Through his life and work Father Tom Devereux, O.S.B., P’50, C’52, S’59, showed hundreds of students over several decades that hard work and service to others can be fun. He did this through his roles as prefect, teacher, theatre producer/director and dean of students.Those who know, love and worked with Father Tom would agree he enhanced their experience at Saint Vincent College.
The Father Tom Devereux, O.S.B., Endowed Directorship in Drama and Stage will ensure that Father Tom’s legacy will continue. According to Father Rene Kollar, O.S.B., Dean of the School of Humanities and Fine Arts, “The endowment will keep the tradition of drama alive, well and healthy at the College. The directorship will recognize not only the invaluable contributions Father Tom made through his influence on generations of students, but also the manner in which he worked to enrich the local community.”
An endowment fund to support the Devereux Director’s Chair has begun. Friends and alumni have come together to support this tangible tribute to Father Tom. While the endowment has good beginnings, the committee is hopeful for broad support from many friends of Father Tom to reach the goal of $1 million to fully fund this chair.
A tribute event-Father Tom Devereux: A Celebration of Service-is planned for Homecoming ‘07 on Saturday evening, September 29. The idea of the celebration is for alumni and friends of Father Tom to show him how much they have appreciated his work over the years and believed in his motto, “It can be done.”
Father Tom, a St. Marys, Elk County, Pennsylvania native, was appointed the Director of the Saint Vincent Stage Guild in 1961. Prior to that time he was involved with organizing performances for the Prep School and Saint Xavier Academy students. For more than 40 years, he shaped and molded the theatre into what it is today.
He directed and produced hundreds of shows including West Side Story and Arsenic and Old Lace, supervised the tech crew, guided the student cabaret workers and encouraged the box office personnel. Until 2003 when he suffered a debilitating stroke, Father Tom could be seen every evening standing at the top of the hill near the Science Center Amphitheatre waiting for theatre patrons to arrive so he could greet them and direct them to a parking space.
Friends and longtime supporters are encouraged to get involved with the tribute event. “We want this to be a chance for old friends to get together, to see Father Tom and honor him,” Joe Reilly, longtime theatre director and friend of Father Tom, said. “Father Tom built a web of friendships that runs across the country and across generations. I am confident they will support the tribute event.”
This is also a chance for old friends to get back on stage together to offer an evening of light entertainment on September 29. Alumni who acted in productions, worked on the tech crew, manned the box office or served hotdogs at Cabaret are invited to attend the celebration.In addition, stories, memories and other anecdotes are being collected for the event. The local community is also invited to show their appreciation by supporting the theatre Father Tom has provided to the region for over 40 years.
And what would a Father Tom celebration be without a traditional Cabaret afterwards? Hot dogs, popcorn and beverages will be served following the entertainment.
To share a story about Father Tom or to express interest in participating in the show contact Mr. Reilly at [email protected] or call 724-805-2229. To contribute to the endowment contact the Annual Fund Office at 724-537-4574.