St. Thomas Eagles' Nest Winter 2017

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EVENTS JAN 25...... 11th Annual Scholarship Breakfast MAR 4.............................................. Round-Up

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St. Thomas salutes our latest scholars distinguished by The College Board and National Honor Society while again recognized as one of the highest achieving college preparatory schools in Texas by a national review.

MAR 12 - 16.............................. Spring Break MAR 23 - 25......................... Spring Musical APR 2............... 27th Annual St. Thomas Golf Tournament, Champions Golf Club

APR 27............... 47th Annual Mothers’ Club Style Show & Luncheon

MAY 8.................... Goodness, Discipline and Knowledge Society Dinner

MAY 18.......................... Baccalaureate Mass MAY 19....... 118th Commencement Exercise

Eagles’ Nest Printed December 2017 The Eagles’ Nest is published three times annually by St. Thomas High School 4500 Memorial Drive, Houston, TX 77007-7332 | 713-864-6348

Rev. Kevin Storey, CSB - President Aaron Dominguez ’96 - Principal Mary Criaco - Assistant Principal Rod Takacs - Dean of Students Keith Calkins - Director of Communications Mark deTranaltes ’83 - Vice President for Advancement Eve Grubb - Vice President of Finance Darla Arter - Layout and Design Assistance Provided By: Sebastian Domenech, Molly Hittinger, Alison Broussard, Joanie Shelley Circulation 9,500 c2017

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Good Ol’ Boys shine during Alumni Weekend.


Parker Robertson ’18 adds to surging acting career in the HITS production of Sweeney Todd.


Eagle Baseball’s M&M Boys, Philip Matulia ’18 and Owen Meaney ’18, share the spotlight during the November National Signing Day.


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“And as mother nature rained down, human beings rose up, the gutwrenching paired with the truly uplifting ... bringing people of all races, religions, social and socioeconomic circles together in a common cause of compassion and solidarity.”

“To understand Eagle Strong requires more than a simple number crunch that resulted in a rousing total of more than $600,000 raised on the St. Thomas campus.”

“... an unprecedented move by the organization which is not built as a fundraising arm. They operate with limited resources so every single dollar is meaningful.”

Rescue. Recover. Rebuild. Rejoice.


The Giving Habit


Unknown Neighbors In Need

What’s Playing In Father Storey’s iPod?

“... a testament to the humanity of our community, that people trust in our school, understand that our heart is for people.”

“My first concert was Kiss ... a great show band ... tons of pyrotechnics and special effects. I like them even today.”

Eyes Fixed On The Future


Riveting and Rollicking Three Musketeers “I wanted some bravado, some flamboyance, some comedy. I wanted us to have fun.” Eagles’ Nest Summer 2010 - 3 Eagles’ Nest Winter 2017 - 3

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From The President My friend, Juan, is a trapeze artist and Juan taught me that you could not swing from one bar to another without letting go. As obvious as that may seem, we sometimes struggle with doing that in life. Over these next few months, the faculty, staff and extended leadership of St. Thomas will be crafting a Strategic Plan for the next five years. Our last Strategic Plan oversaw the acquisition of the Joplin campus and this plan will envision the preeminent way to teach goodness, discipline and knowledge with expanded, up-to-date resources. Our goal is to have the Strategic Plan finalized and publicized by this fall. Rest assured that some elements of our plan will sound familiar – we could never exist without developing teachers who are passionate about their students, subject material and faith! But other elements of our Strategic Plan will be spanking new – how about the first week of school being experienced outdoors, an hour north of Houston! Please pray that the Holy Spirit continue to guide us as we embolden the class of 2018 and reach out to inspire the class of 2022. Happy New Year! Fr. Kevin Storey, CSB President

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From The Principal The weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas are my favorite time of year. I love Christmas lights, eggnog, cold fronts, sharing the excitement from my boys with my wife, the season of Advent, and all the sights, sounds, and smells of the holiday season.

St. Thomas has made this holiday season particularly special for my family and me. I am, for the first time in my career, fortunate enough to work in a place that authentically values and celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ as the real purpose of Christmas. Leading a school rooted in Catholicism requires something different from me as the principal and, quite frankly, requires something different of all of us that are chosen to be members of the St. Thomas community. As we reflect on the holiday season, I charge us with carrying the spirit and celebration of Christmas into the new year. Together, let us make 2018 a year in which we see the face of Jesus in every person we meet. Let us make 2018 the best year in the history of St. Thomas. Aaron Dominguez ’96 Principal

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n the evening of August 25, Hurricane Harvey made landfall in Texas as a category 4 storm, spawning a flood event on an entirely different scale than what Texas, and the United States, had before seen, soaking parts of the Greater Houston area during a four-day deluge with more than 50 inches of rain. What the city might expect in an average year. Twenty trillion gallons in all. The equivalent of the entire Chesapeake Bay. The flood damage ... biblical in proportion ... frightening to behold. And as mother nature rained down, human beings rose up, the gutwrenching paired with the truly uplifting. The jaw-dropping efforts of individuals and organizations doing the near impossible in this political and social climate ... bringing people of all races, religions, social and socioeconomic circles together in a common cause of compassion and solidarity. Barriers cast aside ... no one left as a spectator ... the human family united.

