November 01, 2013

University Communications

Josephine Bouhasin: 1926-2013

A dedicated staff member who had served the University for more than 50 years has died. She was 87.

Jo Bouhasin at University switchboard
Josephine "Jo" Bouhasin works the University's switchboard in this photo from 1949. Ms. Bouhasin joined the University in 1947 and spent her entire 57-career at SLU working in Telephone Services, retiring as director of telecommunications in 2004. File photo

Josephine Mary Magdalene Bouhasin, a former staff member who had been with the University for more than five decades, died Oct. 29, 2013. She was 87.

Ms. Bouhasin, known as "Jo" by many of her colleagues, joined the University in 1947 as a switchboard operator. She spent the remainder of her 57-year career working in Telephone Services.

Terri Harvell, a telecommunications support specialist and a longtime colleague, called Ms. Bouhasin "an inspiration."

"She was so dedicated to the University, and she instilled that in me," Harvell said. "She was generous and a wonderful person, and she will be missed."

During her time at SLU, Ms. Bouhasin was known for keeping a jar on her desk to collect pennies and other change for charitable causes, including area church food banks and homeless efforts.

Ms. Bouhasin was named a University "Woman of the Year" by the Women's Commission. She was also recognized during the annual YWCA Leader Lunch, which celebrates the commitment and contributions of working women in St. Louis.

A friend to SLU's Jesuit community, Ms. Bouhasin was close to the late former SLU President Paul Reinert, S.J., as well as University President Emeritus Lawrence Biondi, S.J. Ms. Bouhasin was also an avid Billiken basketball fan.

Bouhasin and Biondi
Ms. Bouhasin, right, pictured in 1998 with then University President Lawrence Biondi, S.J., during an event honoring longtime employees. As a child, she was stricken with polio, which left her legs paralyzed. File photo

Ms. Bouhasin retired as director of telecommunications in 2004. In recognition of her decades of service to SLU, the telephone switch room located in Des Peres Hall was named in her honor.

Ms. Bouhasin's connections to SLU extend beyond her own longtime service to the University. Her brother John D. Bouhasin (A&S '52, Med '57) was a physician and clinical professor in the Department of Pediatrics at the School of Medicine. Her late brother George Bouhasin (Dent '48) was also a graduate of SLU.

Funeral services will begin at 9:15 a.m. Friday, Nov. 1, at Kutis Affton Chapel, 10151 Gravois Road. The Mass will be held at 10 a.m. at St. Raymond Maronite Cathedral, 931 Lebanon Drive. Burial will be at Calvary Cemetery.

View her obituary online at

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