Byrne Hall

Byrne Hall
The Academy building was turned over to DePaul University, and renamed Byrne Hall. Bygone DePaul | Special Collections & Archives


About the DePaul Emeritus Society

DePaul University values its ongoing connections with its faculty and staff retirees, as it values their past contributions to the university’s mission. The DePaul University Emeritus Society was founded in 2008 with the merger of the Staff Emeritus Society and the Emeritus Professors Association. The Society is sponsored by the University’s Office of Mission and Values.

The purpose of the DePaul Emeritus Society is to provide a means for ongoing connection, communication, and socialization between the university and its emeritus faculty and staff, and between individual retirees whose professional lives were for so many years dedicated to university service.

Photos, events, and information of interest to members of the DePaul Emeritus Society will be posted to this blog. Please take a look, add your comment, offer to be an "author" or just enjoy.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015


Dear Colleagues, Please join me in welcoming our new provost, Dr. Marten denBoer, on his first day at DePaul. As our chief academic officer, Marten will spend the next several months familiarizing himself with DePaul and our community. He will meet with a wide range of university leaders, including many tenured, non-tenured, term and adjunct faculty in our schools and colleges. When you see him on campus, I encourage you to give him a warm welcome. To refresh your memory on Marten’s background, please read a profile DePaul Newsline published when we first announced his appointment. Newsline will publish more articles about our new provost later this fall. I have kept in close contact with Marten these past several months and know how much he looks forward to working closely with all of you. I know he eagerly anticipates the ways he can work with the entire university community to continue to strengthen and build our university, providing our students with an even greater education. Marten may be reached at Respectfully, Rev. Dennis H. Holtschneider, C.M. President

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

DES visits Chicago History Museum

The DES enjoyed the Chicago History Museum today and received a guided tour through the Chicago exhibit. Our tour guide was an alumna of DePaul and had worked at the university as a secretary to Dean Martin Lowery. Small world!

Thanks Alice for orchestrating the event and for the lovely breakfast beforehand.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Tom Croak's Golden Jubilee

DES Member Thomas Croak celebrated his Golden Jubilee as a Vincentian at a Mass on May 24, 2015. Congratulations, Tom.

From DePaul Newsline:


Rachel Marciano
 JUNE 17, 2015

May 27, 1965. Lyndon B. Johnson occupied the Oval Office, The Beatles topped the music charts, Diff'rent Strokes actor Todd Bridges was born and 26-year-old Tom Croak was ordained at St. Vincent de Paul Church in Chicago. Now 50 years later, Rev. Thomas Croak, C.M., still dedicates his time to the church, the communities it serves and the university that shares its name.

Though much of his work has been exclusively in the field of education at the university level, Father Croak's first assignment out of the seminary was as dean of students at the then DePaul University Academy in Chicago. Following his two years at the high school, Father Croak was assigned to Cardinal Glennon College in St. Louis, where he again worked as dean of students. After earning a doctorate degree from Carnegie-Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Father Croak returned to Chicago in 1977, where he joined the faculty in the History Department at DePaul University.

"Cornelius Sippel, chair of the History Department at the time, was very hesitant about bringing me on as a faculty member," Father Croak laughs, recalling his first quarter at the university. "I secured one class that fall term, as a trial run. But it went well and I got a full schedule after that."

Currently an emeritus associate professor of history and a volunteer attorney in the DePaul School of Law's Asylum and Immigration Clinic, Father Croak has held various positions, both faculty and administrative, at the university over the last 38 years. In 1980 he was named dean of students and associate vice president of student affairs, positions he held for 10 years. In 1992 he became chair of the History Department, and later associate vice president of advancement and development in 1998. Finally in 2006, Father Croak became founding director of the Croak Student Legal Services Office.

"A lot has changed over the years at DePaul; many people have retired and the student body has grown immensely, which is a good thing," Father Croak says. "But what has not changed is the institutional mission and the sense of Vincentian personal-ism that everyone carries. Although we've become a large school, we still have the feeling of a small one."

