When St. Francis Prep was located on North Sixth Street in Brooklyn, Father James Toal, OFM was known to everyone as Brother Fabian
. He began his term as Principal in 1967 and guided the Prep through the turmoil of the late '60s and '70s. In 1969, Prep mourned six of its alumni killed in Vietnam; pro and con Vietnam War editorials appeared in The Seraph
; and long hair and casual dress became school issues.
After more than 40 years in educational leadership, he has decided to step down as Vice President at Siena College, although he will continue to serve as a special assistant to President Kevin Mullen, OFM.
Father James began his tenure at Siena in 1997 after serving as President of Quincy University in Quincy, Ill, for 14 years. Prior to that, he served as Executive Vice President of St. Bonaventure University in Olean, NY from 1976 to 1983. Earlier, he was Principal of St. Francis Prep in Brooklyn.
A native of New York City, Father James earned a bachelor’s degree in English (with minors in French and history) from St. Francis College in New York, a master’s in English from St. John’s University, and a Ph.D. in college administration and supervision from Fordham University. He also attended the Weston School of Theology in Boston.
He was ordained a priest in 1975. Everyone in the Prep family wishes Father James "all the best" in his new role.