Rev. Vincent Cyril Dore, O.P. ’23
Birth: Jan. 31, 1900, in New Haven, Conn.
Death: Dec. 14, 1984, in North Providence, R.I.
Burial in Dominican Cemetery, Providence College, Providence, R.I.
THE DORE YEARS AT PROVIDENCE
Five days after the sudden death of Rev. Robert Joseph Slavin, O.P., his principal academic administrator, Rev. Vincent Cyril Dore, O.P. ’23, was named acting president. On June 10, 1961, Rev. W.D. Marrin, O.P., provincial of the Dominican Province of St. Joseph and president of the Providence College Corporation, announced the appointment of Father Dore, a member of the College’s first class, as the seventh president. His pioneering status in many student and administrative areas and his representation of his alma mater on numerous groups earned Father Dore the nickname, “Mr. P.C.” He entered PC on the day the doors opened in 1919. He died on Dec. 14, 1984, and was, suitably, the first Dominican to be buried from the new priory on campus.
After teaching at Aquinas College High School in Columbus, Ohio, for two years and taking course work in sociology at Columbia University in New York City, Father Dore returned to Providence College in the fall of 1931. He proceeded to hold — oftentimes being the first — virtually every post at the College:
• Faculty Member (Sociology), 1931-1948
• Assistant Prefect of Dominican Pre-Ecclesiastic Students (which he later called his favorite position), 1932-1940
• Member of the Corporation, 1932-1984
• Sociology Department Chairman, 1935-1945
• Athletic Director, 1940-1941
• College Treasurer, 1941-1945
• Assistant Corporation Treasurer, 1945-1947
• Dean of Studies, 1945-1957
• Extension School Director, 1947-1951
• Vice President of Academic Affairs, 1950-1961
• Superior of the PC Dominican Community, 1956-1961
• Dean of Faculty, 1957-1961
• President, 1961-1965
• Cardinal Cushing School of Theology (the Boston-area affiliated institution conducted by the Dominican Fathers) Director of Faculty, 1961-1965
• Corporation Treasurer, 1961-1965
• President’s Council Member, 1964-1965 and 1974-1984
• Corporation co-Vice President, 1965-1970
• Chancellor, 1965-1984
The U.S. Army rewarded Father Dore’s support for veterans and the College’s Reserve Officers’ Training Corps program several times. In addition to two honorary degrees, PC presented him the following: R.I. Chapter Alpha Epsilon Delta Honorary Charter Membership and Award (1954 and 1957), Alumni Association awards for Outstanding Faculty Service and for Loyalty Fund Exemplary Leadership (1957 and 1979), Veritas student yearbook dedications (1962 and 1965), Athletic Hall of Fame Award (1974), dedication of Dore residence Hall (1975), and the annual presentation of the Alumni Association Mal Brown Club Award named in his honor (1974 to present). In 1981, in recognition of his half-century of service, the College awarded him its highest honor, the Veritas Medal.
Father Dore was a familiar figure well beyond the PC campus through his many lectures and sermons on religion, higher education, and social science, and his membership in more than 50 educational, religious, and community organizations. Particularly during his years as a PC academic administrator, he was a member of many groups focusing on problems and standards in higher education, and from 1951 to 1970 he served on/chaired numerous New England Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools college evaluation committees. He was a member of several diocesan and Dominican committees and helped organize interfaith conferences co-sponsored by the College during the 1960s.
For many years, he served on local community fund-raising organizations such as The United Way/Fund of Southeastern New England. He was an active participant in a range of city and state civic groups, for example, the Providence Civilian Defense Council during World War II, the Progress for Providence Board of Directors from 1964 to 1974, and the 1961-1962 Commission on Revision of the R.I. State Constitution. His skill as a labor negotiator led to membership on the New England Region National War Labor Board and to service as a consultant and arbitrator for the R.I. Department of Labor for 50 years.
