Background Regarding the Resignation of Dr. Denis McNamara

On March 3, 2023, Benedictine College received a written statement detailing allegations of concerning behavior by Dr. Denis McNamara in the context of a private ministry.

The written statement confirmed verbal reports made on March 1 and March 2. On March 3, McNamara was put on immediate administrative leave, including the suspension of e-mail and campus privileges.

While the allegations reported to Benedictine College administrators did not include claims of criminal behavior, misconduct against minors or Benedictine College students or employees, or misconduct on our campus, nevertheless the College concluded that the behavior in question represented such a serious lapse of judgment that he was placed on immediate administrative leave.

On March 9, after further consideration of the statements shared with the college and after discussion of the situation with Dr. McNamara, both parties agreed that Dr. McNamara’s resignation from Benedictine College was necessary. He resigned, effective that day.

Benedictine College is not at liberty to publicly share these allegations as they are not associated with Benedictine College faculty, staff, students, or facilities. However, the college has begun contacting students who had a connection with Dr. McNamara, and is putting in place a pastoral plan and has appointed a victim’s advocate to assist those who have been affected by this situation.

For the pastoral plan, with a priest and counsellor available to help students who are affected by this situation, whether or not they had personal interactions, contact:

Dr. Joseph Wurtz
Dean of Students
(913) 360-7507

The victim’s advocate is a resource for anyone who may have had interactions with Dr. McNamara that they found disturbing. Please report any concerns to:

Dr. Sean Mulcahy
Victim’s Advocate
Student Success Center Rm 101
(913) 360-7965

Benedictine College

Founded in 1858, Benedictine College is a Catholic, Benedictine, residential, liberal arts college located on the bluffs above the Missouri River in Atchison, Kansas. The school is honored to have been named one of America’s Best Colleges by U.S. News & World Report, the best private college in Kansas by The Wall Street Journal, and one of the top Catholic colleges in the nation by First Things magazine and the Newman Guide. It prides itself on outstanding academics, extraordinary faith life, strong athletic programs, and an exceptional sense of community and belonging. Benedictine College is dedicated to transforming culture in America through its mission to educate men and women within a community of faith and scholarship.