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Evening Star

BC parent endows scholarship fund for
College of Advancing Studies

Robert M. Devlin, chairman and CEO of the Houston-based financial services company American General Corporation, has committed $1 million to the College of Advancing Studies, endowing a scholarship honoring its dean, James Woods, SJ.

"Investing in the future focuses my professional and personal interests," said Devlin. "The College of Advancing Studies develops leaders of the highest professional level, preparing them to lead with the knowledge, wisdom, and hope necessary to ensure the greater good."

Devlin's two sons, Michael '88 and Matthew '90, attended the College of Advancing Studies, formerly the Evening College. Michael, president of Devlin Communications in New York, earned a bachelor of arts in communication from the college. Matt, a sportscaster with ESPN and MSG in New York, holds a B.A. in communication from the College of Arts and Sciences.

"Kate and Bob Devlin's gift reflects a generosity of heart and spirit nurtured by Boston College and fostered in their family and professional lives," said Fr. Woods.

"The Devlins taught their sons how to enjoy a deep spiritual love of life that is not tied to the possession of material things, a very tough lesson to teach in a century that worships materialism," he said. "Together they have endowed the College of Advancing Studies with a scholarship to aid others in pursuing their dreams and working out their lives with patience and compassion." Added Fr. Woods, "their gift makes the education they so treasured a possibility for many whose unique situations may otherwise preclude their participation."

The College of Advancing Studies offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in the humanities, information processing, corporate systems, and the social sciences to individuals seeking to earn a degree as they pursue their careers.

Founded in Boston in 1929 and known as the Downtown Center, the College moved to the Chestnut Hill campus in 1963, when it became the Evening College. It changed its name again in 1996 to reflect the expansion of its programs and to herald the introduction of its first master's degree program, in administrative studies.

As dean since 1967, Fr. Woods is credited with leading substantial curriculum expansion and introducing new programs.

"The College of Advancing Studies, and Fr. Woods in particular, have had a profound effect on the intellectual development of countless students," Devlin said. "I decided to create this scholarship fund as a tribute to him and as a way of supporting the continued expansion of the College."

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