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.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Spring DES Luncheon

Mark your calendars for the May 24, 2018 Spring DES Luncheon. Watch for your invitation.

Friday, April 6, 2018

DES Member, John Watts, to be honored by Theatre School

John Ransford Watts

Fullerton Stage at DePaul University to be renamed 

Dr. John R. and Joyce L. Watts Theatre

Former dean was instrumental in move of Goodman School of Drama to DePaul

​​CHICAGO — The Theatre School at DePaul University announces it is renaming the Fullerton Stage in recognition of John Ransford Watts, a former dean and artistic director, and his wife, Joyce, a former business consultant and academic administrator, for a generous gift to the school. A June ceremony is being planned to acknowledge the couple’s philanthropy and unveil the 250-seat thrust theatre as the Dr. John R. and Joyce L. Watts Theatre.

Role in establishing The Theatre School at DePaul

In 1925, the department of drama at the Art Institute of Chicago became the Goodman School of Drama. Five decades later, the trustees of the Art Institute voted to phase out the school over a three-year period, citing a $200,000 deficit. Faculty, staff, students, alumni and interested citizens mounted a campaign to save the school.

DePaul acquired the Goodman School of Drama in 1978, establishing it as the university’s ninth college. The next year, John Watts, a teacher, designer, director and scholar, was recruited as dean and charged with reestablishing the ailing school to restore its proud reputation, appoint a faculty and acquire facilities. Over the next 20 years, Watts reshaped The Theatre School at DePaul into one of the top conservatory theatre programs in the country.

Under Watts’ guidance, The Theatre School has graduated countless actors, designers, directors, technicians, playwrights, managers and dramaturgs whose impact on the Chicago theatre landscape is immeasurable, according to John Culbert, the current dean. 

“John Watts’ inspired leadership for the first two decades of The Theatre School’s life at DePaul University built the foundation upon which all that we now do rests. His work to secure the position of the school within DePaul, attract high-quality staff and faculty, and develop sophisticated curriculum made top 10 conservatory rankings, our new facilities, and amazing alumni accomplishments possible,” Culbert said.

“He continued the legacy of the Chicago Playworks for Families and Young Audiences series, which has served nearly 1.2 million young people since his arrival in 1979,” Culbert noted.
Many of the programs and activities Watts put in place have become traditions at The Theatre School: remote auditions, annual touring graduate showcases, and discussions with visiting artists. He also started the Annual Awards for Excellence in the Arts in 1989, which has generated to date more than $7 million for scholarships. In 1988 Watts was instrumental in orchestrating DePaul’s acquisition of the historic Blackstone Theatre, now known as the Merle Reskin Theatre, in Chicago’s South Loop.

John Watts holds an undergraduate degree and a Master of Education degree from Boston College, a Master of Fine Arts degree from Yale University, and a doctorate from Union Graduate College. He has done post-graduate work at Harvard, UCLA and Oxford.

He has had a distinguished and productive association with the arts, the humanities, and with education in Massachusetts, California and Illinois. For 15 years he was on the faculty of the School for the Arts at Boston University as Professor of Theatre, and for five years as associate dean.

He was appointed as the founding chairman of the Massachusetts Council on the Arts and Humanities, serving in that position for four years.

In 1974, he accepted a one-year guest artist appointment to the faculty of the School of Fine Arts at California State University, Long Beach, which led to his becoming a tenured professor, associate dean, and then dean of the school.

While in California, beyond academic leadership, he helped found and served as director and vice president of the Public Corporation for the Arts.
In 2000, John Watts received a lifetime achievement award from the Joseph Jefferson Committee “for development and support of theatre artists and the Chicago theatre community during his almost two decades as Dean of the Theatre School/DePaul University.” That same year, he also received a Via Sapientiae Award from DePaul University, its highest recognition for excellent service and accomplishment.

Joyce Watts has a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and journalism from California State University, Long Beach, and an MBA from the Kellogg School at Northwestern University.
She has 20 years of higher education experience and 22 years of business consulting experience. In addition to being a past president of Chicago Women in Management, she is an active member and fundraiser for P.E.O. International, a philanthropic organization that provides educational opportunities for women.

