Christendom paid tribute to founding faculty member Dr. Raymund O’Herron on October 25, with the college’s staff and faculty gathering for a retirement dinner filled with stories, toasts, and thanks for over forty years of service.
“For so many years, one of the principal courses taught at Christendom has been the Catholic doctrine course, and Ray touched thousands of lives with his clarity and, of course, with his ‘tricky’ questions. The goodness that you brought to the study of theology through your great introduction to Catholic doctrine has affected so many people,” said college president Dr. Timothy O’Donnell at the event. “I’d like to thank you publicly tonight, Ray, for all of your years of support and grace that you have given to us.”
O’Herron is the final member of the founding faculty to retire from teaching at Christendom, after helping to found the school in the 1970s. Over the years, O’Herron taught thousands of students theology and philosophy, and also served as dean of students during the college’s early years.
Over forty years of humble service resulted in many stories throughout the retirement dinner, ranging from humorous anecdotes to tearful tributes to O’Herron for all he has done to make Christendom College possible for so many students, both in the past and in the years to come.
“It’s been a joy to be here at the college since the beginning, and a special grace to have been teaching so many thousands,” said O’Herron at the end of the event. “I thank you for your kindness to me and to Sheila [his wife] for coming this evening and sharing your memories with me. Thank you so much for everything, and God bless you all.”
Raymund O’Herron was the second faculty member college founder Dr. Warren Carroll approached when he came up with the idea for Christendom College. An electrical engineer originally, O’Herron had earned his master’s in philosophy from Catholic University in 1973 and had taught at a diocesan high school in New York before he met Carroll. After a series of encounters, O’Herron expressed an interest to Carroll in teaching philosophy at a Catholic college, and Carroll offered him a position at Christendom. Beginning in 1976, after the college was officially incorporated, the two worked tirelessly to set up the college and, when it opened in 1977 in Triangle, Virginia, O’Herron became dean of men and professor of philosophy.
In addition to his work in the classroom, O’Herron was also instrumental in the college’s mission trip program, personally leading many trips to Banica, Dominican Republic for years. O’Herron’s humble spirit and love for students will be sorely missed, as will be his constant presence at lunch. From the very beginning, O’Herron made a point of sitting with students at lunch each day, sharing his knowledge with them – sometimes even playing backgammon with them.
He will be greatly missed at the college, but his legacy of service and fidelity to Christendom will continue on for generations to come.