Chris Farley's Brother Hired at Dubuque University, Using Humor to Impact Students
By Katie Wiedemann, Reporter
DUBUQUE, Iowa - A new employee at Clarke University in Dubuque is using the death of his famous brother to help teach students about substance abuse. Tom Farley is the brother of the late Saturday Night Live star, Chris Farley.
Chris was well known for roles in movies such as "Tommy Boy" and "Beverly Hills Ninja". But he's also remembered for his sudden death in 1997 when he over-dosed on illegal drugs.
Tom Farley started his new position as Executive Director of Marketing and Communication at Clarke earlier this month. He's already stepping outside that role to teach students about his brother's life and death.
There's no question there's a Farley family resemblance. The real question is, how did Tom Farley end up in Dubuque?
Farley said, "I always knew about Dubuque and I always thought it was neat and it was like, Life on Mississippi? Cool, I'm having a mid-life crisis so I'm channeling Huck Finn."
The 50-year-old Farley has had a lengthy marketing career from New York City to his hometown, Madison. But he brings more to Clarke University than just years of experience in the corporate world.
Farley said, "I started out with the concept of using humor to deliver messages on substance abuse. Nobody else was doing that. It was all very serious. Don't do this and don't do that. Kids don't react to that."
Tom helped form the Chris Farley Foundation, aimed at keeping young adults from abusing drugs and alcohol.
The foundation has now ended, but Tom still spreads its message. It's a focus, not only on how Chris died, but also how he lived as a passionate entertainer.
Farley said, "It's not so much avoid substances. It's really find what it is that, you know, connects. And you are not going to let anything get in the way of that."
Farley is already giving talks and running workshops about substance abuse for students at Clarke. He says he plans to start an improv club to give students a creative outlet. That's something he says both he and his brother enjoyed when they were younger.
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