He devoted much of his time during his years as chancellor to numerous organizations dealing with health care. He was one of the incorporators of Rhode Island Group Health Association (RIGHA), the state’s first health maintenance organization, and served on several RIGHA committees and boards. Father Dore’s community service brought him many awards, for example, the papal Benemerenti Medal for loyalty and devotion (1958) and R.I. Heritage Hall of Fame membership (1971). His advocacy for interracial justice can be seen as far back as 1938, when he co-directed a PC interracial conference, leading Catholic students to form an inter-collegiate, inter-racial organization. In 1971 The Urban League of Rhode Island recognized his long service to the minority community with its citation of honor.
The four-year Dore presidency marked both the end of an era and the beginning of one at PC. “Cy” Dore headed the academic community that he had previously served for 30 years. Many achievements were a continuation of initiatives from the active Slavin era, in which Father Dore had played a major role — expansion of residence hall facilities; success of athletic teams; upgrading/establishment of undergraduate, graduate and evening school programs, and securing federal monies and private and corporate donations. But there were signs of the challenges to come.
Father Dore consoled the College community after the death of Pope John XXIII and the assassination of President Kennedy. Student interest in politics and civil rights was on the rise. By the fall of 1964, lay people outnumbered Dominicans on the faculty. Foundations laid during the Dore era aided his successor in meeting the challenges. The November 1964 activation of an Academic Planning Committee marked the College’s first attempt at long-range planning covering all aspects of College governance, facilities, relations with faculty and students, and curriculum. During the next six months the first lay vice president was named and the administrative structure was considerably reorganized. In December 1964, Father Dore organized the President’s Council, an advisory group of business and civic leaders.
“It’s a young man’s job, and a young man should do it,” Father Dore later said of the presidency. On Feb. 10, 1965, the provincial announced that, effective July 1, Father Dore would be stepping down as president but would continue serving the College as the first chancellor. His duties thereafter were consulting and advising on long-range development and fundraising and acting as a liaison officer between the general public and the College.
Joseph Vincent Dore was the oldest of eight children of John J. and Catherine T. (McMahon) Dore. He attended parochial school in New Haven, Conn., for his early grammar school years and then public schools until his senior year, 1918-1919, when he finished college preparatory work at Aquinas College High School. He knew he wanted to be a Dominican from the time he arrived on the PC campus in September 1919 as a member of the pioneering Class of 1923. He was the first student to register and was among the first group of resident students — eight Dominican pre-ecclesiastics who lived with the original faculty and staff on the fourth floor of Harkins Hall. A baseball star in the New Haven Boys Club and in high school, he joined PC’s earliest basketball and baseball teams, thus being one of the first varsity lettermen in those sports. After spending two years at PC, he began training as a novitiate.
He received the habit of the Dominican Order in 1921 at St. Joseph’s Priory in Somerset, Ohio, and professed in 1922 at the Dominican Summer School in Ocean City, Md. From 1922 to 1924, he pursued his studies in philosophy at St. Rose Priory in Springfield, Ky., and later at the Dominican House of Studies in Washington, D.C., and he received a bachelor of arts degree from Providence College in 1925. Theology courses at the Dominican House of Studies followed, and he was ordained in Washington on June 21, 1928. He earned a master of arts degree in 1927 from The Catholic University of America, where he began his study and research in sociology, and the lectorate in sacred theology degree from the Dominican House of Studies in 1929. In 1931, while doing pastoral work in the New York City area, he took sociology courses at Columbia University.
The Dominican Order conferred its highest academic degree, the doctor and master of sacred theology (S.T.M), on Father Dore in 1965. He also received honorary degrees from the following institutions of higher education — Providence College (1945 and 1961), Suffolk University in Boston, Bryant College in Providence, Rhode Island College in Providence, University of Rhode Island in Kingston, Brown University in Providence, Salve Regina College in Newport, R.I., Stonehill College in North Easton, Mass., and Albertus Magnus College in New Haven, Conn.
After completing his degree work in Washington, D.C., in 1929, Father Dore was assigned to St. Catherine’s Parish in New York City. He was soon assigned to Aquinas College High School, where he taught a number of subjects from 1929 to 1931. He also served as assistant/acting chaplain at the Ohio State Penitentiary during that time. In May 1931, he was among those named as new faculty members for the 1931-1932 academic year. During the summer of 1931, while taking courses at Columbia, he was assigned to parish work at St. Vincent Ferrer in New York City.
— Jane M. Jackson, 2003