David L. Chervenak Sr. was a distinguished accountant, a teacher and mentor, an enthusiastic Bellarmine booster and an avid golfer. He was also an actor and director and a loving husband and father to six children.
In short, he was a man who fully embraced all aspects of life.
And Patricia Schimpeler Chervenak hopes the recipient of the scholarship she endowed in her husband’s memory will have a similar outlook. “I would hope they are following their passion for accounting. They have perhaps an ideal of a wholesome and full life in all areas. And that they like to laugh every now and then.”
David Chervenak graduated from Bellarmine in 1958 and maintained a lifelong connection to the school. He was a member, board member and president of the Bellarmine Alumni Association and the first alumnus ever to serve on both the Board of Trustees and the Board of Overseers. His honors included being named Alumnus of the Year in 1963.
He was completing a three-year term as overseer when he died in May 2004, and was doing fund-raising from home even when he became too ill to attend meetings, said Patricia, a 1953 graduate of Ursuline College. (Their daughter, Claudia McCrocklin, is a 1989 Bellarmine graduate.)
“I think he felt enormous gratitude to Bellarmine, that his life would not have been as rich as it was without that background,” she said. “He loved it.”
David Chervenak was also very involved in his profession, serving on numerous boards from the local to the national level. At Cotton & Allen, where he became a partner in 1963, he encouraged others to become involved in the community. “It was part of having a larger, fuller life than just the profession – and of giving back,” Patricia said.
David’s full life included a passion for the theater. He and Patricia met in the Catholic Theater Guild as teenagers and appeared onstage together several times over the course of their marriage. David was involved with the Louisville Theatrical Association for 25 years. With their liberal-arts backgrounds, Patricia said, “the humanities, and specifically the arts, were very important to both of us.”
Students at Bellarmine, where David taught accounting part-time for about 10 years, saw him as a mentor, she said. “Some letters we received from former students after his death indicated that he was a deciding influence in their continuing in that profession and developing very impressive firms for themselves” across the country, Patricia said.
The recipient of the David L. Chervenak Endowed Scholarship must be an accounting major who maintains a GPA of 3.0 or better. But preference will be given, Patricia said, to those who take part in community service or volunteer activities – who, like her husband, embrace life with “a sense of joie de vivre.”