For more than four decades, Tim '68 and Jeanne Drone have gathered works that speak to them and reflect the landscape of Middle America.
"I've been a collector all of my life," says Tim, a past recipient of the Backer Award and John J. Divine, SJ Alumni Service Award. "From an early age, I was collecting something—be it stamps or butterflies. I guess the thrill of creating a 'collection' was the impetus to the art collection my wife, Jeanne, and I have assembled over the last 40 years."
The Drones support SLUH because they value its mission, and sharing their passion for art, culture and history (they have also donated many artifacts and antiquities to the Robinson Library and Confucius Classroom) provides added meaning to their philanthropy.
“The most important thing I learned at SLUH is perseverance,” says Tim. “Nothing valued is lightly or quickly gained. My teachers taught me to think critically and to never give up.”
The former captain of the football team also learned about humility at his alma mater. He recalls fondly, after breaking his right arm during a game his senior year, a comment made by Fr. William Doyle, SJ in art class.
“Fr. Doyle put a pile of leaves in the middle of the room and told us to draw it,” says Tim. “I had to draw with my left hand. When Fr. Doyle saw my work, he said, ‘Tim, you have more art in your left arm than football in your right.’ I thought I was pretty tough, so this really put me in my place.”
Throughout his successful banking career, Tim has always been grateful for the strong foundation and work ethic that he received at SLUH. He continues to be moved by the spirit of the Jesuits of constantly asking how he can make an impact on others, the same spirit embodied in the Gospel message: “To whom much is given, much is expected.”
"I feel it is important to pay back SLUH for all that it has given me. Mrs. Backer, through her generosity, allowed me to attend school at a cost that was affordable for my family. I, along with all alumni, have an obligation to 'give back' and ensure that the SLUH legacy and experience is as available to future students."