Supporting The Theatre School at DePaul
At the June ceremony, faculty, staff and friends will recognize John and Joyce Watts and their longstanding leadership and financial contributions to the establishment and growth of The Theatre School. In remarks, DePaul President A. Gabriel. Esteban, Ph.D., will recognize the Watts for their most recent generous gift as well as their 2006 scholarship endowment that supports students in the playwriting program. 

The 250-seat thrust theatre and the 100-seat black box Sondra A. and Denis Healy Theatre are center stage in the 165,000 square foot artistic home of The Theatre School at the corner of Racine and Fullerton avenues. The custom-designed five-story building, which debuted in fall 2013, also houses classrooms; acting labs; scene shop; costume shop; new media workshops; and makeup, paint and lighting laboratories.

The Theatre School at DePaul University trains students to the highest level of professional skill and artistry in an inclusive and diverse conservatory setting. Some 350 students are enrolled in undergraduate programs that offer degrees in acting, costume design, costume technology, lighting design, scene design, sound design, stage management, theatre technology, dramaturgy/criticism, playwriting, theatre arts and theatre management.

Graduate programs offer degrees in acting, arts leadership and directing. Many of the faculty and staff of some 100 professionals maintain their connections and artistic work in all aspects of Chicago’s renowned and thriving theatre community. 

More information about the school, its faculty, programs and upcoming performances is online at
Media Contacts:
Anna Ables
Carol Hughes

Source: Newsline, April 5, 2018

Friday, March 23, 2018

In Memoriam - Marian Schieber

Dear Colleagues,

It is with sadness that we have learned of the death of Marian Schieber.  Marian served at DePaul from 1965 until her retirement in 1990 from the College of Education.  She passed away on March 19 at the age of 98.  A resident of Evanston, Marian was a life-long parishioner at St. Nicholas Church, a member of the Catholic Women's Club in Evanston, and involved with the local YMCA.  She will be missed by her extensive family and friends.

Visitation will take place on March 24, 9:00 - 10:45 am at Nazarethville, 300 N. River Road, Des Plaines, IL, immediately followed by a funeral mass at 10:45 am at the same location.  Interment following the mass will take place at St. Mary Cemetery, 1835 Waukegan Road, Techny, IL.

Online condolences may be submitted to  Memorial donations are appreciated to Presence Nazarethville Nursing Care,

Our sympathy goes to the family, friends, and former colleagues who mourn the loss of Marian.  May she rest in peace.

Source: Mission and Ministry, March 23, 2018
Photo source: Staff Emeritus Society Luncheon, November, 2004


Marian was born in Caledonia, MN on February 19, 1920. She was the seventh child born to Emilia Koob and John Schieber and had a twin sister, Mary who became Sister Martha after joining the Sisters of St. Agnes. Her father, John died before Marian was born. The family moved to Evanston, IL to get help with the children from Emilia's sisters.

Marian went to St. Nicholas grade school in Evanston and was taught by the Sisters of St. Agnes. She had four brothers and two sisters. Her older sister died in her early 20's from an illness and three of her four brothers started farming and went on to have large families in Oklahoma. Her brother, Anthony stayed in Evanston where he returned from serving in the Army. He married and had eight children.

Marian worked at Lytton's department store, Washington National Insurance Co. and then at DePaul University, where she retired. During this time Marian stayed in the family home and was a caregiver to her mother until her death. Marian was a lifelong parishioner at St. Nicholas Church and served in many capacities there. She was also a member of the Catholic Woman's Club in Evanston and involved at the local YMCA where she took several classes. Marian traveled frequently to New York, Fon-du-Lac, Wisconsin and Oklahoma to see her growing family there. She has many nieces and nephews she enjoyed spending time with. Marian's twin sister, Sister Martha died several years ago after being a nun for 50 years.

