John Lahey, who has served as the president of Quinnipiac University for three decades, will leave his post — and a significant stamp on New Haven — at the end of the academic year.
In addition to founding a new medical school at Quinnipiac in 2010, Lahey served on the board of trustees for the Yale New Haven Health System and as a director for the Alliance for Gene Cancer Therapy and the United Illuminating Company, a regional electric distribution firm.
He began his career in academia when he earned a Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Miami. When Lahey retires from the presidency this spring, he will go on sabbatical and devote his career to teaching philosophy. Lahey could not be reached for comment on Wednesday.
“Lahey has had an extraordinary influence on the Greater New Haven area during his tenure,” Marna Borgstrom SPH ’79, CEO and president of the Yale New Haven Health System, said in an email to the News.
Borgstrom reserved special praise for Lahey’s contribution to Quinnipiac. “As president, he built Quinnipiac into the exceptional university that it is today, including a law school, a new medical school and a renowned undergraduate program,” Borgstrom said.
Under Lahey’s leadership, the Frank H. Netter M.D. School of Medicine was established in 2010 with a $100 million investment from the family of Frank H. Netter. It welcomed its first class of medical students in 2013.
At Yale New Haven Hospital, Borgstrom became acquainted with Lahey’s contributions to the hospital when she served on the Board of Trustees alongside Lahey. The hospital has “been fortunate to receive John’s guidance and wisdom over the years as an incredibly valued member of our board,” she said.
“He is a man of grace, vision and strength of purpose,” she said.
In a recent interview with the New Haven Register, Lahey said that when Quinnipiac launched its medical school, university officials received significant support from the Yale School of Medicine, as well as Yale New Haven Health System.
According to the university’s website, Lahey personally spearheaded an initiative that allowed Quinnipiac to expand to 10,000 undergraduates and to establish the Quinnipiac University Poll, which measures public opinion on politics. When Lahey arrived at Quinnipiac in 1987, only 1,900 undergraduates were enrolled.
Lahey also helped drive an increase in the Quinnipiac endowment from $3 million at his arrival in 1987 to $400 million by 2017. Additionally, his efforts allowed the university’s budget to expand from $20 million to $500 million, according to the Register.
James Torgerson, CEO of Avangrid, told the Register that during his time as a trustee, Lahey was “instrumental” in guiding the Yale New Haven Hospital to expand its property and to absorb the Hospital of Saint Raphael.
In September 2012, Yale New Haven Hospital took over property belonging to the Hospital of Saint Raphael, which allowed Yale New Haven to expand its occupancy to more than 1,500 overnight guests.
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