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Tuesday, January 19, 2016 - 2:45pm


When Jim DeBello, class of ’76, was a 21-year-old college student, he married his wife, Joan, and a year later became a father to his first daughter, Becky. Now, with this added responsibility he knew his primary responsibility had shifted from school to providing for his family.

Jim worked for years in market research at General Foods but finally took the plunge to finish his college degree at night. While working long hours at the corporate office in White Plains, he resumed his studies at Mercy College. Mercy was a saving grace for him, a college that valued and supported adult students. DeBello received a B.S. from Mercy College in Psychology and then a Master’s in Counseling.

Now, an accomplished marketing manager, DeBello was able to leap into a new social work career armed with his degrees. DeBello initially worked as a counselor and therapist. He then became the Director of Treatment Care at Silver Hill Hospital in New Canaan, Connecticut, a nationally recognized, non-profit hospital for the treatment of psychiatric and addictive disorders. He oversaw 40 employees and a $1.5 million budget. After working at Silver Hill for a number of years, DeBello, moved on to Marworth, in Waverly, Pennsylvania, another national leader in alcohol and chemical dependency treatment, and again supervised a large staff and budget. DeBello smiles when he thinks back on his career, a career he owes all to Mercy College. 

What gives him more joy is that his daughter, Becky, also attended Mercy when it was her time for college. Becky, studied among other subjects, Italian and the Italian Renaissance. The highlight of her education at Mercy College was an invitation by one of her professors to join other Mercy students on a cultural excursion through Italy. 

DeBello retired six years ago but continues to support Mercy College annually. The College that was there for him, and the College that showed his daughter the world, will always be thought of warmly by the entire DeBello family.