It is with deep sadness that the National Catholic College Admission Association shares the news of the passing of a former board member, Dr. Dennis DePerro. Dennis passed away on March 1.
Dennis was a MidAtlantic I Regional Representative on the Board of Directors in the mid to late 2000s, while he was Vice President of Enrollment Management at LeMoyne College in Syracuse, NY. Most recently, Dennis was President of St. Bonaventure University in St. Bonaventure, NY.
Mike Konopski, a National CCAA Past-President who served on the Board of Directors with Dennis, said, "Dennis was a great storyteller and could recall with great detail stories from decades of work in college admission. If there was an empty seat at his table at a conference dinner you wanted that seat! It would be the loudest table because everyone was laughing so hard. He was someone you wanted to be around. His gregarious personality naturally made everyone feel welcome in his presence.
Dennis was a lifelong champion of Catholic education. He knew that the combination of strong academics and moral formation provided young people with a solid foundation to be successful in their careers and a positive, contributing member of society. He lived the values of the Jesuit and Franciscan education he received."
Tom Fanning, another National CCAA Past-President who served with Dennis, said, "As a newly hired admission counselor. I had the good fortune to be his understudy as we criss-crossed the tri-state area recruiting students to Canisius College in our hometown, Buffalo, NY. I will be forever indebted to Dennis for his mentorship over the years, showing me that an entry level job in higher education could become a profession, and maybe even a meaningful mission to serve others.
Dennis was a grand thinker and a “big picture” person who did not settle for anything but the best. It made perfect sense that he rose to the leadership position at St. Bonaventure. Underlying those big ideas, the thing I recognized most profoundly was his ability to connect with people on a personal level. I remember his admission recruitment conversations were masterful because he truly cared about the people he met. He was authentic and everyone knew it. He embodied the Jesuit principle cura personalis, which centers on care for the whole person. Dennis was wonderfully faithful, thoroughly entertaining, he loved his family and friends, and truly believed in the value of Catholic education."
We are extremely fortunate to have Dennis as part of the CCAA legacy and we will miss him dearly.
Please join us in praying for Dennis, his family, and the St. Bonaventure community during this difficult time.