And the rest is history: Two professors’ love story continues at Canisius

Canisius professors David Devereux and Julie Gilbert met more than 30 years ago in England. Now married for 31 years, they teach together at Canisius.

Professors David Devereux and Julie Gilbert met in England, married and teach together at Canisius (Lauren Schifley)

Professors Dr. David Devereux and Dr. Julie Gibert have been married for 31 years and have been colleagues in the History Department at Canisius for many of those years. 

Despite Devereux being from Canada and Gibert being from Virginia, Devereux and Gibert said that they met in the tea room of a library in London in the mid-1980s. Devereux was doing his graduate work at the University of London, while Gibert was doing her graduate work at the University of North Carolina, but was in Britain for her year of archival research.

Professors Dr. David Devereux and Dr. Julie Gibert have been married for 31 years and have been colleagues in the History Department at Canisius for many of those years. 

Despite Devereux being from Canada and Gibert being from Virginia, Devereux and Gibert said that they met in the tea room of a library in London in the mid-1980s. Devereux was doing his graduate work at the University of London, while Gibert was doing her graduate work at the University of North Carolina, but was in Britain for her year of archival research.

Gibert said that they were both connected to a place called The Institute of Historical Research, which was a library as well as a contact point for historians in London, and as they sat down for tea they knew a few of the same people and hit it off. 

She knows of at least two other couples that met in that library: one of Gibert’s professors during her first semester of graduate school and another graduate student from her same program. In fact, Gibert said that her professor told the students that the library was “a very good place to find husbands,” which became a joke in the department. 

Gibert and Devereux decided early in the relationship that they did not want to have a ‘commuter marriage,’ commonly referred to today as a long-distance relationship. They came to Buffalo after her two-year contract at the University of North Carolina was up and she was looking for a new job. 

She ended up accepting a position at Canisius and the couple moved to Buffalo together. Devereux said that he had a research fellowship at the time which allowed him to move around a little. While job hunting after that, Devereux got a job at St. John Fisher in Rochester, which he stayed at for five years. He eventually came to Canisius after a position opened up, which was good timing for them as they had just had a son. 

One of the challenges of being colleagues is that it is difficult to make friends outside of the college because you have the same coworkers, said Gibert. Dervereux said another challenge is navigating more of the politics of the work world, especially since they have both been department chair. 

“The college has policies on that, so when you’re chair of the department and you have a spouse in the same department you can’t evaluate them; you can’t recommend them for things. That’s taken out of our hands,” Gibert said.

Gibert said that it is important that they agreed to never speak for the other person and to not volunteer each other for things.

There are also some advantages to being coworkers, such as being able to bounce ideas off of each other, and having a lot of the same interests and values. Devereux said that it is nice that their offices are four doors down from each other in Churchill Tower. Devereux said that the key to a good relationship is patience, flexibility, and respect. 

“It’s hard for me to imagine being with someone long-term that just didn’t share any of my interests,” Gibert said.

 Both Devereux and Gibert mentioned that they try to keep work and home life separate by not discussing what is going on at the college when they are off-campus.

Gibert said that they were both connected to a place called The Institute of Historical Research, which was a library as well as a contact point for historians in London, and as they sat down for tea they knew a few of the same people and hit it off. 

She knows of at least two other couples that met in that library: one of Gibert’s professors during her first semester of graduate school and another graduate student from her same program. In fact, Gibert said that her professor told the students that the library was “a very good place to find husbands,” which became a joke in the department. 

Gibert and Devereux decided early in the relationship that they did not want to have a ‘commuter marriage,’ commonly referred to today as a long-distance relationship. They came to Buffalo after her two-year contract at the University of North Carolina was up and she was looking for a new job. 

She ended up accepting a position at Canisius and the couple moved to Buffalo together. Devereux said that he had a research fellowship at the time which allowed him to move around a little. While job hunting after that, Devereux got a job at St. John Fisher in Rochester, which he stayed at for five years. He eventually came to Canisius after a position opened up, which was good timing for them as they had just had a son. 

One of the challenges of being colleagues is that it is difficult to make friends outside of the college because you have the same coworkers, said Gibert. Dervereux said another challenge is navigating more of the politics of the work world, especially since they have both been department chair. 

“The college has policies on that, so when you’re chair of the department and you have a spouse in the same department you can’t evaluate them; you can’t recommend them for things. That’s taken out of our hands,” Gibert said.

Gibert said that it is important that they agreed to never speak for the other person and to not volunteer each other for things.

There are also some advantages to being coworkers, such as being able to bounce ideas off of each other, and having a lot of the same interests and values. Devereux said that it is nice that their offices are four doors down from each other in Churchill Tower. Devereux said that the key to a good relationship is patience, flexibility, and respect. 

“It’s hard for me to imagine being with someone long-term that just didn’t share any of my interests,” Gibert said.

 Both Devereux and Gibert mentioned that they try to keep work and home life separate by not discussing what is going on at the college when they are off campus. 

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