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As swaths of Greater Houston and surrounding cities were under water, the extended St. Thomas community remained steadfastly united. The STHCatholic Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts recorded staggering traffic, spiking in the 10s of thousands in both reach and engagement, as our brotherhood relied on social media to seek support, assist those in need and remain responsive to everchanging conditions. Matthew Marchetti ’08 was among the thousands throughout Houston watching Harvey unfold almost in real time on digital platforms. As colossal amounts of water gushed over a region with poor drainage, Marchetti detected response time from civic authorities could be quickly enterprised an online mapping tool residents.

heavily populated that the necessary compromised. He to track stranded allowed victims to input their location with details of their condition and cell phone numbers. A legion of rescuers accessed the website and clearly identified those in most dire need. In the first Monday morning as Harvey stalled out over Houston,

sending one band of rain after another smacking into the city, nearly 5,000 people had registered with more than 2,500 receiving some form of assistance, thanks to Marchetti’s ingenuity creating one of the first open-sourced rescue missions in the United States. Nationally known celebrity chef Bryan Caswell ’91 and his wife Jennifer couldn’t open their storm-ravaged flagship Reef for customers after Harvey, but it made a perfect HQ for hurricane operations and food triage for first responders.

Caswell’s team was feeding 10,000 people a day while floodwaters were still rising. “Everything that was in the restaurant was cooked and sent out,” Jennifer said. Eagle Football was scheduled to open for the fourth consecutive season against The Kinkaid School in what figured to be the St. Thomas head coaching debut for Rich McGuire. Hurricane Harvey had a decidedly more devastating agenda. So the first adjusted game plan of McGuire’s inaugural campaign was reaching out to Falcon head coach Nathan Larned and assembling more than 100 student-athletes who quickly flipped from foes to teammates, banning together to provide short-term relief to flood-crippled neighborhoods throughout the city. “I texted Nathan ... obviously we couldn’t play (September 1) but we could do something ... a way for both of us to get a win ... both start undefeated,” McGuire said.

Bryan Caswell ’91

McGuire and members of his coaching staff including Ray Davis, Jerrod Johnson, Andrew Quittenton and Josh Hooten, along with athletic coordinator and head soccer coach Kenny Martin ’01 and faculty member Darrell Yarbrough organized, dispatched and

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accompanied students on recovery missions, the worst of times bringing out the best and brightest from the Eagle community, in lockstep with their Kinkaid counterparts. “We dispersed groups of 10-12 to various neighborhoods that were hit hard, starting with groups of Kinkaid families and St. Thomas families,” McGuire said. “We determined where they were, how we could reach and assist them. We discovered that once you got to a house, you got the neighborhood, multiple homes in need. We just went door-to-door.” Previously, McGuire had escorted contingents to Meyerland, again reeling from water overflowing the crested banks of Brays Bayou, and suburban Kingwood along the raging San Jacinto River. “Shattering ... beyond words ... truly sad,” McGuire said. “You were literally tearing out someone’s life and putting it out on the curb. Furniture ... carpeting ... keepsakes ... all up and down the block.” On the first day of September 2017, as the effects of Harvey’s unmerciful entry to the Gulf Coast continued to create life-threatening havoc and destruction, rivals joined hearts for their city’s greater good, delivering the message that their neighbors were not alone in the wake of an unimaginable disaster. The St. Thomas student community resumed the 2017-18 academic schedule after all academic and campus activity was canceled beginning August 25. Nearly 100% of the student population, along with faculty and staff, gathered for a prayer service to provide solace and support while resetting toward normalcy.

