A Message From the President In the daily activities of a school like Father Ryan, it’s easy to become focused on what happens this moment, this week, this month. The details of operating a campus of 950 students and a faculty and staff of more than 140 certainly capture your attention.
A P R I L 2 0 14 •Record Crowd Honors Langdons at Legacy Gala – pg. 3 •Student News: From State Titles to Military Appointments – pg. 4 •Annual Fund on Record Pace – pg. 3 •50 Years of Equality Celebration Grows – pg. 2
A publication for the members of the President’s Circle of Giving
However, this winter and the early days of spring find me thinking especially about the almost 90 years of this school’s legacy, in addition to the activities in the dining hall or the classrooms or the athletic fields of Father Ryan. I am reminded that we have the opportunity to provide for today’s students because of the longstanding generosity and examples of those who came before. We have honored that legacy all year: through our Legacy Gala salute to Jim ’54 and Pat ’58 Langdon and their more than a century of service to our school; the courage and moral leadership of Willie Brown ’65, Coach Bill Derrick ’48 and Msgr. James Hitchcock ’39 in integrating the city and the South 50 years ago; the impact of Catholic education on Joel ’36 and Mary Sue Cheek, which inspired them to ensure the availability of that education to generations of Father Ryan students; and through your generous support every year. We have a proud legacy, one that we continue to share with our young men and women so that they understand what they have inherited as Father Ryan students. As we prepare the class of 2014 to take their place in the rolls of alumni, we see another group of students who are ready to enhance our legacy and continue the tradition of Faith, Knowledge and Service for many years to come.
A Tradition of Faith, Knowledge, Service
FATHER RYAN RECEIVES LARGEST GIFT EVER
Mary Sue Cheek Scholarship Fund, which will his past month Father Ryan received augment Father Ryan’s current financial aid confirmation of two gifts to the school program for families with demonstrated need. from the estate of Joel Cheek, a member In addition to their major gift for financial of the Class of 1936, and his wife, Mary Sue assistance, the Cheeks made an unrestricted Cheek. These gifts, with a combined total of gift of $800,000. The Father Ryan Board more than $10 million, comprise the largest voted to restrict these funds in trust to provide bequests to Father Ryan in its history. They for ongoing professional development for are reflections of Mr. Cheek’s pride in his alma Mary Sue and Joel Cheek ’36 our faculty through the new Mary Sue and mater, the Cheeks’ deep belief in Catholic Joel O. Cheek ’36 Center for Teaching Excellence at Father education, and their desire to ensure that a Father Ryan Ryan High School. This initiative will further benefit our education is accessible to all. students by enabling our professional educators to build The Father Ryan Board of Trustees and members skills and expertise that will enhance their roles in the of the leadership team are humbled and extremely lives of each student. It is our belief that cultivating grateful for the Cheeks’ generosity. Mr. Cheek was a our remarkable faculty will bolster our hallmark proud alumnus of Father Ryan and a leader of his class. commitment to every student: “You will be known, He thrived in the environment of Faith, Knowledge, and you will be loved.” Service, and clearly he wanted to share that experience The spirit of philanthropy has taken root in our with others. He gave careful thought to these planned community, evidenced not only by the Cheeks’ gift but also gifts and set them in motion 22 years ago. by your support through the Annual Fund and other initiatives. Mr. and Mrs. Cheek were very explicit in their intent, This philanthropy continues to provide opportunities for our restricting the first and largest gift—just under $10 million— students as we all work to make Father Ryan the national standard exclusively for student financial aid. To honor that intent, the for Catholic education. Board restricted the principal amount as an endowment, which To learn more about planned giving opportunities at Father means it cannot itself be used otherwise. Father Ryan will Ryan, contact Brooke Reusch at (615) 269-7926. use the income from this endowment to fund the Joel O. and
Salute to 50 Years of Equality Continues to Touch this Community
n December 4, 1963, Father Ryan junior Willie Brown stepped onto the court to jump center for Father Ryan and became the first African-American in any sport to integrate sports in the NIL, the state and probably the South. Father Ryan’s principal, Fr. James Hitchcock ’39, and its coach and TSSAA Hall of Famer, Bill Derrick ’48 took this bold step—consistent with Father Ryan’s legacy of social justice— and Willie launched a two-year career as a starter, becoming one of the most talented and honored players in the state’s history. During those two years the Irish posted a 52-6 record, won the District 18 title two straight years, the Region V title in 1965 and advanced to the state tournament. Little did Willie know then that his actions and those of his school would continue to have an impact 50 years later. This past November 19, at the opening game of the Irish’s basketball season, Father Ryan officially retired the number 50 across all sports at the school, a tribute to the memory and achievements of Willie Brown ’65 and Jesse Porter ’64. More than 50 basketball players from the 1963–64 through the 1967–68 teams—the ones who would have been on campus when Willie played—returned to the campus for the celebration. They gathered with Coach Derrick and with Willie’s sole surviving
sibling, Ann Brown Beatty, to reminisce, to tell old stories, to tease each other and to honor this Father Ryan legacy. In doing so they provided students and each other a reminder of how basketball helped change this city. This school year and throughout the rest of this calendar year, we will continue to shine a light on this distinctive period of our school’s and community’s history. These include: • Renaming our Christmas basketball tournament as the Willie Brown ’65 Memorial Basketball Tournament. • Salutes to Willie and his family at the championships of the TSSAA basketball tournaments, including a salute airing during the broadcast and an on-court tribute. • Induction of Willie to the Tennessee Hall of Fame, which takes place this April. • The playing of the Father Ryan–Pearl-Cohn game in 2015 at Municipal Auditorium on the 50th anniversary of the historic game. • Revisions of the records and displays in the Civil Rights Room of the Nashville Public Library to tell this history. • A student documentary of this era by an AP English class. • Media coverage in local and regional press and our own Irish Ayes. Willie Brown left a legacy that opened doors of opportunity for generations of athletes. We are proud to be a part of this story and look forward to many exciting salutes throughout 2014 and 2015. Left, the teams from ’63–’64 to ’67–’68 with Ann Brown Beatty (above) to remember the legacy of Willie Brown.