After being a caregiver for her mother Marian became a care receiver, she was able to stay in her apartment in Evanston with the help of caregivers for a few years. As her needs changed, it became necessary to have full time care and she lived at the Holy Family Resurrection Nursing home in Des Plaines for two years. When the news came they were closing Marian moved to Nazarethville in Des Plaines on August 8, 2011 where she lived until her death on March 19, 2018. Accessed, March 23, 2018

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

In Memoriam - Robert Brewer

It is with sadness that we have learned of the death of Robert Brewer.  Robert was a retired professor of Psychology, and also a former Associate Dean of Liberal Arts.  He served at DePaul from 1965 until his retirement in 1990.  He passed away on March 16 at the age of 89.  He is survived by his daughter, Christine, his sister, and loving step-family.

Visitation will take place on Wednesday, March 21, 12:00 - 1:00 p.m at First Church, 236 W. Crystal Lake Avenue, Crystal Lake, IL.  There will be a memorial service immediately following at 1:00 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations are appreciated to the Alzheimer's Association,  Online condolences may be submitted at

Our sympathy goes to the family, friends, colleagues, and former students who mourn the loss of Robert.  May he rest in peace.

Source: Mission and Ministry email, March 20, 2018
Photo source: 1980 DePaul Yearbook, Special Collections, DePaul University


Robert E. Brewer, PhD, 89, of Cary and formerly of Crystal Lake passed away March 16, 2018. He was born November 15, 1928 in Chicago to Cecil and Johanna (Harms) Brewer. Robert was a Professor of Psychology and Associate Dean at DePaul University. He is survived by his daughter, Christine Brewer; his sister, Margaret “Peggy” Kingsley; and loving step-family. There will be a visitation from 12pm to 1pm on Wednesday, March 21 at First Church, 236 W. Crystal Lake Ave., Crystal Lake. There will be a memorial service at 1pm. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Alzheimer's Association at Online condolences may be made at

Source:; accessed March 20, 2018

Monday, March 5, 2018

In Memoriam - Rami Solomonow

Colleagues and Friends,

It is with a heavy heart and tremendous sadness that I write to inform you that Professor Rami Solomonow, a beloved Chicago musician and DePaul faculty member for more than three decades, died yesterday in Evanston. He was 68.

Born in Tel Aviv, less than a year after Israel's founding, Rami played in the young state's youth orchestra, including a tour with famed actor/comedian of the 40's and 50's, Danny Kaye. He served for two years in the Israeli Defense Forces as a medic before studying at the Samuel Rubin Israel Academy of Music - an institution whose founders were all central-European immigrants who had fled to Israel just prior to the outbreak of World War II. Among this core group of founders was Oedoen Partos, Rami's principal teacher. He was also a member of the Israel Chamber Orchestra until 1972 and received prizes in viola and chamber music from the American-Israel Foundation.

In 1973 Rami moved to the US to study with Shmuel Ashkenasi at Northern Illinois University. No more than a year after his arrival in the States, he was appointed principal violist of the Lyric Opera of Chicago - a position he held for more than two decades, only leaving in 1995 to become a founding member of the Chicago String Quartet.

It was in 1981 that Rami joined the faculty of the DePaul University School of Music. While he continued to maintain an impressive performance schedule, he also began to transition his focus to teaching and mentoring young musicians - a role that he took on with incredible seriousness and care. Chair of our Music Performance department, Julie DeRoche eloquently captured his character:

"Rami had a great heart. He was sincere, tough when necessary, and solid - always there doing his work, quietly and with great integrity. He was the ultimate musician, a player of many moods, but a person who acted in the subtle way that often makes for the best artists. He will always be a part of the DePaul School of Music."

As a soloist and member of Chicago Chamber Musicians, Rami performed in the United States, Israel, Japan and South America. It was as a member of the CCM that he was nominated for a Grammy Award for the ensemble's recording of Mozart chamber works for strings and winds. He performed works with Menahem Pressler, Yo-Yo Ma, Emanuel Ax, Leonard Rose, Gil Shaham, Shlomo Mintz, Edgar Mayer, Christoph Eschenbach, Midori, Robert McDonald and members of the Guarneri, Borodin and Juilliard Quartets.

