Oral Histories


Michael J. Conaton (video, audio, transcript)

Streaming Media

Interview Date



Mr. Michael Conaton has had a long and remarkable association with Xavier University. In this interview, the 1955 Xavier graduate talks about his early days at home and his years at Xavier both as a student and as a football team member. He discusses his personal, family life. Mr. Conaton recounts his professional career spent chiefly at Midland Company where he served as president and vice chairman prior to his retirement. He tells of his long-time participation on the Xavier Board of Trustees over which he was the Chairman for eighteen years. The Interim President of Xavier University during the 1990-91 Academic Year, he reflects on that experience which included his work in the search committee that hired Fr. James Hoff as the next university president. This interview provides an insight into the organizational changes and development of the Xavier Board of Trustees including some important issues handled by the Board. He provides character sketches of various Xavier personalities, including Fr. Paul L. O’Connor, S.J. (Xavier President, 1955-1972), Fr. James E. Hoff, S.J.(Xavier President, 1991-2000) and Mr. John Gilligan (former Xavier English professor and later the Governor of the State of Ohio). Extolling the academic and moral qualities imparted by his Jesuit education Mr. Conaton offers his life’s mission statement: “To be a person for others who doesn’t give in to himself.”





Transcript.pdf (229 kB)