Robert and Catherine McDevitt of Binghamton, N.Y., were long-time friends of Le Moyne College and its Jesuit heritage.
Robert McDevitt's cousin, the late Rev. Edward L. McDevitt, S. J., was one of five Jesuit professors who established Le Moyne's physics department after the College was founded in 1946.
Robert McDevitt was owner of McDevitt Brothers Funeral Home, a business his grandfather founded in Binghamton in 1880. He died in September 2008 at the age of 90. His wife, Catherine, passed away in April 2008. The couple were of deep Catholic faith; both were members of the Pontifical Order of St. Gregory the Great (he was designated Knight and she a Dame within the order).
Though the mortuary business is well-respected and successful, their financial fortune was not derived from it. Robert McDevitt's mother was the secretary to A. Ward Ford, founder of a company that ultimately became part of IBM; he inherited her shares of company stock, and then spent 70 years accumulating more shares. The majority of this remarkable gift will be in the form of IBM stock.
Despite their wealth, the McDevitts lived simply and unassumingly, grounded in the same Jesuit values taught at Le Moyne College - values exemplified by our faculty, staff, students and graduates.
The McDevitts have a long history of philanthropy and service to Le Moyne. Robert McDevitt had been Regent Emeritus since 1972, and he served as a member of the College's Board of Trustees from 1977 to 1980.
In 1978, he received an honorary degree - Doctor of Humane Letters honoris causa - from Le Moyne. Their financial support of Le Moyne over the years has been used to fund a variety of projects and programs.
The McDevitt Endowment will help transform Le Moyne, accelerating our move to a higher academic tier, enhancing our standing among colleges and universities - while ensuring the College remains affordable for students and families.
Officially the endowment is called the Robert L. McDevitt, K.S.G., K.C.H.S., and Catherine H. McDevitt, L.C. H.S., Professorship Fund in Honor of the late Rev. Edward L. McDevitt, S.J.