PROVIDENCE -- The Rev. John F. Cunningham, 10th president of Providence College who worked for the school for almost 50 years as a teacher and administrator, has died. He was 78.
The Rev. Cunningham died Monday at Rhode Island Hospital. A hospital spokeswoman would not release the cause of death.
"He was someone who loved teaching and was totally devoted to students right up until his death," the current college president, the Rev. Brian Shanley, said in a statement.
The Rev. Cunningham served as the school's president from 1985 to 1994, a period when the school became a well-regarded regional institution.
He was a philosophy professor and taught classes up until about four weeks ago, school spokesman Ed Caron said.
The Rev. Cunningham was a Providence native and received his bachelor's degree in classics from Providence College in 1950. He later received degrees from the College of the Immaculate Conception in Washington and the University of St. Thomas in Rome, then joined the faculty at Providence College in 1958.
A funeral Mass will be said this morning in St. Dominic Chapel on the college campus.