William H. Farley ’58
After graduating from Holy Cross in 1958, Bill Farley went on to earn two master’s degrees, one in business, from the University of Connecticut, and the other in religious studies, from the Hartford Seminary. This unlikely pairing of academic pursuits says a great deal about the man behind the degrees.
As the founder of The Farley Group, one of the premier commercial real estate firms in the Greater Hartford and New Haven areas, Farley became known as an authority in the field. Recognized for his business acumen, he was acknowledged with a "Renaissance Award" by the Greater Hartford Downtown Council for improving the quality of life in Greater Hartford. The Hartford Business Journal awarded him the "1997 Commercial Deal of the Year," the "Retail Deal of the Year," and the "Office Deal of the Year." This past fall, Bill was named the 1998 Business for Downtown Hartford "Person of the Year."
Bill has used his leadership abilities to aid his community in numerous capacities, serving as chairman of the board of trustees of the Hartford Seminary, and as a member of the Board of Regents of the University of Hartford. He is the founder and vice president of the Homeward Bound Foundation, which supports Integral House, a home for battered women and the homeless. He is a director of Connecticut Community Care, an organization designed to assist the elderly. Bill is also a senior fellow and member of the board of founders of the American Leadership Forum. Under the auspices of the Forum, he designed a program that helped 50 families of the Stowe Housing Project of Hartford with their housing, health care, and education needs. He is also the founder of the Hartford Prayer breakfast, an interfaith event that recently brought together over 700 people for prayer, reflection, and communal worship.
Perhaps Bill’s most notable achievement is the founding of the House of Bread, which has grown over the last decade from a soup kitchen to a full-service outreach program that runs shelters, rehabilitation centers, and training programs. As president of the board of directors, Bill has worked in every capacity of the program, from advising and raising money, to serving breakfast one or two mornings each week.
Bill’s greatest devotion is to his wife, Ruth, and their eight children – Maryann; Mark; Timothy, of the Class of 1985; Kathleen, of the Class of 1986; Stephen; Meghan; Matthew and Julie. Not to be forgotten are Bill’s and Ruth’s 12 grandchildren.
In recognition of a man who has shown us all how to make a community, how to care for its most needy and fragile members, and how to be an example of the Christian entrepreneur, the College of the Holy Cross presents to William H. Farley the Sanctae Crucis Award.