Rev. William Dominic Noon, O.P.
SECOND PRESIDENT, 1921-1927
Birth: Feb. 22, 1875, in New Lexington, Ohio
Death: July 4, 1952, in Chicago, Ill.
THE NOON YEARS AT PROVIDENCE
On Oct. 10, 1921, the PC Corporation elected Rev. William Dominic Noon, O.P. as the second president of the College. Like his predecessor, Father Noon served as Corporation treasurer and head of the College’s Dominican Community throughout his term. He also administered St. Pius V Parish until 1926, when a full-time pastor was assigned to oversee that rapidly growing community. Father Noon spoke five languages fluently and taught Italian and Spanish while at the College.
Father Noon’s tenure included many significant “firsts,” among them the opening of an athletic field, the celebration of commencement activities, and classes taught by a lay faculty member. Acquisition of the adjoining Bradley estate led to the opening of the second college building, a residence hall for Dominican pre-ecclesiastic students. Illness and exhaustion forced Father Noon to relinquish his post as president four months before the end of his term. On June 16, 1927, the Corporation accepted Father Noon’s resignation as College president and Corporation treasurer.
William Noon, the second of 11 children of Charles Peter and Anastasia (Hammond) Noon, received his early education in the Perry County, Ohio, schools. After finishing Rehoboth High School, he began his Dominican training at St. Rose Priory in Springfield, Ky., where he received the habit in 1892 and professed in 1893. He continued his studies in philosophy at St. Joseph’s Priory in Somerset, Ohio, from 1894 to 1897. His ability attracted the attention of superiors, and he was singled out as a candidate for further education. Father Noon was ordained in Rome on March 5, 1898, during his four-year course of theological studies at the Minerva. He received the lectorate in sacred theology (S.T.Lr.) degree at the University of Minerva in 1901. His scholarly writing includes contributions to the 1913 edition of The Catholic Encyclopedia.
In 1914, the Dominican Order awarded him the master of sacred theology (S.T.M.) degree, a rarely-bestowed acknowledgement of special and superior knowledge, stud,y and teaching in the field of sacred theology.
After returning to the United States in 1901, Father Noon taught philosophy and/or theology at St. Joseph’s Priory in Somerset, Ohio, until 1905 and then at the Dominican House of Studies in Washington, D.C., until 1908, when he volunteered to help the Spanish Dominicans in the Philippine Islands. He taught philosophy at the University of Santo Tomas in Manila until 1912. He was recalled to the Dominican House of Studies, where he resumed teaching theology and philosophy until 1914. With the House of Studies and, later, St. Dominic Parish in San Francisco serving as home base, Father Noon performed missionary work in the United States and South America from 1914 until 1921, when he was sent to Providence.
After leaving PC in 1927, Father Noon was assigned to Holy Name Parish in Philadelphia and eventually resumed preaching in the Missionary Band. Declining health forced him to retire from the rigors of missionary life in 1932. He was assigned to parish duties at St. Dominic’s in Washington, D.C., in 1932 and at St. Peter’s in Memphis from 1935 to 1940. He continued parish work after joining the new Dominican Province of St. Albert the Great in 1940, first serving at St. Albert’s in Minneapolis until 1943 and then at St. Pius in Chicago until his death in 1952.
— Jane M. Jackson