Skip to main content

Lawrence Boyle (1934 – 2023): Former dean of Commerce empowered generations of students to succeed

‘He wanted as many people as possible to have access to higher education’
February 13, 2024
By Sandra Evoughlian

Larry Boyle, second from left, played on the Loyola curling team.

Lawrence James “Larry” Boyle, BA 57, BComm 58, former dean of Commerce and dedicated community leader, passed away on December 12, 2023. He was 89.

Boyle was a proud alumnus of Loyola College — one of Concordia’s founding institutions. As a student, he was actively involved in sports, playing on the curling team, serving as a manager of the hockey and football teams, and as sports editor for the Loyola News student newspaper. Boyle was also a member of the Council of Student Representatives and treasurer of the Loyola College Athletic Association. Outside of class, he worked for his family’s shipping business. 

After graduating, Boyle went on to earn a master’s degree from McGill University and a PhD from the University of Maryland. In the 1960s, he returned to his Loyola roots to teach in the Faculty of Commerce (now the John Molson School of Business). 

“Loyola was his heart. His community in Montreal and the strength of his alumni family were what drew him back here. I think he felt he could do so much more for the college,” said Brianna Thicke, BA 16, Boyle’s granddaughter and an event coordinator at Concordia.

Boyle was appointed dean of Commerce in 1973.

‘He was ahead of his time’

Boyle was appointed Loyola’s dean of Commerce in 1973. He was committed to helping students succeed, whether as a professor, dean or director of student affairs, said Thicke. “He had an open-door policy and was ahead of his time. He wanted as many people as possible to have access to higher education.”

With that in mind, Boyle created a personal-finance course that empowered students to take control of their financial futures. According to Thicke, it became so popular that he needed a larger classroom to meet demand. Today, students can take it as an online credited course — a testament to Boyle’s reach and impact.

In recognition of his long-standing contributions to his alma mater, the Concordia University Alumni Association presented him with the Distinguished Service Award in 1991. 

Boyle, second from right, received the Distinguished Service Award in 1991.

Following his retirement from Concordia four years later, Boyle joined PEAK Financial Services (now PEAK Financial Group), as vice-president of Consulting Services, a position he held for 10 years.

Robert Frances, BComm 87, MBA 91, founder and CEO of PEAK Financial Group, and himself a Distinguished Service Award recipient, was a former student of Boyle’s. Frances recalled the influence Boyle had on his life at just 19 years old.

“He encouraged me to follow financial planning — that's how I started my career, and later, PEAK Financial Group,” said Frances, noting that Boyle served as a mentor to many employees at the company.

“I feel grateful that we were able to connect through different chapters of our lives. He was always willing to help however he could.”

Other colleagues, including Bryan Barbieri, BA 68, professor of marketing at the John Molson School of Business, recalled Boyle’s influence on others. “Larry positively impacted the lives of so many students — all fortunate to have interacted with him as their dean or professor,” he said.

Boyle pictured with his granddaughter, Brianna, at her Concordia convocation ceremony in 2016.

Beyond his leadership at John Molson, Boyle was a dedicated donor to the university and supported the School of Irish Studies as a Canadian Irish Studies Foundation trustee. 

He was also known for promoting golf across the province of Quebec. Boyle served as governor and rules chairman of the Royal Canadian Golf Association (now Golf Canada), and as president of the Québec Golf Association (QGA, now Golf Québec) and Kanawaki Golf Club. In 1996, he founded the Québec Golf Hall of Fame along with two former QGA presidents. 

“Despite his many acts of kindness and accomplishments, humility was Larry’s calling card,” said Barbieri.

“Larry was the epitome of what one understands a gentleman to be. He was the first person I met when I joined Loyola as a full-timer. He was genuine, kind and gentle then, and I knew him to be the same throughout the years of our friendship since.”


A celebration of Boyle’s life will be held at Concordia’s Loyola Chapel on May 18, 2024, at 2 p.m. For further information, friends and relatives may contact Brianna Thicke.

Back to top

© Concordia University