May 26, 1994 marks the death of Rev. George L. Dum, C.S.C., at Holy Cross House, Notre Dame, Indiana, at age 87. Fr. Dum came to the University in 1934 and for more than fifty years he was an important figure in campus life. Although he was assigned to teach philosophy, music was an avocation that nearly became a profession. He conducted the men’s glee club, and, after the nursing school at St. Vincent Hospital became a part of the University, he conducted a chorus of women students as well. His musical compositions included an early version of the alma mater as well as the University’s fight song. He conducted other musical groups in the city and became well known in Portland’s music community. He was for many years a nearly legendary rector of Christie Hall. In 1989 he was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University that noted that his “love of singing and cabinet making were combined in a life that left time for daily trips to Blanchet House with food left over from the Commons for the homeless and hungry poor.” A deep-voiced, barrel-chested man, Fr. Dum also became somewhat of a legend for his ability to easily consume the 72-ounce steak meal offered for free by Sayler’s Country Kitchen restaurant to anyone who can do so in under one hour, a feat he performed so handily he was politely disqualified from further attempts.
For more history from this week see the University Almanac at www.up.edu/almanac.