Star Physical Therapy is Official Sponsor of 50 Years of Equality
tar Physical Therapy has long been a generous sponsor of Father Ryan High School, and an important partner for our students and our school. That partnership is growing this year with our announcement that Star will be the official sponsor of the 50 Years of Equality celebration. This twelve-month commitment will provide important support as we continue to tell the story of the integration of athletics in the South and the critical role our faculty, our students and our community played in bringing about this change. Father Ryan thanks Star Physical Therapy and Marty Blair for their generosity.
LEGACY GALA SETS ATTENDANCE RECORDS
ather Ryan’s 2014 Legacy Gala set records for attendance, live auction revenues and compliments as our community gathered to honor Jim ’54 and Pat ’58 Langdon for their more than nine decades of service to Father Ryan. A record crowd of 730 came to the new—and stunning— Omni Nashville Hotel for the 35th edition of this celebratory night. The comments were many…“one of the best Gala’s ever”… “what a fun crowd and beautiful night”…“the video was amazing and so well done”… “a great venue at the Omni Hotel”....“a great night to be Irish.” Most important, the dollars raised were significant—$100,000 in one night for the programs at Father Ryan—bringing the total Gala funds raised over the last four years to over $400,000. On behalf of everyone associated with the night including our chairs, Gary and Sandy Guidry, all our volunteers, our staff and the Langdons themselves, thank you for your support of Father Ryan. To see photos from the evening and to enjoy the video on the impact of the Langdons on Father Ryan presented at the Gala, go to www.fatherryan.org/legacygala. Go ahead and save the date for next year—March 7, 2015 at the Omni Nashville!
Right top: Linda Langdon, Pat Langdon ’58, Jim McIntyre, Nancy Langdon and Jim Langdon ’ 54 at the Legacy Gala.
ANNUAL FUND AHEAD OF RECORD PACE
hile there are still four months remaining in this year’s campaign, the indications for success are good. Through March of 2014, alumni, parents, faculty, staff and other supporters of Father Ryan have contributed more than $429,000 to the Annual Fund. This total is 17% ahead of our pace at this time last year, and the focused efforts of our Class Reps and Annual Fund staff are beginning their spring push. We often refer to the Annual Fund as
our “Living Endowment.” The Annual Fund currently provides the equivalent benefit of a $12 million endowment. Even with the generous gift from the Cheeks, the need for unrestricted funds remain. It is vital that our entire community continue its support of the Annual Fund, knowing that these dollars provide the margin of excellence for our students and faculty. If you haven’t already made your gift to the Annual Fund you can do so by visiting www.fatherryan.org/giving.
WELCOME, CLASS OF 2018
ather Ryan’s newest class will be the guests at our annual Welcome Mass and reception on Sunday, April 6, 2014, in the Center for the Arts. Bishop David R. Choby ’65 will be the celebrant for the morning service as we greet our newest Irish families. The class is a strong one in every area, and we are excited about what they add to our community. With the expected size of the class to exceed 240 students
and the information we have regarding returning students, we expect to be at full capacity of 960+ students as we enter our 90th year in the fall of 2014. We salute the Admissions staff for their dedicated work in presenting Father Ryan to the many families and students who have visited us these past few months. We look forward to welcoming the newest members of the long purple line.
Class of 2018 ©2014 FRHS
STUDENTS IN THE NEWS
ur students never fail to excel, in every aspect. Here are the highlights of this school year.
• Our new Dining Hall opened in the fall to rave reviews from all diners. We are pleased with our partnership with Pedestal Foods. • Father Ryan’s Relay for Life led the nation once again, raising more than $65,000 for cancer research.
William and Connor were the rolling drummers who introduced the Parade on NBC-TV. • Wrestling claimed its 20th state title in February with freshman Eli King, junior Chris Wesnofske and senior John Hagey earning individual championships.
• Girls soccer finished second in the state, losing the title and their undefeated season in the state championship game. But what a season! • Six students were honored by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation: Kelsey Barrett as a SemiFinalist and Finalist and Kenneth Anderson, Emma Collins, Emily Kerinuk, Rachel Panther and Grace Wilson as Commended Scholars.
• Luke Strebel and John Hagey have received appointments to the U.S. Air Force Academy, continuing the string of students who have received this honor. They are the 24th and 25th Father Ryan students to receive a military academy appointment since 2000. • Three Father Ryan students—junior William Burnett and seniors Connor Moran and Matt Zotti—along with the band co-directors were invited back to NYC for another appearance in Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
700 Norwood Drive Nashville, TN 37204 (615) 383-4200 www.fatherryan.org
Creating A New Standard In Catholic Education 4