Former Boston U. President John Silber dies
BOSTON (WHDH) -- Former Boston University president and one-time Democratic candidate for governor John Silber has died.
University spokesperson Colin Riley said Silber’s family told BU Thursday that he had passed away.
Riley said Silber died of kidney failure at his home in Brookline. He had been on dialysis for several months. Silber was 86.
“In recent days, he invited many friends to his bedside where he said his good-byes and was, by all accounts, supremely lucid, wry, and disposed to laughter, notwithstanding weakness and discomfort. John died in the loving circle of his family,” BU President Robert A. Brown said in a statement Thursday.
He was the Democratic nominee for governor, but was narrowly defeated by Republican William Weld. Silber took over BU, which was then a financially troubled commuter school of middling reputation, in 1971. He served until 1996. He was then chancellor for seven years after that.
“He was a very controversial figure, but the fact that BU’s status rose for sure during the time he was here -- I’m not sure of its status nowadays, but I do know that it rose when John Silber was here,” said one woman.
Silber was known for his strong personality and will be remembered for putting Boston University on the map, exemplified in buildings from Silber Way, to the administrative center.
"That building is his legacy -- one of them. That building is his legacy," said Tom Casserly, BU librarian. "He grew the university and turned it into a research institution."
Memorial services are forthcoming.