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The Aquilian

Mr. Bev: the man behind the wave

Mr. Bev does his calling-card wave for the camera. Photo by Peter Allen.

A group of students sitting in the Upper Commons looks up from their phones and towards the window that offers a glimpse of the neighboring hallway.  There, a smaller man in his classic tie-and-sweater-vest ensemble smiles and waves at the students despite the fact that he has never met them.  The man holds an hour-old sprinkled donut from the day’s bake sale in his non-waving hand, which he’s forgotten to eat because he’s been conversing with numerous students about their lives, putting their shared moment in time above anything else going on in his own life.  Mr. Andrew Bevilacqua is merely being Mr. Bev.

Mr. Bevilacqua, also known affectionately as “Mr. Bev” by many, is an eccentric personality to say the least—or maybe he’s just from Philly.  Whether you had him as a teacher or not, you ought to be aware that he is a man of admirable personality.  When he isn’t teaching English in Kohlmann Hall, students frequently receive one of his famous waves or engage in a lengthy discussion about him staying up until 4 a.m. binge-watching the new “Star Trek: Picard” series.  However, many individuals fail to devote the time to get acquainted with him.

Mr. Bev, who enthusiastically hails from Delaware County, Pa. (a.k.a. “DelCo”), a suburb of the city of brotherly love, contends to be the best Philadelphian on campus and Gonzaga’s version of Ted Lasso.  He attended St. Joseph’s Preparatory School, located in Philadelphia, Pa., for high school and received college degrees from Fordham University in Yonkers, NY. and St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia.  Following his own educational experiences, he felt his calling was to be a teacher, prepared to impact the lives of a bevy of students.

“During my time at Fordham, I was thinking of all the great teachers I had in high school, and I wanted to be like them and have that positive impact on people,” Mr.  Bev said.  “It not only gave me a chance to give back to others, but I also continue to get my summer’s off.”

Teaching in Philadelphia for some time after his university days, Mr. Bev felt called to Gonzaga because it reminded him of the atmosphere he loved as a student at St. Joseph’s Preparatory.  Never teaching outside of the Philadelphia locale, he saw the opening and felt willing to drop the city of brotherly love and come to the nation’s capital.  Ever since that decision, he has loved every minute of being on Eye Street. 

On campus, students recognize Mr. Bev for his classic wave, which he constantly bestows upon them—many would contend that it is his calling card.  Mr. Bev claims the action has spontaneous origins and came out of nowhere.  If anything, it can be traced back to his days as stage manager for the many theatrical productions he worked on, though he confesses his arm grows tired from the movement from time to time.

“At [Gonzaga] football games, I’m down there on the track and always wave at my students, so by the third quarter my arm gets tired,” Mr. Bev said.  “At times, I tell myself ‘Oh Bev, you probably have something in common with the quarterbacks.’”

In his free time, Mr. Bev is a fervent supporter of the science fiction television show “Star Trek”, often referred to by the proper title of Trekkie.  Mr. Bev partially attributes his obsession with the Star Trek franchise to his mother watching a significant amount of it while she was pregnant.  However, even going to the extent of writing his Fordham senior thesis on “Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan,” he also believes that he has paved his own Trekkie path.  His devotion to the series has influenced many of his personal values and has created a seemingly-unbreakable optimism for living in a society with others.

“The conceit of it is that we are going to get our act together as a planet,” Mr. Bev said.  “Yeah there’s some conflict, but it really speaks to the better angels and best nature of humans and that gives me the reminder to try to be optimistic and noble.”

Using this mentality, Mr. Bev looks to unabashedly positively impact the lives of as many people as possible.  Every month, he sends a check-in email to all of the student body and recent alumni wishing them well-being and offering conversations to anyone who wants to have one—an unparalleled devotion to being there for Gonzaga.  

Besides teaching, waving and watching “Star Trek, Mr. Bev has begun running laps on the Gonzaga track because it makes him feel good after stage crew meetings, and he hopes to pursue a career in boxing, taking after one of his Philly role models Rocky Balboa.  

 “Students are lucky to have a teacher as committed as Mr. Bev,” said senior Charles Scherer, once an English student of Mr. Bev.

Besides saying that the best authentic Philly cheesesteak is at Dalessandro’s Steaks in Northwest Philly, Mr. Bev hopes that all students know that they are awesome and that they should make the most of their time at the “truly special place” that Gonzaga is.

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    Harry Geib, SJMar 2, 2023 at 3:22 pm

    Thank you Mr. Croog for your positive article about Mr. Bevilacqua! I have always been struck by his energy and positive attitude which you point out in your article. Mr. Bev definitely has the Gonzaga School Spirit and shows a commitment to the people of the Gonzaga community.