Hundreds turn out to honor James DeVries

MCCC President Kojo Quartey hugs professor emeritus James DeVries during a reception to honor his life in the atrium of the La-Z-Boy Center Aug. 24.


When life starts to end, reflection begins.


For James “Jim” DeVries, a member of the MCCC Board of Trustees and professor emeritus, this time is about identity, and faith.

“It’s been my transformation to Christianity which has allowed me to weather what I’m going through now, and many other things, with grace,” DeVries said.

Over 15 years ago, while still a teaching history at MCCC, DeVries was diagnosed with Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia cancer.

More recently, he was diagnosed with cholangiocarcinoma.

When it was discovered the latter diagnosis could not be treated with surgery, doctors told DeVries his cancer was too far advanced for either chemotherapy or radiation.

It was then Devries began to make plans.

Rather than wallow in self-pity, DeVries is using this time to reach out to family and friends.

“For me, this is a time for love, grace, mercy and forgiveness,” DeVries said.

On Aug. 24 in the atrium of the La-Z-Boy Center, a ceremony was held for the beloved professor, board member, and friend.

Hosted by MCCC president and close confidant, Kojo Quartey, the reception drew hundreds of family, friends, former colleagues and students, as well as community members in an overwhelming show of appreciation.

“For that many people to come together on a moment’s notice was just mind-blowing to me,” DeVries said. “And then I thought, ‘we always do impact lives.’”

“Wherever you are, whoever you are, you always have an impact,” DeVries said. “Everyone does.”