Dr. Philip T. Silvia Jr. is an Emeritus Professor of History at Bridgewater State University where he spent his forty-two year teaching career. Beginning with his doctoral dissertation at Fordham University, he has scrutinized the history of his native city, Fall River. He is the editor of three volumes of Fall River history, Victorian Vistas as Viewed Through Its Newspaper Accounts, which have become desirable collectors’ items. He has also edited the interesting booklet on the local history of baseball, “Greater Fall River Baseball.”
Phil’s expertise as a Fall River historian led to many opportunities for community service, which he embraced. He was a member of the St. Anne’s Hospital Board of Directors for twenty-nine years and enjoyed a long tenure on the board of the Fall River Historical Society. He has also been affiliated with the Fall River Public Library, the Friends of the Public Library, and the Fall River Library Foundation. He has served on the Arts Lottery Council, the Fall River Historical Commission, the Preservation Society of Fall River, the Fall River Scholarship Committee, and the Iwo Jima Monument Committee.
Phil and his wife, Gerry, served for several years as Youth Group Parental Advisors at the Holy Name Parish. As a member of the Parish Council, he collaborated on “A Seventy-fifth Year History of the Church of the Holy Name,” published in 1999. He has also been involved with the St. Vincent de Paul Society, Bishop George W. Coleman’s Diocesan Pastoral Council, and the Sacred Heart Food Pantry and Soup Kitchen.
Phil was the recipient of the Bridgewater State University “Lifetime Faculty Research Award” in 2008 and of the UMass Dartmouth “Richard Fontera Social Justice Award.” In 2004, he cherished the experience of being the keynote speaker at the dedication of the Frank M. Silvia School, named in memory of his grandfather, the nation’s first Portuguese-American judge.
A true lover of sports, Phil has always been one to keep himself fit. He played with friends on the Nonpareils softball team and as a longtime member of the old Fall River running group, Commonwealth Athletic Club, he has so far completed six marathons during his life. He can now be seen walking daily with a friend.