Now retired from both the history department and legal services office, Father Croak plans to spend more time volunteering at DePaul's Asylum and Immigration Clinic, at the Little Sisters of the Poor and with a number of parishes around the city, including, of course, St. Vincent de Paul Parish.

"I have been so lucky in my life, to have had these opportunities and to have worked with the people I have," Father Croak says. "My greatest hope is that DePaul remains a place where people who are looking to improve their lives have the chance to do that."

This May, Father Croak and three other priests celebrated their 50th anniversary of ordination at the St. Vincent de Paul Church. Rev. Prudencio Rodriguez, C.M., a former faculty member of DePaul's Modern Language Department, and Rev. Antonio Ruiz, C.M., both originally from Spain, were ordained in Chicago with Father Croak. Rev. Paul Golden, C.M., was ordained at St. Vincent de Paul church in Los Angeles. Father Golden also worked as an administrator at DePaul for several years and is now a Life Member of the university's Board of Trustees. Father Ruiz traveled to Chicago for Father Croak's golden jubilee mass on May 24.

Source: DePaul Newsline Online, June 17, 2015

Sunday, June 14, 2015

What's Your Story?

Please join other retirees in recording and saving the memories of a generation.

To collect and preserve the rich history of DePaul University, the DES initiated an Oral History Project and invites retirees to share their stories and memories through audio recordings. If you have ideas for story recordings, or are interested in sharing your memories, please contact Alice Farrell at or 312-362-8822 to schedule a recording session.

If you would like to hear some of the retirees' stories already recorded click here and it will take to you the Office of Mission and Values website where the stories are available.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Book Club Meeting, June 3, 2015

The three different lives of Greta Wells in Andrew Green's “Impossible Lives of Greta Wells provided us with plenty of fodder for discussion. Jumping between 1985, 1918, and 1941 with the same characters was a interesting technique for the author to portray how personalities and circumstances are shaped by the times in which they live, as well as by their own characters.  The use of electro convulsive therapy as the device to move Greta between times, the role of women in marriages, the impact of psychological connections of twins, and the status of gay men in society all provided source for consideration. A good turn out of attendees engaged in an interesting discussion. We all thanked Bill Fahrenbach for providing the chronology of what happened when to guide us through the different lives.

Our next book will be “The Sixth Extinction:  An Unnatural History” by Elizabeth Kolbert   suggested by Helen Marlborough. Next meeting is Wednesday, August 5, in the Richardson Library, Room 115, at 1:30 pm.  Please join us if your summer schedule and summer reading permit!

Contact Kathryn DeGraff or Helen Marlborough if you have any questions.

Suggested titles for future consideration:
“Archangel”  Andrea Barrett
“All the Light We Cannot See”  Anthony Doerr
“Frances Perkins:  The Woman Behind the New Deal”  Kirsten Downey
“Being Mortal” Atul Gawande
“Some Luck” Jane Smiley
“Stoner” John Williams

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Chicago History Museum Outing

Join DES Members on Wednesday, June 24, 2015 for breakfast, a trolley ride and a Chicago History Museum tour. Please RSVP to Alice Farrell at or 312/362-8822 by Friday, June 19.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Appreciation Celebration - Check out your closets for wearing apparel!

Celebrate with food, drinks and a chance to win raffle prizes, including cameras, spa certificates, restaurant certificates and more. Raffle drawing is at 4:45 p.m. and you must bring a DePaul ID and be present to win.

Faculty and staff are encouraged to dress in "1950s style attire." Prizes awarded for the best costumes.
Most university business offices will close at 3 p.m. to allow travel time to the Lincoln Park Campus. Public transportation is strongly encouraged. Limited parking in the Sheffield and Clifton garages will be discounted to event attendees.
Evening classes will be held as scheduled. Offices that support evening students or vital campus services should make plans for staffing during the event. Vice presidents, deans and directors will determine which departments must remain open and coordinate hours and staffing as necessary.

RSVP here by June 11

For more information call (312) 362-8253.