Friday, December 01, 2000

St. X High chooses president

Deye is 1966 graduate, Jesuit educator

By Ben L. Kaufman
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        SPRINGFIELD TWP. — A son of St. Antoninus parish and a veteran educator, the Rev. Walter C. Deye, S.J., is the new president of St. Xavier High School.

        The west-side native takes over on July 1 from the Rev. William L. Verbryke, S.J., his close friend who has led the prep school since 1991.

        Father Deye, 52, graduated from St. X in 1966, the year he entered the Society of Jesus.

        Father Deye said he visits his alma mater at least annually and it will be strange without having Father Verbryke's companionship.

        “I'll feel that loss,” Father Deye said. “He's such a wonderful person and presence.”

        After the midyear transition, Father Verbryke will take a sabbatical before being reassigned.

        Father Deye, who has a doctorate in church administration from the United Church of Christ's Andover-Newton Theology School in Boston, is secretary for pastoral ministries for the Jesuit Conference in Washington, D.C.

        He took that post after five years as president of Brebeuf Jesuit College Preparatory School in Indianapo lis. Recently, the head of the Midwestern Jesuits asked him to consider the St.X job.

        It was no surprise, Father Deye said. “I know the reality of the number of men available for the position.”

        Days later, he encountered the head of the St.X search committee during Mass at Xavier University's Bellarmine Chapel.

        The board chose Father Deye on Nov. 27.

        The president is not the principal. Rather, he is a chief executive officer of the nonprofit corporation that runs the school and chief fund-raiser.

“I don't mind asking people to help us with their time and money,” Father Deye said.

        His Indianapolis tenure involved two capital fund drives that allowed Brebeuf to build music and science wings.

        St.X plans no immediate, major construction but it has acquired nearby land and a strategic plan will determine what is to be built. Meanwhile, Father Deye will face the tougher challenge of raising funds for programs and scholarships.


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