1929 – 1995 (August 18)
Lawrence Chevrier Gallen was born in Eastport, Maine on August 11, 1929 of Francis L. Gallen and Mary Virginia Chevrier. Following his primary education he attended Western High School, Washington, DC, and upon graduation entered Villanova University from which he graduated magna cum laude in 1952 with a Bachelor of Science degree. In 1952 he enlisted in the US Navy and served as engineering officer and executive officer on a destroyer, the USS F.M. Robinson DE 220. From 1955 to 1957 he worked as management trainee and production supervisor at DuPont.
In 1957 Lawrence Gallen entered the Augustinian Order. He professed first vows at Good Counsel Novitiate on September 10, 1958 and solemn vows on the same day in 1961. In 1959 he obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in philosophy from Villanova University. He studied theology at Augustinian College, Washington, DC, and obtained a Master of Arts degree in theology. On February 9, 1963 he was ordained to the priesthood at the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. Immediately after ordination he began graduate studies in biology. In 1963 he obtained a Master of Science degree and in 1966 the doctorate in biology from the Catholic University of America.
In 1966 Father Gallen was assigned to Villanova University where he taught in the biology department as assistant professor until 1984. In 1972 he became associate professor and also received the Lindback Award for excellence in teaching. From 1972 to 1976 Father Gallen was director of the summer school sessions of Villanova University. He was also acting Dean of Arts and Sciences for two years. In 1981 he was named vice president of Academic Affairs, a position he held until he resigned in June, 1994. Father Gallen served on the board of trustees of Biscayne College and of Merrimack College, North Andover, Massachusetts. He also served on the Academic Advisory Board of Millersville State from 1976 to 1980.
Father Gallen was a scholar on the question of interferon. As an administrator he improved and strengthened the academic requirements at Villanova University and encouraged excellence in professors and students. He is best known for his teaching qualities and was applauded much by his students for his achievements in this area. In addition he had a sense of humor and entertained many a meeting with his wit. In a personal and quiet way he was helpful to many faculty and staff members and their families. He was esteemed by his Augustinian confreres, and his work was admired by his colleagues in science. His students were impressed by the ease with which he explained the most difficult material.
Father Gallen died on August 18, 1995 at Saint Thomas Monastery, Villanova. The Funeral Mass took place on August 21, 1995 at Saint Thomas Church, Villanova. John M. Driscoll, O.S.A. preached the homily. He is buried in the Augustinian plot at Calvary Cemetery, West Conshohocken, Pa.