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Adam Rinaldi ’18 provided a scripture reading followed by passionate testimonials and observations of the ongoing ordeal from principal Aaron Dominguez ’96, Student body president Daniel Garcia ’18, and faculty members Jennifer McDonald and Mike Lynch ’94, all referenced measurable examples of charity and deliverance from those within the Eagle ranks. Lynch delivered a heartfelt flashback to enduring the devastation that Hurricane Katrina ravaged through New Orleans in 2005, and how that déjà vu experience is impacting his family as they cope with the personal consequences of flooding that pummeled their city. “I’m scared (for many reasons) ... scared because of what I saw in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina ... scared because of so much uncertainty in our future,” Lynch said with compelling command and composure. “I’m blessed because I know everything will be okay in the end. But I’m still fearful.” Lynch then reached out to the student audience and related that “if your own homes were damaged ... your extended families experienced damage ... if you’re not living in your home right now ... you probably are a little bit scared, too. But I’ve seen recovery ... 12 years ago (in New Orleans) and gradually within the last week here (in Houston) ... and I draw amazing strength from (the St. Thomas community) ... every day of my life and particularly in times like this. Coming together. Faculty and students have come to my home and just started working.” In the following week, the annual St. Thomas Founders Mass brought a large dose of symmetry to an academic year reeling from the remnants of Harvey and untold misery that inundated Houston and surrounding coastal communities.

“I cannot express to you how much I love (St. Thomas). I’ve been through enough in life to be willing to admit that I’m scared. You may have (Eagle) brothers who are going through really difficult times .... and they might not be in a position, like I am, to say they’re afraid. But your friends are going to need you ... for weeks ... for months ... perhaps for years. Be there for each other. Above all, this community will be there for all of us.” Mike Lynch ’94

A near two-week interruption that resulted in canceled campus activity was similar to the school’s inaugural year delayed in the immediate wake of the Galveston Hurricane of 1900, to this day one of the worst recorded natural disasters ever to strike the North American continent. The deadliest hurricane in United States history delivered a high-water mark of nearly 20 feet and wickedly high winds which destroyed a third of the city with an estimated 10,00012,000 casualties for the entire island, nearly 20% of the population washed away. Principal celebrant and assistant dean of students Fr. James Murphy, CSB weaved a narrative that connected St. Thomas from its inception in 1900 to the present 76-year identity at 4500 Memorial Drive, punctuated by the power and influence of Fr. T. P. O’Rourke, CSB. When three Basilian priests established St. Thomas College more than a century ago, the school was originally housed in downtown Houston at Franklin Avenue and Caroline Street before moving to a location at Austin Street and Hadley, constructing the city’s first College Preparatory School for boys. In 1930, Fr. O’Rourke emerged as a visionary securing the school’s future growth and strategic position, the driving force to acquire land three miles from downtown at what was then the end of Memorial Drive on the north bank of Buffalo Bayou. It would require another decade before classes would be conducted at the current address. The first Texas-born Basilian would later initiate the land purchases for the University of St. Thomas in Montrose, and St. Anne’s

Catholic Church at Westheimer Road and Shepherd Drive. In honoring its 118th year of Houston’s Basilian mission rooted in the motto derived from Psalm 119 ... Teach Me Goodness, Discipline and Knowledge ... Fr. Murphy explained in his homily that Fr. O’Rourke “was repeatedly asked to raise new places for Catholics to gain an education. To raise up. “During Hurricane Harvey ... as the waters rose ... what we saw rising along with the waters was goodness ... always at the heart of Fr. O’Rourke’s teaching. He was known to say daily to his students ... don’t let them fence your goodness in. Those words reverberated through the halls of St. Thomas College downtown and became the foundation of these stones as well ... don’t let them fence your goodness in. “And as the waters from Hurricane Harvey rose and destroyed ... goodness could not be fenced in. Time and time again we saw the goodness of the St. Thomas community ... braving the circumstances to help neighbors, classmates, faculty members and absolute strangers. Because their eyes were raised to see the needs of others. “Now comes the challenge. The waters have receded and the tendency can be to follow the water down and see only the aftermath. But we are all called to keep looking up ... as our hearts may still be heavy and burdened by the flooding and destruction ... keep looking up with goodness in your hearts ... and the foundation of St. Thomas will become even stronger. Be the goodness that other people look up and see ... then Fr. O’Rourke’s vision of building this school at 4500 Memorial will continue to live out.”

Fr. Murphy at Founders Mass

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STORM ......



urricane Harvey began as a lowpressure blip on the radar ... methodically heated up through the tropics ... intensified up until the moment of landfall ... and surged into the strongest storm to slam Texas since Carla in 1961.

The devastating rains began to hit Houston during the night of Saturday, August 26, and the predawn hours that Sunday morning ... five to six inches per hour ... a slow churn for the next five agonizing days ... releasing more rain than any storm ever in the continental United States. Meryl and Doug Gregory ’87, and their sons Jeremy ‘15, Barrett ’18 and Griffin ’21 had moved into their Lakeside Estates residence in November 2014. The family was all too familiar with the perils delivered on a whim without mercy from Mother Nature, none of which proved the proper preparation for the breadth and intensity of a weather event that exceeded the most feared forecasts. This is Doug’s story of Hurricane Harvey so far.

