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Xavier Magazine | April 23, 2017

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Lasting Impact

As chair of the University’s department of English, Thomas Savage, S.J., left a powerful impression on his students. So much so that 35 years after his death, many former students continue to remember him through contributions to the Thomas G. Savage, S.J., Memorial Scholarship fund, which awards $8,000 each year to two students with an interest in the humanities.

This year, a group of admirers commemorated the anniversary of his death with a memorial dinner, raising $4,000 and bringing the scholarship’s endowment to about $280,000.

Two years ago, three men showed up to a Mass at Bellarmine Chapel on the anniversary of Savage’s death. “They told us they had been students of Fr. Savage, and they get together every year to remember him,” says Joseph Wessling, program facilitator for Ignatian Programs and a retired professor of English who coordinates the fund.

Why such dedication? “He’d have 20 people sign up and 10 of them would withdraw because he expected so much from them,” says Wessling. “But for those who stayed—not only did they learn a lot, but he changed their lives.”

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