disbursing officer Ray would take a satchel of cash, a gun, and a small boat over to visit the smaller ships that didn't have a supply officer and pay them. Once during the novitiate Ray had to visit the dentist. He asked Fr. Minister for money to get to the dentist. Fr. Minister replied: "Now you've got to go into town. Here's a dollar. It's 40 cents each way and I'll expect 20 cents tonight when you get back." Ray would laugh at the fact that the Navy trusted him with $4 million and some months later Fr. Minister would not trust him with 20 cents.
Before entrance, Ray's great desire was to be an educator as well as a priest and, throughout his life as a Jesuit, he excelled at both!
Ray is survived by two sisters (Dorothy Unger and Florence Biewald), fifteen nieces and nephews (and many great nieces and nephews), and countless cousins (including Patricia O'Donoghue who regularly visited Ray at Colombiere).
Thursday, October 17, 2019
4:00 - 7:00 p.m.
Prayer Service 7:00 p.m.
9075 Big Lake Road
Clarkston, MI 48346-1015
Friday, October 18, 2019
9075 Big Lake Road
Clarkston, MI 48346-1015