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Our home was rural in the middle of urban. We love the outdoors and this was the ideal mix for our lifestyle. No neighbors in the backyard ... wooded ravine lot that carried to water where you would find fish, turtles, ducks, and cranes. Screened enclosed porch. Huge deck where the boys would hang out with friends. I was paying strict attention to the storm projections ... had lived through (Hurricane) Ike (in 2008) ... and we got out of Houston to stay with friends in New Braunfels. We drove back and then had to first go to Galveston to get our Jon boat because our street was a river. Absolutely surreal ... docking a boat on your front porch. We had taken a refrigerator out of the garage and put in front of the steps thinking it would be safe. Gone. Floated down to River Oaks. Our garage was completely underwater up to the gutters. But inside the house was dry. We’re thinking we’re going to be ok, escape largely unscathed. But in a short time, firemen in waders are telling us we had to leave. Now. (The

remains a zombie apocalypse. There is no one living there and no one will likely live there a year from now. No one knows if anyone will be allowed to rebuild ... yet three streets over kids are riding bikes and throwing footballs in front of their homes.

nearly full Addicks and Barker Reservoirs sitting on either side of I-10 west of Houston will be released, causing more flooding downstream along Buffalo Bayou). Don’t know if that means another two feet or 20 feet of water. Time for you to go. We got as much as we could up to the second floor of the house ... filled garbage bags with clothes and necessities ... loaded people and dogs onto a raft behind a boat ... and motored out in the middle of the night.

During Christmas and the holidays, our family will focus on what we have, not what we want. The cloud of uncertainty hangs. In the early part of 2018, we’ll get an appraisal of the property. The foundation has heaved and cracked because of the constant water exposure. There are a number of options ... will just have to wait and see. All we can do is plow forward and provide a stability for the boys ... school, sports, their routine.

We returned the next day and discovered 10 inches of standing water on the first floor of a house that had never previously flooded. The house is on a pier and beam ... two and a half feet above the street. Ten inches of water in the house for the next week ... and water flowing under the house for the next two weeks.

The great outpouring of support and love our family has received from so many communities cannot be measured.

That’s when the full impact of what you’re facing hammers you. And our family has a history. It’s not like we haven’t dealt with these sort of consequences. A fire and a flood in the same year (2001). Then there was a tornado. And two more floods (Memorial Day 2015 and Tax Day 2016). I’ve learned that so much of what you have is stuff that can be replaced. But everyone has limits. Some of the stuff is personal stuff ... from your childhood ... from Meryl’s father ... photographs of my grandfather ... important papers ... heirlooms ... priceless memories that somehow had survived previously were now gone or trashed. There’s a sadness that can overtake you. It’s emotionally and psychologically draining. I was determined to be strong for my family but at times you become vulnerable, the overwhelming nature of the circumstances can get to you. You simply have to move forward ... grind the process ... identify the next obstacle ... manual work ... insurance claims ... estimates ... contractors. Do we tear the house down or not. Important decisions that carry ramifications. At times you’re worn to the nub. Jeremy immediately drove in from (the University of Arkansas). I told him there’s nothing you can do. He wouldn’t listen. Stayed as long as he could. Barrett gave a speech for his Life Teen group at St. Cecilia Church ... what God

means to his life. This becomes really emotional for me. Barrett said we had a fire and we had to move into a rental house. We built a new house and moved ... two years later moved again ... two years after that moved again ... stayed there for eight years and then moved to this house that is flooded ... now in a townhouse for who knows how long. He said the only real home that has stayed with him is his Catholic faith. For a father to hear that in his son’s own words is huge. And at the same time, it’s extremely hard because inside of me, there’s a sense I’ve made my family homeless, through no fault of my own obviously but there’s still a guilt. It’s gratifying that through these incredibly trying times, Barrett has gained an invaluable strength from God that can serve him his entire life. He’s a rock. Jeremy is a rock. Griffin is a rock. I explained to them at the very beginning of this ordeal that the number one priority in this family is your mother. Whenever and whatever she wants, you do. And they have responded beyond measure. Three months since Harvey our street

A team of young men with (campus ministry director) Marty Matulia and Willie Madden (class of ’82) from St. Thomas were on site right after the storm ripping out damage and clearing debris. I’ve been involved with a men’s group from St. Cecilia. St. John Vianney Church has been a haven for so many in need. And without question the friendships I developed at St. Thomas have been vital. Those are the absolute closest bonds I have in my life. Not from college. Not from professional circles. St. Thomas is my core ... where I have found solace ... a sanctuary. Within the first hours of Harvey, Andrew Cochran (class of ’87) called me from the Netherlands and offered a condo to stay for as long as I needed. Matt Dexter (class of ’87) and Trey DeNina (class of ’88) showed up at the house almost before we could get inside to help in any way they could. My St. Thomas brothers were not going to allow me and my family to fight through all this alone. I have always believed that you cannot get through life without friends. My sons are finding that same affirmation. When people are reaching out without being asked ... only through the goodness and concern of their hearts ... I cannot begin to describe how that caring has given me strength. And still does. And will continue.

