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Loyola receives $1 million gift from Paula and Thomas Scheye for new endowed chair in English

| By Nick Alexopulos
Thomas Scheye, Ph.D., Loyola University Maryland
Thomas Scheye, Ph.D.

Loyola University Maryland has received a $1 million gift from Paula and Thomas Scheye, Ph.D., to create an endowed chair position in the University’s English department.

“This really is a token of faith in the English department and humanities at Loyola,” said Dr. Scheye. “The humanities have been the essence of Jesuit education since St. Ignatius Loyola attended the University of Paris. For Loyola University Maryland, our curriculum of the future, our curriculum of the 21st century, needs to be based on technology, business, and the humanities. Technology is the tool we use to organize and analyze information, business is a forum in which we can use information, and the humanities are crucial to help us understand, interpret, and explain information in such a way that it could lead to wisdom.”

Once launched, the Thomas E. Scheye Chair for English will be one of only 10 endowed chair positions at Loyola. When the chair will open and the length of each holder’s term will be decided at a later date. Through unique perspectives, endowed chairs contribute to scholarship and teaching in a variety of meaningful ways.

Dr. Scheye and Mrs. Scheye, M.A. ’90, have long been supporters of Loyola through service and philanthropy. With the Scheyes’ gift included in Loyola’s $100 million Bright Minds, Bold Hearts comprehensive campaign for strategic academic, service, and experiential programs and initiatives at the University, the total raised to date is more than $70 million.

“Dr. and Mrs. Scheye’s incredibly generous gift demonstrates a significant commitment to Loyola’s tradition of being a world-class Jesuit, liberal arts university,” said Terrence M. Sawyer, J.D., vice president for advancement. “Support from the Scheyes, who know Loyola so well, is a tremendous vote of confidence in and affirmation of the direction in which the University is headed and the valuable work we are doing to ensure our future success. We are so very grateful for all Tom and Paula have done for Loyola over the years.”

Dr. Scheye has served in faculty and administrative roles at Loyola for nearly 50 years. He arrived in 1970 as an associate professor of English after teaching English for five years at Towson University. He was appointed academic vice president of Loyola in 1978 and provost in 1986, a dual role he occupied until 1999. His leadership and numerous accomplishments during those two decades were instrumental in transforming Loyola into a regional residential university of distinction, and the nationally-competitive institution it is today. Dr. Scheye oversaw the launch of the Sellinger School of Business and Management and the University’s first doctoral programs, as well as the expansion of graduate program offerings. Later in his tenure the Sellinger School achieved AACSB accreditation and Loyola’s chapter of Phi Beta Kappa was chartered. Full-time undergraduate enrollment increased 50 percent and undergraduate inquiries tripled, with a five-fold increase in inquiries from out of state.

In addition, Dr. Scheye was acting president of Loyola for 18 months in 1993-94 following the death of Rev. Joseph A. Sellinger, S.J., until the appointment of Rev. Harold E. Ridley, S.J. He was the first lay acting president in Loyola’s history.

The Board of Trustees in 1999 named Dr. Scheye the Distinguished Service Professor of English, a position especially created for him. He remains in that role today and continues to teach English at Loyola.

As an educational consultant, Dr. Scheye has worked with more than 70 colleges and universities, including 20 of the 28 Jesuit schools in the United States, advising on issues of strategic planning, institutional advancement, board development, and presidential assessment. He is currently consulting Loyola on the development of a new strategic plan.

“Our campus is built at the crossroads of Cold Spring and Charles, and I think we’re at another crossroads,” said Dr. Scheye. “Higher education is facing enormous challenges, and I think Loyola has a real opportunity here, now, to take the lead, as a leading, liberal arts university in the Jesuit tradition.”

Mrs. Scheye is a licensed clinical counselor at a group practice in Parkville, Md., that specializes in care for children and adults who have experienced trauma. She previously worked as a therapist for Baltimore City Public Schools and directed the Sexual Abuse Treatment Program with Family and Children’s Services in Harford County, Md.

After earning an M.A. in English from the University of Maryland, College Park, she taught writing at Towson University and in 1978 came to Loyola where she would continue to teach writing for the next 11 years. She taught psychology for a year after completing Loyola’s clinical psychology graduate program in 1990.

Dr. Scheye received his M.A. from Yale University and his Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania. 

The Scheyes live in Towson, Md.

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