In Memoriam: Trustee John L. Brennan (1962–2022)

John L. Brennan

The DePaul community mourns the death of John L. Brennan, a longtime member of DePaul’s Board of Trustees. Brennan died on Oct. 3 at the age of 60.

An inspiring leader, Brennan joined the Board of Trustees in 2009, following the model of service to the university set by his father, Edward Brennan, who also was a DePaul trustee and served as chair of the board from 1997 to 2001. During his years of distinguished service to DePaul, John Brennan served on or led multiple committees, including the finance, philanthropy, trusteeship and investment committees.

“John’s contributions to DePaul University over the years were profound,” says Gerald Beeson (BUS ’94), chair of DePaul’s Board of Trustees. “John was an active board member who was always ready to serve and, more importantly, a shining beacon of our Catholic, Vincentian mission. His personal warmth and friendship knew no bounds, and he will be sorely missed.”

Outside his role with DePaul, Brennan’s successful 35-year career in financial services included serving as the head of private wealth management at William Blair and Company. He was also president of Bank of America’s Illinois operation and was central region president of its private bank.

“We have lost an exceptionally dedicated and kindhearted leader who was instrumental in building a strong connection between DePaul and the Chicago community,” says DePaul President Robert L. Manuel. “Throughout the years, John and his family have made a tremendous impact on DePaul and its students. The entire DePaul community extends our heartfelt condolences to his wife, Jean, his son and daughter, and his extended family.”

An active member in his community, Brennan engaged in extensive civic leadership that included service as life director of the Chicago Public Library Foundation, an executive committee member of WTTW and WFMT, a trustee of Rush University Medical Center, the lead director of Miami Corporation, and a trustee for The Harris Theater for Music and Dance.

A Vanderbilt University graduate, Brennan was a devoted family man and is survived by his wife, Jean; his children, Jack and Kelly; and many extended family members.

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