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ithin days of Hurricane Harvey slamming Rockport with 130 mph gusts, leaving behind a trail of extreme destruction, Eagle Athletic Director Mike Netzel and former Eagle state baseball champion Tim Redden ’09 organized a quicksilver relief effort that generated significant results for the storm-ravaged seaside town. The massive damage inflicted less than 200 miles southwest of Houston crushed buildings, pancaked houses, splintered roofs and displaced thousands of people, as much as 60-70% of the businesses/residences impacted, either destroyed or damaged beyond repair. Redden’s home community was ground zero for Harvey, the most intense hurricane


Eagle Athletic Director “My immediate takeaway from the response was God is good, a testament to the humanity of our community, that people trust in our school, understand that our heart is for people, and the reach of St. Thomas stretches throughout the city. Incredible that we could make just a dent and I’m so grateful to all those who gave of themselves during one of the worst weeks in Houston history.”

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AARON DOMINGUEZ ’96 St. Thomas Principal

“I grew up in Rockport ... moved to Houston when I was 13. My mother (Tammy) still lives there. It was awful to see the pictures of that destruction. Rockport and the people easily could have fallen through the cracks which was why Mike and I wanted to at least do the most we could, put together something and the result was incredible. The reaction was honestly overwhelming. Anyone who understands St. Thomas knows our identity, to reach out to those in need. It’s the teaching of goodness, discipline and knowledge.”

“Given what this the city endured when Harvey hit I wasn’t sure we would have had that kind of turnout, the number of supplies and support, but I’m not surprised. Proud is not near strong enough a description. This is typical of our St. Thomas community, ready and willing to respond. I can’t relate the number of contacts that were made to me, what could people do, how could they get involved. This was just one example of what it looks like when that commitment comes to fruition.”

NEIGHBORS IN NEED to make landfall in the United States since Charley in 2004, and in desperate need of assistance ... water, cleaning materials, non-perishable food, hardware supplies, batteries, flashlights, clothing ... any and all necessities required when a home is suddenly and randomly gone. Delivery to Rockport took place within 48 hours thanks in large part to dedicated St. Thomas supporters Amy and Bo Huggins, the president of Houston Distributing, part of a swarm to the area immediately following the storm that included 6,500 workers, both local and from across the nation. The long road to normalcy for Rockport remains uncertain months into the aftermath. Hurricane Harvey affected about one-fourth of the county’s 9,228 structures, causing around $420 million in property losses, according to county statistics. Around 6,000 of the county’s 24,000 residents lost their homes.





“Our home in Rockport took on structure damage, the foundation, and roof, water in the house, but at least we had a standing building. Most of the people didn’t. I have great memories growing up there ... fishing with my father ... my grandfather championed the Little League program. What I saw when we arrived resembled a war zone.”

“St. Thomas is family and Houston is family. This is what our faith calls us to do. There were those in far, far worse circumstances than (my family). We had flood insurance and can recover. So many throughout the Gulf Coast may not. We barely made it out of the neighborhood around 3:00 a.m. But we arrived safely at a hotel and wanted to reach out to the Rockport community. It was just the grace of God.”

“I wasn’t able to get out of my neighborhood during the early days of Harvey so that event was the best way for me to give back. Shows you the reputation of St. Thomas ... that even those who were not direct members of the community got involved. I believe that people who were in their own need ... receiving support in their own situations and within their own houses ... made the time to support our effort.”

“I love St. Thomas and love that they consistently act out of concern for others. My family vacationed in that (South Texas) area all the time during the summers when I was growing up so there’s a personal connection to that community. My sister has a two-year-old and I couldn’t imagine those without anything ... diapers, formula. I thankfully escaped without damage. So many others were devastated. You try to do what you can do and hope it can make just a little bit of difference.”

Redden is now practicing in Houston with Donato, Minx, Brown & Pool, P.C. after graduating from South Texas College of Law in May 2016.

Faculty member Grover Green ... his family of five including week-old daughter Anastasia ... and six relatives including his father-in-law scheduled for cancer treatment at MD Anderson ... were effectively forced from their Walnut Bend residence by the torrential flooding caused by Harvey. Yet despite an emotional roller coaster of a week ... and in the true Basilian spirit of St. Thomas ... Green was on campus giving to the relief efforts for Rockport.

Travis Bartniski ’18 is a third generation Eagle (Edward ’57 and Mark ’83) and an exemplary student-athlete ambassador who served the Rockport relief initiative.

