It’s been nearly ten years since Devin Devoue ’11 graduated from Chestnut Hill College, but he’s still an active member of the Griffin community as if he never left. As a member of the CHC Alumni Association, Devin volunteers with the Admissions Office and the Office of Institutional Advancement to welcome and meet prospective and incoming students; he serves as an advisor to the cast of the annual student musical; and this year, he is leading the planning committee for the Annual Scholarship Gala, the College’s largest fundraising event.
“In everything I do, I try to highlight what makes CHC great, but it’s something that you just have to experience and find for yourself,” said Devoue. “My journey at CHC will be different than others, but what will never change is the support and care you’ll receive when you need it the most. My job now as an alumnus is to share that with future students and ensure them that they can make their time at CHC whatever they want it to be, but that they’ll always have the support of the College along the way.”
Devoue applied to a number of colleges and universities nationwide, but for whatever reason, Chestnut Hill College did not make his list. It wasn’t until he received a call from an admissions counselor that he became interested enough to visit the campus in person. It was during that visit that he shared his first interaction with President Carol Jean Vale, SSJ, Ph.D.
“You could tell that she was on her way to a meeting, but she made it a point to stop the tour, introduce herself, and ask for the names of everyone on the tour,” recalled Devoue. Almost two hours later, he saw President Vale again and was surprised when she remembered his name and asked about his tour experience.
“She didn’t know anything about me, or whether or not I was going to apply, but she remembered my name and was genuinely interested in what I thought of the tour,” said Devoue. “I was just amazed by the fact that the highest-ranking person at this College took the time to make a connection with me. I instantly felt valued and knew that I wouldn’t experience that anywhere else.”
Humbly, Devoue admits that he wasn’t the best student once he arrived at CHC. An athlete in high school, he was known for having an active social life and spent much of his time on campus meeting other students, but to a fault to his academics.
“I was not expecting to meet people who were so different than me,” said Devoue. “I wanted to meet and be friends with everyone just so that I can learn more about them, but in being around them, they inspired me to do better.”
So much so that he decided to run for student government president, but he quickly learned that it wouldn’t be as easy as making friends. With the support of friends and CHC’s academic advisors, he was able to raise his GPA considerably, but it was still not enough to qualify for a run for student government (by .3 points). Yet, the same advisors who pushed him to raise his grades, challenged him again and asked that he petition for 150 signatures to appear on the student government ballot. He collected the signatures and won the seat for president.
“With my GPA, I never would have thought that I would have the chance to run for student government, but everyone at CHC – my classmates, my advisors, my professors – they were all rallying for me. They believed in me and [with the petition] gave me a chance to prove myself.”
Devin embraced the opportunity, and quickly, rose to be a student leader on campus, both academically and socially. In addition to serving as student body president, Devoue also became a resident advisor (RA) and worked leading orientation sessions for other student leaders on campus. He was always known for being charismatic and high-spirited, but by graduation, he had transformed.
“I think CHC provided me with the space to become the best version of myself at that time. The people that I’ve met here and the challenges that I’ve faced have had a huge impact on my life,” said Devoue. “Even today, with my involvement as an alumnus, I’m still learning and growing, but I don’t think I would be the individual that I am today without Chestnut Hill College.”