In Loving Memory of Don Seawell
The Denver Area Council, Boy Scouts of America, is privileged to have counted Don Seawell as a dear friend. We express our sympathy at the recent loss of Don Seawell and extend our appreciation for the legacy of civic leadership he embodied. Don earned the rank of Eagle in 1929, was recognized as a Distinguished Eagle Scout by the Denver Area Council in 1976, and he turned 100 years old on August 1, 2012, during the 100th anniversary of the Eagle Scout rank. The Denver Area Council recognized Don in 2012 for this special achievement at the Annual Business Meeting and Eagle Scout Recognition Banquet.
A native of North Carolina and graduate of the University of North Carolina, he studied law and went to Washington, DC as an early staff member of the securities and exchange commission. At the outbreak of World War II, he went to the war department and the department of justice, on loan from the SEC, serving as director of the anti-subversion division of the justice department and executive secretary of the combined American and British intelligence organizations.
In 1943, he entered the armed services and served on General Eisenhower’s staff until after V-E day when he transferred to the judge advocate general’s department to argue veterans’ re-employment rights before the United States Supreme Court. He then entered the private practice of law in New York.
Don then became involved with theatrical presentations on Broadway and in London … in addition to television and motion picture productions. He was first to bring the Royal Shakespeare Company to America. In 1966, Don became president and CEO of the Denver Post and it was not long before he became chairman and publisher of the post and a full-time resident of Denver. In 1982, he brought the royal national theatre of Great Britain to Denver to participate in a festival of world theatre. He sat on the boards of the Denver Art Museum, the Denver Symphony Orchestra and Central City Opera, was president of the Denver Opera Foundation and helped create the mayor’s commission on the arts.
Finding himself at the crossroads of 14th & Curtis streets in downtown Denver one day, looking at the old auditorium theatre (built in 1908 — now the Ellie Culkins opera house) and the surrounding four blocks, Seawell had an idea for a performing arts center. Ground was broken in December 1974. By 1978 the 2,700-seat Boettcher concert hall – the nation’s only in-the-round concert hall – was completed. By 1979 the auditorium theatre had been renovated, two cabaret spaces and four more theatres had been added. The 2,830-seat Temple Hoyne Buell theatre was completed in 1991 and the grand ballroom atop the space theatre was added in 1998.
As an Eagle Scout Donald R. Seawell continued to serve his god, country and fellowman, following the principles of the scout oath and law, and provided distinguished service to his nation and community.
We remember Don today and thank him for his service as a Distinguished Eagle Scout to the Denver community!