Emma Gorski is a former Eagle cheerleader, in her second year leading Eagle Cheer and a second-year law student at South Texas College of Law. She was one of the hundreds who contributed to benefit Rockport.

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Looking back it is easy to see how the Annual Fund supports our students. To see the difference you can make in our future, be a part of The Annual Fund. Every Gift Matters! Make a difference, visit:

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FLIGHT Rising to Even Greater Heights.............................. p20 National Merit Scholarship Program...................... p21 National Honor Society................. p22 Partners in Progress....................... p23

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ow do you measure strength, as in the capacity of Eagle Strong?

Material strength, for example, can be defined as the ability to withstand an applied load without failure. Houston Strong emerged as the two-word qualifier applied to the willpower of millions in the surrounding city who strive every day, and will have to continue that effort in the near and far term, to repair the damage done by the unprecedented flooding from Hurricane Harvey, the most severe rainfall event in recorded United States history that hit the Houston area hard in late August. Eagle Strong proved to measure to the same inspiring standard of grit and resilience that has distinguished and dignified St. Thomas constituents delivering their own best during the worst of times.

That St. Thomas signature strength was demonstrated by the 2017 Auction & Golf Ball, a one-night fundraising event months in the making that annually fortifies the St. Thomas bond and financially benefits the General Fund. Patrons and donors gathered two months after the deluge and destruction that Harvey inflicted on their city. But to understand Eagle Strong requires more than a simple number crunch that resulted in a rousing total of $626,000 raised on the St. Thomas campus. The event chaired by Tina and Bradley Crawford ... Caroline and Jim Hassell ... and Shawn and Dominic Savarino ’88 ... honored Masters Tournament champion and eternal Eagle icon Jackie Burke ’40 with an occasion filled with community and commitment to the academic excellence and brotherhood established in

Houston by the Basilian Fathers in 1900. The fundraising provides a core source of support for many urgent operating needs, including critical resources to support programs and initiatives that impact all of St. Thomas with the flexibility to meet new challenges. Valuable dollars are always earmarked for the Paddles Up program which directly benefits a highly specific academic necessity. “Once again the generous efforts of our supporters will have a significant influence on countless Eagle students, faculty and staff,” Vice President for Advancement Mark deTranaltes ’83 said. “The Basilian Fathers are extremely grateful for the dedication and devotion of so many to St. Thomas and for the numerous ways in which they contribute to the school’s betterment as we move confidently forward with the Joplin Campus expansion.” Golfing immortal Burke remains a famed Eagle ambassador while contributing much to the game’s rich tapestry with a flair rarely seen and never duplicated. An original by any standard. Most notably, the 94-year-old Burke’s wit and wisdom remain hard and straight, like the drives off the tee which led to 17 tour wins and two major titles separated by a matter of months. He continues as a renowned instructor at his historic Champions Golf Club which he cofounded with friend and three-time Masters champion Jimmy Demaret in 1957. And on a night when Burke’s beloved alma mater distinguished his lifetime devotion to the game and the Basilian institution he cherishes with equal depth and measure, there was no greater authority to paint the picture of where St. Thomas has been, and what continues to serve as his Basilian bedrock. Burke can be almost defiant to basking in his glory days of more than a halfcentury ago (“Don’t be bringing yesterday forward. You can’t do it.”). He and wife Robin were unable to participate in the St. Thomas salute, but Janet Burke, who chaired the Auction in 2003, shared an insight into how he valued the recognition.

“I married into the Burkes (Eddie Jr. ’66), and have heard and seen for years how Jackie is truly a man of St. Thomas ... how he holds to the ideals his school has stood for generations,” she said. “This place is near and dear to his heart. “Our sons are third generation St. Thomas (Trey ’94 and Kevin ’03 with daughter Kelly graduating from St. Agnes Academy in 1997). I have grandsons at St. Cecilia Catholic School who plan to attend. It’s a tradition every bit as strong as this family itself.” During the live and lively auction in Cemo Auditorium, longtime benefactors Dona and Al Clay ’61 sniped a Houston Astros game day experience including on the field access and dugout seating at Minute Maid Park, plus autograph items from American League All-Star Lance McCullers, graciously donated by the Houston Astros Foundation. Clay’s enthusiasm was fueled by a family foursome attending the World Series Game 5 thrillarama that featured innumerable tachycardic episodes spread over 10 innings and five-plus hours before third baseman Alex Bregman’s base knock brought home bedlam and the winning run at 12:38 a.m. in a depth-defying 13-12 victory. “It was absolutely off the charts ... epic, epic, epic,” Clay said still relishing the resounding outcome. “Went with my son Greg, my daughter Jennifer and my nephew Anthony. We lasted through all 416 pitches ... were all together in one car so no one could leave. Crazy good. This (auction item) will be a great way to return and remember that night. Every time I go back to that stadium I’ll remember. Anyone in Houston who was there will do the same.” Dona missed out on the Sunday night madhouse but was glued for “every single game in front of the television. Our seven and eight-year-old granddaughters were going crazy. Just fabulous how the Astros lifted an entire city.” Johnny Mandola ’94 believes (with admitted bias) that no Astros devotee would have enjoyed the team’s pulsating postseason success more than his late father Frankie B. Mandola ’65 who

