Loyola University New Orleans Presents 2019 Integritas Vitae Award
High honor goes to S. Derby Gisclair, a local investment professional, sports historian, and philanthropist
(New Orleans, La. – Nov. 11, 2019) Loyola University New Orleans presents one of its highest honors next month to an alumnus who led Loyola’s recently completed Faith in the Future fundraising campaign, the most successful campaign in university history. A local investment professional, sports historian, and philanthropist, S. Derby Gisclair ’73 will receive the university’s Integritas Vitae Award, translated literally as a “life of integrity,” on December 12 at the annual 1912 Society Dinner and Auction, to be held at the Audubon Tea Room. Tickets may be purchased here.
“Derby has epitomized the values of a Jesuit education. He has lived a life of utter integrity, both personally and professionally. Through volunteer work and philanthropy, he has served others. And he has epitomized the Jesuit value of lifelong curiosity, teaching us all the history of New Orleans in his books,” said University President Tania Tetlow. “He serves as a wonderful and inspiring example to Loyola students, alumni, and community.”
Fourteen years ago, Derby Gisclair met with people from his alma mater in a fundraising capacity for the first time, said Vice President of University Advancement Chris Wiseman. At this meeting, with then-Loyola athletic director Mike Giorlando, his character was on clear display.
“Coach Giorlando didn't have time to ask Derby for anything, because Derby beat him to the punch. Early in the lunch, Derby simply asked, ‘What do you need, and how can I help?’ Within months, Loyola had a newly renovated locker room in the University Sports Complex, thanks to Derby’s generosity.”
Since then, he hasn’t stopped helping Loyola, Wiseman said. He fearlessly spearheaded the Faith in the Future campaign, which resulted in $100 million in new resources for Loyola, co-leading the campaign with Anne Gauthier from 2011 until October 2019. He generously helps organizations throughout the city, from De La Salle High School to Tulane baseball. And, he rallies others to do the same, whether he’s helping to preserve New Orleans history or improve resources for academic institutions.
The son of Loyola alumni, Gisclair grew up in New Orleans, where he served early in life as an altar boy at Holy Name of Jesus Church. He graduated from De La Salle High School, then Loyola, where he received his B.A. in drama and speech and was honored as a University Fellow. As an undergraduate, he was an entrepreneur, partnering with Tulane students to share feature films for movie nights at the respective universities. His time in Loyola’s drama department exposed him to the business of theater, from building stages and sets, to marketing, to tallying ticket sales.
Encouraged by the Rev. Ernie Ferlita, S.J., and other Loyola faculty, Gisclair expanded his undergraduate education to include studies at Santa Clara University and the American Academy in Rome. Post-college, he studied at the University of New Orleans and the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania, earning the designation of Certified Investment Management Analyst (CIMA), and began his career with Paine Webber in 1982.
He worked for Drexel, Burnham, Lambert and Prudential Securities before heading out with three partners in 2002 to establish an independent investment management consulting, where Gisclair was chief operating officer. In 2010, he established Crescent Capital Consulting, and retired in 2016 after nearly 35 years in the investment management consulting industry.
A keen fan of baseball, Gisclair has turned his love of sports and history into “a real service to his city and to fans of baseball and other sports around the world,” Wiseman said. Known for his wit and love of language, Gisclair wrote Baseball in New Orleans (2004), Baseball at Tulane University (2007), and two books published this year: Early Baseball in New Orleans: A History of 19th Century Play and The Olympic Club of New Orleans: Epicenter of Professional Boxing, 1883-1897.
A noted speaker, Gisclair has written articles on baseball history for New Orleans Magazine and Louisiana Cultural Vistas and created several websites on the history of baseball. He is a member of the Society of American Baseball Research (SABR) and sustaining member of the National Baseball Hall of Fame – and serves on nominating and selection committees for the Greater New Orleans Professional Baseball Hall of Fame.
Gisclair has served on various professional organizations and as a board member of Louisiana's ‘Committee of 100’ for Economic Development. But his greatest gifts are to Loyola, where he is now serving his second stint as a leader on the Board of Trustees.
He and his wife, Claire, are active benefactors of Loyola and members of the university’s Society of St. Ignatius. The couple established the Derby and Claire Gisclair Athletics Scholarship for First-Generation Students in 2012 − and the Derby and Claire Gisclair Distinguished Professorship in Theatre Arts in 2013. They have also made significant contributions to the university’s Coach Louis “Rags” Scheuermann Endowed Scholarship. The couple frequently attends Loyola events and has hosted events for the university.