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The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

Fit to be king
Lilli Dellheim '25 M.A., Special to the Hawk • July 13, 2024

Longtime Jesuit mentor to Hawks remembered

Bidinger, former HSB Advising Center director, dies

The Saint Joseph’s University and Jesuit community lost a valued member last week. Bruce M. Bidinger, S.J., died on Feb. 23 from multiple health issues.

Bidinger was the director of the William F. Leahy Advising Center in the Erivan K. Haub School of Business until taking a leave of absence at the end of the 2014-2015 academic year.

Bidinger had held a number of academic positions throughout his life including principal of Saint Joseph’s Prepatory School, principal of Scranton Preparatory School, and vice president of mission and ministry at St. Joe’s.

Bidinger was close with many students and often advised them on both academic and personal situations, according to Tim Higgins, director of the Haub School of Business Advising Center.

“He just had a way of connecting with people,” Higgins said. “Just after talking with him once you really felt connected to him. He helped people work through problems on really dark days and students really appreciated that.”

Joseph DiAngelo Jr., Ed.D., dean of the Haub School of Business, was a very close friend of Bidinger. DiAngelo’s children and grandchildren were all baptized by Bidinger. DiAngelo recruited Bidinger to come back to St. Joe’s as the director of the HSB Advis- ing Center and explained that at the time,

the business school had been looking for someone to fulfill a Jesuit role as well.

“He had an affinity for working with students, [and] we wanted to have a Jesuit presence in the business school…so it was as much of an academic responsibility as well as a mission-related responsibility for him,” DiAngelo said. “He heard as many confessions in there as was giving advice to students on which courses they needed to take.”

However, Bidinger was more than just an individual dedicated to academia, as he also held the position of chaplain to the St. Joe’s men’s basketball team.

Higgins, who met Bidinger through working as a manager for the team, ex- plained that Bindinger was with the team for every game, whether it was home or away. Bidinger would sit at the end of the bench. According to Higgins, Bidinger would al- ways have a smile on his face.

Mike Booth, ’18, a member of the men’s basketball team said Bidinger was a wonderful presence to have around the team.

“He was always there, not just as the chaplain, but he was someone to talk to, someone to motivate us to go out and play well,” Booth said. Booth recalled how Bidinger

Booth recalled how Bidinger would calm the players with an “Our Father” and offer numerous words of wisdom to all the players before the game.

“When we were at the airports traveling, we would sit down and have lunch with him, have dinner with him, whatever meal it was, and just talk. He was able to calm everyone down, whether it was after a win or a loss,” Booth said.

Higgins also spoke of the numerous relationships Bidinger made throughout his life and how he was an unofficial member of many families.

“With the amount of friends he had he could have booked breakfast, lunch, and dinner with someone from this Philadelphia area every day and someone would have wanted to grab him for a meal,” Hig- gins said.

Bidinger will be missed, said DiAngelo, and he explained that Bidinger’s absence has already had a large impact on the communities who knew him.

“The whole place is crying,” DiAngelo said. “That was just the kind of impact that he had on everybody.”

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