For all his artistic accomplishments and incredible virtuosity, Rami will be remembered as an esteemed colleague, a treasured musician, a compassionate mentor and an exemplary friend. His contributions to the DePaul School of Music will be hugely missed.


Ronald Caltabiano

Funeral information is here:

Source: Mission and Ministry email, February 28, 2018
Photo source: Center for the Arts at Virginia Tech

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Book Club Meeting February 7, 2018

The discussion of The Remains of the Day could only cover a few of the many themes Kazuo Ishiguro presented in his novel. From the personality of Mr. Stevens, who was a precise butler who also read romance novels, and could not understand either himself or bantering; to the description of the British who favored the German establishment in the period between World War I and II, Ishiguro captured the complexities of individuals and cultures in England of these times.  As the world changed around him, Mr. Stevens clung to his ideal of the world as he wished it to be, and presented himself to the reader as he wanted to be seen, while betraying truths of his character unknowingly. The complexity of the story and characters, changing class structures, and the humor and tragedy we saw in the novel provided fodder for our usual lively conversation.

Our next book will be Book of Ages: The Life and Times of Jane Franklin by Jill Lepore. Here is a link to a review from the  New York TimesWe will meet Wednesday, April 11, in Room 115 of the Richardson Library. Note this is the second Wednesday rather than our usual first Wednesday. Discussion begins at 1:30, with the room open at 1 pm. for anyone who wants to bring in a brown bag lunch. For further information contact Kathryn DeGraff or Helen Marlborough.

We will continue to review the titles on our list for consideration for upcoming discussions. Please let Kathryn, Helen, or anyone else in the group, if you have a favorite book you would like to share with your DES colleagues. As you can tell from the posts, we are interested in a wide range of fiction and non fiction. We enjoy our sessions thoroughly and always have room for more people and more insights.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

In Memoriam - Mark Zinger

Dear Colleagues,

It is with great sadness that we have learned of the passing on Monday of Mark Zinger of the School of Music.  He was 93 years of age. Professor Zinger was a long-time violin faculty and professor emeritus.  Dean Caltabiano has noted: "Mark Zinger was a highly respected colleague and professor and one of our principal pedagogues. His musical advice was highly valued not just by his violin students, but by all students.  In addition to his knowledge of violin technique and literature, he was admired for his warmth and compassion.  He taught his students with great care and taught them to love music and to love performing."

Services took place today.  For more information: [Information includes Family Visiting on February 7th and 8th, 2017]

Thank you.

Mission and Ministry, email February 7, 2018


Professor Mark Zinger, the much loved violin soloist and pedagogue, passed away on February 5th in his adopted second home of Chicago, IL. Service information is below. We kindly request you add a personal note and picture of your greatest memories of Mark to share with all his beloved students, family, and friends.

We have created the Mark Zinger Foundation in his memory. The Foundation will be dedicated to sustaining the legacy of Mark Zinger, the eminent and much-loved violin soloist and pedagogue. It will primarily be providing financial and other forms of support for future generations of motivated and talented violinists pursuing professional careers in performance and/or teaching—violinists who embody the dedication, passion for music and life, and compassion of Professor Zinger. In lieu of flowers we will be sending a link this week for a tax free donation in his honor. 
Service: Wednesday, February 7th - 1PM – Weinstein & Piser Funeral Home - 111 Skokie Blvd, Wilmette, IL 60091
Burial: Wednesday, February 7th - 2:30PM – Memorial Park Cemetery - 9900 Gross Point Rd, Skokie, IL 60076 
Family visiting: 
Wednesday, February 7th – 5PM- 9PM – 7061 N. Kedzie, Unit 1116, Chicago, IL 60645
Thursday, February 8th – 12PM- 8PM – 7061 N. Kedzie, Unit 1116, Chicago, IL 60645
Photo courtesy:; originally Shared by Igor Zhizhin