The McDevitt Center for Creativity and Innovation


The McDevitt Center for Creativity and Innovation is a newly endowed center at Le Moyne College.  Supported by a 50 million dollar gift from the estate of Robert and Kay McDevitt, the Center is intended to position Le Moyne as a leading regional and national sponsor of hi-impact programs and initiatives that advance awareness of the latest research in Computer Science, Management/Information Systems, Physics, and Religious Philosophy. 


Each of the Center’s initiatives is developed in conjunction with, and led by, a nationally/internationally prominent individual who is working at the forefront of one of these disciplinary areas. Those invited to lead initiatives through the McDevitt Center will be appointed as McDevitt Chair in the relevant discipline.  The position of McDevitt Chair is a short-term, visiting appointment (normally not exceeding one academic year) that does not require full-time residence at Le Moyne College and may be held concurrently with other appointments.


Endowed McDevitt Chairs

As a research center, the McDevitt Center is anchored in our endowed McDevitt Chairs in Computer Science, Management/Information Systems, Physics, and Religious Philosophy. These chairs represent the heart of all of the McDevitt Center’s faculty programming and initiatives.


All other programs and initiatives directly supported by the McDevitt Center are oriented and informed by the questions, projects, and challenges engaged by the occupants of these chairs and are intended to bring distinction to these chairs and enhance their value to Le Moyne College.

Given the central and shaping role they play, the McDevitt Chairs will be occupied in short-term appointments by eminent thinkers and researchers who are at the forefront of their disciplines and whose work exemplifies the central goals and values of the McDevitt Center: their work will cut across disciplinary boundaries and transforms disciplinary self-understandings; engage emerging developments, perennial questions, or grand-challenges; enrich the research and teaching of Le Moyne’s regular faculty and enhance the education of our students; and demonstrate a mindful regard for values and a commitment to using research to positively impact our world.

Responsibilities of the McDevitt Chairs will (in most cases) include:

  • Working directly with both undergraduate and graduate students by, for example, addressing relevant courses, offering Core Lectures, working with students in the Integral Honors Program, mentoring individual students, etc.;
  • Offering a “master-class” to Le Moyne faculty that will also be open to faculty from other area colleges and universities and to selected members of the wider community;
  • Assisting relevant Le Moyne faculty to advance and develop their own research; Offering one (or more) public lectures related to their work;
  • Organizing a significant national or international conference to be held at Le Moyne during their tenure as McDevitt Chair;
  • Acting as ambassadors for Le Moyne College and the McDevitt Center.




  • Applications for the Dalai Lama Center for Ethics and Transformative Values Le Moyne Summer Internship Program Now Available

  • Applications for the McDevitt Summer Internship Grants Program Now Available

Returning Le Moyne students majoring or minoring in Computer Science, Managemenet/Information Systems, Philosophy, Physics, or Religious Studies are eligible to receive a $3,000 grant for high-impact unpaid or paid internships in high cost areas (e.g. NYS, DC, LA, abroad).

McDevitt Summer Internship Grants Flier

Application Instructions



History of the Center

The McDevitt Center for Creativity and Innovation is supported by a $50 million gift to Le Moyne College by Robert and Catherine McDevitt of Binghamton, New York.


Catherine McDevitt passed away in April 2008 and Robert McDevitt died in September 2008.


The McDevitts were of deep Catholic faith and were long-time friends of Le Moyne College and its Jesuit heritage. Robert McDevitt's cousin, the late Rev. Edward L. McDevitt, SJ, was one of five Jesuit professors who established Le Moyne's physics department after the College was founded in 1946. Robert McDevitt himself had been Regent Emeritus since 1972 and served as a member of the College's Board of Trustees from 1977 to 1980. In 1978, he was awarded an honorary degree - Doctor of Humane Letters honoris causa - from Le Moyne.

Robert McDevitt was owner of McDevitt Brothers Funeral Home, a business his grandfather founded in Binghamton in 1880. Though the mortuary business is well-respected and successful, their financial fortune was not derived from it. Robert McDevitt's mother was the secretary to A. Ward Ford, founder of a company that ultimately became part of IBM. He inherited the shares of company stock his mother had acquired, and then spent 70 years accumulating more shares.

Despite their quite considerable fortune, the McDevitts lived simple and unassuming lives grounded in the same Jesuit values taught at Le Moyne College and exemplified by its faculty, staff, students and graduates. The McDevitt Endowment and the McDevitt Center for Creativity and Innovation that it funds will help transform Le Moyne College. By establishing Le Moyne College as a dynamic center for creative research that addresses vital issues and is informed by enduring values, the McDevitt Center will accelerate the college’s move to a higher academic tier and dramatically enhance its standing among colleges and universities.