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This collection represents working files on the topic of separate incorporation for Fairfield University and the Fairfield Jesuit Community, likely assembled between 1968 and 1970. It includes examples of draft or completed foundational documents from other Jesuit colleges and universities; by-laws for the college or university’s Board of Trustees; by-laws for the incorporated Jesuit community at the college or university; and agreements between the college or university and its Jesuit community. The collection also includes notes; correspondence; conference programs and addresses; position papers; statements of principle; articles of incorporation; meeting minutes; compensation agreements; financial and property records; faculty statistics; and photocopied background materials.


Prior to the 1960’s, the Jesuit colleges and universities of the United States were owned and administered by the Society of Jesus. In the wake of Vatican II, new debates took place concerning the role of the laity in Catholic institutions and the relationship of Catholic universities to the modern world. Under the new model of “separate incorporation,” a college or university and its Jesuit community are incorporated as separate legal entities, such that the Jesuit community retains legal ownership only of its campus residence and related facilities. With respect to university governance, the President (even if a Jesuit) is responsible to the Board of Trustees rather than to his religious superiors in Rome. At Fairfield, Rev. Francis A. Small, S.J. (1916-1974) was an active participant in local and regional discussions concerning separate incorporation. Fr. Small joined the faculty of Fairfield University in 1948 and became its first Director of Libraries in 1952. He supervised the library’s move from Canisius Hall to the newly constructed Nyselius Library, which opened in 1968. Fairfield University and its Jesuit community became separately incorporated in 1974.


0.4 linear feet; 1 box

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Katherine Bonamo

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Finding Aid


Fairfield University

Place of Publication

Fairfield, Conn.


Finding Aids


Fairfield University Archives and Special Collections



Francis A. Small, S.J., Papers on Separate Incorporation