passed away in 2016, an Eagle state champion and high school All-American student-athlete later to be inducted in the STH Sports Hall of Fame. He packed his two-sport talents for Rice University and later rose as a pillar among the first families of Houston food. Johnny followed his illustrious dad into the hospitality business more than 30 years ago and took over as general manager of Damian’s Cucina Italiana in 2012. Mandola’s Catering remains the traditional St. Thomas partner for signature campus events such as the Auction, which this year delivered for Mandola a “life-affirming” quality in lockstep with what he has witnessed throughout Houston since the Harvey deluge. “My family was spared but our (Walnut Bend) neighborhood was really rocked,” Mandola said. “It was amazing to see so many people reach out to help one another ... from the largest things to the smallest things ... home repair to hot dogs. Everyone brought their skills. Mandola’s Catering cooked burgers for 1,500 flood victims at NRG Center. “That was the essence I sensed at the Auction. The room was packed with people, all have endured in some way and many are still recovering, but we all share a pride to support St. Thomas with whatever we have. We’ve all experienced a resiliency and relentlessness ... saw it throughout our city since Harvey ... saw it from the Astros throughout the playoffs ... was in tears afterward ... brought back so many great memories of my dad and cousins.” A wonderful distraction from the source of pain. Medicinal. Almost spiritual. And in the same therapeutic vain, with so many among the Eagles put to the test, they united as one to again embrace a St. Thomas brotherhood up to the task. For another emphatic and memorable night ... bonded, whole, strong. Houston Strong. Eagle Strong.

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vents like our Auction are hugely successful because of the tireless efforts of our many organizers. The Basilian Fathers are ever grateful to our auction chairs and committee chairs who spent months preparing what proved to be another unforgettable evening. Together with a legion of loyal volunteers who helped them attend to every detail, they all created a truly celebratory atmosphere while raising valuable dollars at a critical time that will help propel St. Thomas into a bright future.

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t. Thomas is again proud to be recognized as one of the highest achieving college preparatory schools in Texas by a national review.

For the third consecutive year, a study from Pittsburgh-based ranks STH among the top-five all-male high schools in the state and among the top-10 Catholic institutions, receiving an A+ Overall Niche Grade, which distinguishes an institution’s overall quality, based on SAT and ACT scores, college admissions, matriculation rates, parent surveys, culture and diversity grades, and student-teacher ratio. “This latest recognition and all of our all tremendous achievements in recent years are a proud affirmation of what we can accomplish together as an academic community,” president Fr. Kevin Storey, CSB said. “Certainly it is a positive reflection on our curriculum, the teaching staff, and associated support, the professionalism and direction of the counseling department, the athletic and co-curricular program, always with the goal of educating the complete student and growing our Eagles’ talents, gifts and abilities.”

Fifty percent of the measure was weighted between standardized college readiness exams, plus the number of students who attend top colleges. St.Thomas consistently earned A ratings, including the categories for Academics, College Prep, Athletics, and Clubs and Activities. Among the numerous five-star reviews St. Thomas received within the rigorous analysis of key statistics ... Throughout my years at St. Thomas, I took almost exclusively advanced/AP classes, and this was overall a good experience. I would definitely recommend that because it puts you among dedicated teachers and classmates. St. Thomas provides a great, challenging education to all young men ... is welcoming to all ethnic backgrounds and faiths ... promotes spiritual, artistic and physical growth of students. The school has a strong core curriculum and electives. The student will be prepared for independent learning and time management that college requires. St. Thomas was the best high school experience that I could have had. The four years were the fullest and most challenging of my life. Committed faculty. Great school spirit. Students from all over entire Houston metropolitan area. Strong traditions. Enthusiastic alumni.

