Donor Spotlight

Anne Marie Kitz and Richard J. Clifford, S.J.

Anne Marie Kitz, MAT ’80, MDiv ’84 and Richard J. Clifford, S.J.

Inspired: Anne Marie Kitz, MAT ’80, MDiv ’84

What makes a good mentor truly great? When that mentor is not only an expert, but is also motivated to provide valuable feedback and advice. For Boston College alumna Anne Marie Kitz, she found an advisor, advocate, mentor and friend nearly 40 years ago in School of Theology and Ministry Professor Emeritus Richard J. Clifford, S.J.

“He has always been my north star, the steady presence in my life,” says Kitz. At every stage of her academic and professional career, Fr. Clifford helped Kitz consider a direction or path. “I could always rely on him to tell me the truth,” she adds.

A renowned Old Testament scholar, Fr. Clifford was assigned to Kitz as her advisor when she was a student at Weston Jesuit School of Theology in the early 1980s. And today, she’s designed a heartfelt way to honor her lifelong mentor and friend. Included in her estate plan is an endowed chair in his name. When realized, the Clifford and Kitz Chair in the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament will be the first endowed chair at the School of Theology and Ministry (STM).

The gift intention was announced in September 2021 at the Clifford Lecture, an annual series supported by the Kitz Family. “Anne Marie has a deep appreciation for the work that we do at the STM,” said Dean Thomas D. Stegman, S.J., at the event, adding that her gift intention is “an investment in the intellectual capital needed to transform future generations of leaders who will serve Catholic and Christian communities, both in and beyond the Church.”

Kitz herself is a renowned religious scholar, educator, and author. Following her studies at Weston Jesuit School of Theology, Kitz earned a master’s degree from Harvard Divinity School and a PhD in ancient eastern studies from Johns Hopkins University. Kitz has taught Old Testament studies at Loyola University Maryland and in the seminaries of the archdiocese of Baltimore, St. Louis, and Milwaukee, and is a prolific writer.

Endowed chairs represent the most prestigious honor the University can bestow upon a scholar. They attract and retain world-class faculty. They also honor the person they’re named after in perpetuity, and shine a light on a particular discipline. Kitz’s hope is that the Clifford and Kitz Chair in the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament will ensure that STM has Bible scholars for years to come. 

Adding Boston College to an estate plan is easy, Kitz explains. An attorney—or BC’s Gift Planning team—can guide you through the process. In most cases, it only requires adding a couple of sentences to your will. One advantage to a bequest intention is that it has no effect on your current financial position. 

Fr. Clifford, who also served as the founding dean of the STM from 2008 to 2010, was surprised when Kitz told him her plan over lunch a couple of years ago. “He said he never thought something like this would happen, especially while he was alive,” she notes. 

“I want Fr. Clifford’s memory to go on long after we’re both gone,” Kitz concludes. “He’s someone to be remembered.”

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