John E. Corbally

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Dr. John Corbally (deceased 2004), "former Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, and member of the College of Education Faculty, 1955-1969, enjoyed a long and distinguished career at Ohio State and other institutions of higher learning, including Syracuse and Illinois..." [1]

"Corbally was credited with shaping the philanthropy of the richly endowed foundation established by billionaire John D. MacArthur, sole owner of Bankers Life and Casualty Co. of Chicago, who died in 1978. Corbally served on the foundation board from 1979 to 2002, was president from 1980 until 1989 and chairman from 1995 to 2002." [2]

"Inspired to pursue a career in school administration by the success of his father, at Berkeley he wrote about “student failure” in his Master’s thesis, and “school-community relations” in his Ph.D. dissertation. He chose Ohio State in 1955 because of the strong recommendation of his adviser at Berkeley, Edgar Morphet, the availability of a Kellogg grant which focused on school-community relations, and by his strong impressions of the quality of faculty, especially Roald Campbell, John Ramsayer, and Arch Heck. Also, the graduate student group was excellent." [3]

"At the foundation, Dr. Corbally started its fellowship program, which awards no-strings stipends of $500,000...

"As president of the three-campus University of Illinois, from 1971 to 1979...

"Dr. Corbally was also president and chancellor of Syracuse University, from 1969 to 1971.

"Surviving are his wife, Marguerite; a son, David; a daughter, Jan Corbally; and three grandchildren." [4]

John Corbally was chancellor at Syracuse University "from 1969 to 1971 - only 18 months and not even four full semesters. There are no SU buildings named after him, no dormitories or dining halls bearing his name, no student centers or gymnasiums in his honor.

"But Corbally navigated the school through some of its most turbulent times - from the strike in the spring of 1970 to the civil rights crisis on the football team the next fall - all before abruptly leaving to become chancellor at the University of Illinois." [5]

In 2002 he became a member of the advisory board of the Thomas C. Wales Foundation.

His wife was Marguerite Corbally.


  • School Finance (1962).
  • Thomas J. Sergiovanni and John E. Corbally (eds.), New Perspectives on Administrative Theory and Practice (1984).

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