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.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Book Club Meeting, August 5, 2015

As anyone could have predicted, our discussion of “The Sixth Extinction” provided many places to springboard to topics dealing with man-made climate change and the possibilities for political and personal impact on those changes. Given that, the discussion was wide ranging and intense. When we were able to focus on the book, we were all impressed with the grasp Elizabeth Kolbert had of specific  extinctions of toad, bat, large mammal, and plant species.

Her descriptions of the fungus that is killing bats, the very narrow zones for individuated species in tropical regions, and the significance of the speed of current changes were all singled out for mention. Her knowledge of how environmental changes affect growing things, from prehistoric ammonites to African elephants impressed us all.

Our next book will be “The Bookman’s Tale” by Charlie Lovett Published in 2013, it is  available in paperback as well as in libraries and electronically. Thanks to Joan Lakebrink for the recommendation.

The next meeting is Wednesday, October 7 in Room 115 of the Richardson Library.  Discussion begins at 1:30, but the room is available at 1 pm. for anyone who wants to bring in a brown bag lunch beforehand. For further information contact Kathryn DeGraff or Helen Marlborough.

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
“Barney” by Barney Frank
“Being Mortal” Atul Gawande
“Some Luck” Jane Smiley
“Stoner” John Williams
“A Happy Marriage:  A Novel” Rafael Yglesias

Friday, August 7, 2015

In Memoriam - Frank S. Prout

We just learned of Chemistry faculty Frank Prout's death last May. May he rest in peace.

Franklin S. Prout. Age 95 of Park Ridge. Beloved husband of the late Joan. Loving father of William (Michele), Kathleen (Guido) von Aulock, Mary (Vincent) Bojan, Christopher, Timothy (Carol), Andrea (the late Christian) Hug, Gregory (Pam) and the late Joseph. Devoted grandfather of 22. Great-grandfather of 5. Dear brother of the late Bette Lanning. 

Visitation Sunday, May 17, 3-9 p.m., at Ryan-Parke Funeral Home, 120 S. Northwest Hwy., Park Ridge. Funeral Monday, 9:30 a.m. prayers from funeral home, to St. Paul of the Cross Church. Mass 10 a.m. Interment All Saints Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorials to Sisters of Providence, St. Mary of the Woods, IN 47876 or masses apprec. Info.

Published in a Chicago Tribune Media Group Publication from May 15 to May 17, 2015

Thanks, Dick Meister, for letting us know about Frank's death.

Monday, July 13, 2015

In Memoriam - H. Woods Bowman

Dear Colleagues,

It is with great sadness that we have learned of the sudden death of Henry Woods Bowman.  "Woody" was a retired faculty member from the School of Public Service of the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences.  He was also a member of the steering committee of the DePaul Emeritus Society.  He was killed in a car accident in southwest Michigan on July 10th.

Before coming to DePaul Woody served in Illinois State government and Cook County government.  Crain's Business has just posted this appreciation of his public career.

Details on a university memorial service will be forthcoming.

Our deepest sympathies to Woody's wife Michele and their family at this time of tragic loss.

Thank you.

Source: Mission and Values, email, July 13, 2015


Crain's article, July 13, 2015, Greg Hinz on Politics:
Former Cook County CFO Woody Bowman dies in car crash
One of the better guys ever to serve in local government has passed on.

Former state lawmaker and Cook County CFO Henry Woods Bowman, better known as "Woody," was killed in a car crash July 10 in southwest Michigan.

Bowman, 74, and his wife, Michaelle Bowman, were driving east on I-94 near Mattawan when they had to slow down because of a brush fire. After they slowed, Bowman's car was rear-ended by a semi-truck trailer, which pushed the Bowmans' vehicle into another before caroming into another line and hitting another semi, according to Michigan State Police spokesman Dale Hinz (no relation). Bowman was pronounced dead at Bronson Methodist Hospital in Kalamazoo, Mich. His widow is being treated there.

Bowman, a liberal Democrat, came out of the 49th Ward, one of a group of reformers that included Ald. David Orr. They challenged the latter days of the rule of Mayor Richard J. Daley and his successor, Michael Bilandic.

Bowman spent more than a decade in Springfield, serving as chairman of one of the two appropriations committees, before running for state comptroller against another reformer, Dawn Clark Netsch. He lost but became budget director during the tenure of Richard Phelan as Cook County Board president. Bowman became a professor in the School of Public Service at DePaul University before retiring a couple of years ago.

I always found Bowman not only smart in both an academic and worldly sense, but as honest as they come.

"He served with great distinction," said Steve Brown, spokesman for Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan. "He brought a lot of common sense" to Springfield's budget battles.

R.I.P., Woody.

Source: Crain's Chicago Business, July 13, 2015, online at:


H. Woods "Woody" Bowman, a former state representative, Cook County finance chief and college professor, was killed Saturday in a car crash in southwest Michigan.

Bowman, 73, and his wife, Michele Thompson, were driving on Interstate 94 near Mattawan when a semi truck rear-ended the couple's Cadillac around 1:30 p.m. Friday, according to local fire officials. The truck driver might have been distracted by the sight of fire crews extinguishing a grass fire in the highway median, official said.

"Apparently he was looking at the fire or the units clearing the fire and didn't see the car in front of him," said Mattawan Fire Department Lt. Kenneth King.

Thompson was transported to a local hospital in critical condition, King said.

Bowman, professor emeritus with DePaul University's School of Public Service, was Cook County's chief financial officer under former County Board President Richard Phelan in the early 1990s.

"Even after he left that position, he remained committed to Cook County, serving most recently as a member of my task force on unincorporated areas," said County Board President Toni Preckwinkle.

Bob Stokes, director of DePaul's School of Public Service, said Bowman recently had received some contract work to study financial sustainability of cultural organizations in the U.S., the reason for his trip to Detroit.

Stokes said such a project was a perfect fit for Bowman, a resident of downtown Chicago and regular visitor to the city's museums, theatres and other civic institutions. "He found a way to marry his two passions: high culture and financial management," Stokes said.

He then came to Chicago, working as a research economist for the Federal Reserve Bank then teaching economics at the University of Illinois at Chicago through the 1970s.

In 1976, Bowman was elected to the Illinois House. He held his seat until 1990 and headed the House Appropriations Committee for seven years. Bowman was Cook County's chief financial officer from 1991 to 1994.

"The thing the people in the independent movement remember him for is that he always stayed true to the independent principles," said Dick Simpson, political science professor at UIC. "And because he was an economics professor, he was one of the few to really understand the budget issues."

Bowman returned to academia in 1995, becoming an assistant professor at DePaul. Stokes called him a generous instructor and colleague.

"I remember reading (his resume) the first time and my jaw dropped," Stokes said. "I was like, 'Wow, what a gift to have him here to talk to every day.' His door was always open. He would always read your work. He would always give you notes to make your work better, and he never said no."

Simpson said he was supposed to meet with Bowman and his wife Monday. The couple had planned to ship several boxes of books to Sierra Leone as part of Simpson's program to help replace books lost during the country's civil war.

"It is a clear tragedy," said Simpson, who added that Bowman and his wife "were looking forward to this next phase of their joint retirement, staying active, looking forward to times when they might explore other things."

Information on funeral arrangements and other surviving family members was not immediately available.

Source: Chicago Tribune's Rosemary Regina Sobol contributed. July 13, 2015

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.