Ricks College Administrator

His legacy: Shaum administered one by one

Devin Shaum, an alumnus and employee of Ricks College and BYU-Idaho, passed away on June 15 in a motorcycle accident in Stanley, Idaho.

Shaum was an employee of Ricks College and BYU-Idaho for 30 years, according to the Standard Journal.

Greg Palmer, of the religion department, who attended Ricks College with Shaum and worked with him through most of their professional lives said he was always devoted to the school. Shaum started in admissions, where he represented the school in high school relations, according to the Administration office.

“He loved Ricks College and BYU-Idaho,” Palmer said.

Palmer said when the college became BYU-I, President David A. Bednar asked Shaum to organize the intramural program for the students. President Bednar said even though thousands of students would be impacted by the new intramural program, just as many would be affected by just knowing Shaum.

“By small and simple things are great things brought to pass,” Palmer said. “It was the quiet things about Devin that did the most good. His greatest legacy is the one-by-one stuff. He absolutely loved the students, and he paid attention to them.”

Scott Ferguson, another member of the religion faculty and close friend of Shaum said Shaum left a mark.

“Not so much in organizations which come and go but in lives that go on forever,” Ferguson said.

Ferguson, who ran for Student Body Office with Shaum while attending Ricks College, said getting from building to building on campus should usually take a couple of minutes — with Shaum it took 20.

“Devin would stop to talk to everyone. Every student or teacher. He cared about people; how they felt and if they were happy,” Ferguson said.

Ferguson said at Shaum’s funeral, a friend leaned over and mentioned that every person there thought they were Shaum’s best friend.

“That’s just the way he treated people,” Ferguson said. “He made people want to be part of his life and part of the school’s life.”

Palmer said Shaum had a gift for responding to people and knowing just what to say to get a laugh out of anyone.

“What you noticed first about Devin was that he was hilarious,” Palmer said. “He got me in so much trouble for laughing when I shouldn’t have been laughing. He had a wonderful heart.”

Palmer said Shaum’s professional life took him to LDS Philanthropies, then LDS Foundations.

“He was a master at it,” Palmer said. “Because he loved Ricks College and he just loved people.”

Ferguson said Shaum was able to leave this legacy because everything in life he did was with his whole heart.

“He lived life feeling everything,” Ferguson said.

Ferguson said Shaum’s legacy could be compared to a mighty oak that quietly touched lives all over the world.

“Some people leave a legacy through the monuments they create — be it books, buildings, art or even organizations — with Devin it was the lives he touched and they are far and wide,” Ferguson said.

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