Obituary: Father James A. Woods, SJ, founding dean of Boston College School of Advancing Studies

A priest with roots in Boston and who spent almost his entire priestly life at Boston College died at Campion Healthcare Center in Weston on Nov. 20. Born in Boston's Neponset section on March 24, 1931, he was raised in St. Ann Parish, attended Boston College High School and entered the Society of Jesus in 1948. Following his preparation first at Shadowbrook in Lenox, and then at Weston College, Weston, he was ordained to the priesthood on June 17, 1961.

He was secretary of the Jesuit Provincial and founding faculty member of Bishop Connolly High School, Fall River. In 1968, he returned to Chestnut Hill, the scene of his own undergraduate days as the founding dean of the then "Evening College." Following his retirement in 2012, the school was renamed the Woods College of Advancing Studies. In some ways, that school served as a reminder of Boston College's early days as a commuter school, serving primarily local, more particularly, Boston students.

Father Woods was a fixture on the BC campus and was readily available to assist any students who were fortunate enough or wise enough to seek him out. While he was principally responsible for the "evening college" students, he was ready and willing and more than able to help out any students, counseling regarding course selection, choice of major fields of study, or any issue for which his sage advice was always appreciated.