Fr. Storey said St. Thomas can “only produce high performance from students if we have a staff with high expectations of themselves and who are dedicated to motivating and challenging students to reach the next level.” The continued acclaim and distinction by comes as St. Thomas began its 118th year with Aaron Dominguez ’96 as the 27th principal in the school’s illustrious history. Dominguez graduated from St.Thomas in 1996. His being named chief academic officer breaks more than a century of Basilian leadership tradition that dates to the school’s inception in 1900. Dominguez returned to campus as the school approaches its next dynamic moment, the much anticipated Joplin Campus expansion which will position STH to provide an unsurpassed college preparatory experience in Houston, bringing academics, athletics and student life together, funded by 4500Forever Finish Strong, the most robust capital campaign in school history. “Our goal at St. Thomas is to focus our efforts on what brings the greatest good to our community and beyond,” Fr. Storey said. “In the classroom, on the field and courts, or out in the world, we hope to leave a better place than what we found. That is at the heart of Basilian leadership. It is part of our fabric. This latest ( ranking gives us another benchmark to see where we currently stand, and where we can continue to grow our identity, not in an effort to pursue others but to realize the total measure of our Basilian mission.”

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NATIONAL MERIT SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM Juan Castillo ’18, Kenneth Dang ’18, Cooper Gottschalk ’18 and Michael Patton ’18 have earned Semi-Finalist distinction in the National Merit Scholarship Program’s 63rd competition. The four Eagle scholars emerged from a cluster of approximately 1.6 million students who performed the PSAT qualifier during the previous academic year, with only 16,000 selected as semifinalists. Finalists will be announced between April and July. “Juan, Kenneth, Cooper and Michael are remarkable students in many ways,” principal Aaron Dominguez ’96 said. “Whether it be in fine arts, science, college-level coursework, career competitions or university entrance exams, we relish the opportunity to discover where our students have a path to excellence wherever their passions take them. St. Thomas is extremely proud to know that this latest National Merit distinction is the result of the driven due diligence and dedication of both our students and our committed faculty members.” Eleven additional St. Thomas students were selected as National Merit Commended Students including ...

Henry Adair ’18 Nathaniel Belcher ’18 Nicolas Brito ’18 George Fisher ’18 John Horner ’18 Mario Juguilon ’18

Gabriel Meriano ’18 Christopher Miller ’18 Travis Rosenblad ’18 Parker Rzasnicki ’18 Mathew Soto ’18

Castillo, Meriano and Soto are also among six distinguished Eagles invited to participate in The College Board’s National Hispanic Recognition Program for their performance in the PSAT along with ...

Josh Falcone ’18 Alexander Whitely ’18

Josh Gensheimer ’18

These 2017 results in the most prestigious academic programs in the United States confirm St.Thomas as a leading college preparatory school in Texas and a top-10 Catholic institution in the state. Since 2010, 31 St. Thomas scholastic champions have reached the semifinal phase of the National Merit Program with 11 National Finalists in the previous five years. Given that high school and college preparatory students take the qualifying PSAT exam during their junior year, much of their preparation stems from learning opportunities as freshmen and sophomores. St. Thomas builds on those experiences to provide students with a robust application and preparation for the SAT, a critical component in becoming a Finalist. “Each of our acclaimed students is unique with their own interests, a testament that there is no cookie-cutter formula for academic success at St. Thomas,” Dominguez said.

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“These scholars represent a cross-section of our school ... strongly involved in community service and various extracurricular activities. We applaud our esteemed faculty for providing a culture of excellence and are blessed to have an enrollment representing a wide variety of abilities. Our community is richer for that diversity.” Semifinalists and finalists prove to have outstanding academic records, are recommended by a high school official, write expanded essays and earn SAT scores that confirm the student’s earlier performance on the PSAT. Since its founding in 1955, the National Merit Scholarship Corporation has recognized nearly four million students and provided nearly 400,000 scholarships worth more than $1.5 billion.

.................... NATIONAL HONOR SOCIETY

St. Thomas welcomes our latest membership into the acclaimed STH Chapter of the National Honor Society, achieved through a selection process based upon exemplary scholarship, enthusiastic service, steadfast leadership and Basilian character, qualities associated with the NHS since its founding in 1921. The nation’s premier organization established to recognize and encourage outstanding high school achievement also celebrates characteristics essential to citizens in a democracy. Participation is both prestigious and a responsibility, with selected students expected to continue to reflect the NHS core standards. St. Thomas NHS officers for the 2017-18 academic year include president Adam Rinaldi ’18, vice-president Kenny Dang ’18, treasurer Barrett Gregory ’18 and secretary Juan Castillo ’18.

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FLIGHT New members for the 2017-18 academic year include ... Amondo Amador ’19

Theodore Mai ’19

Patrick Bartlett ’18

Connor McGovern ’19

Ben Bludau ’19

Tyler McStravick ’19

Jack Brogan ’18

Christopher Miller ’18

Kristopher Brolan ’18

Brendan Murray ’19

Jarrod Brown ’19

Francisco Narro ’19

Nathan Bryant ’19

Matthew O’Connor ’19

Cole Carrabba ’19

Clement Ong ’19

Joseph Chavez ’19

Je Yoon Park ’19

Seth Deitz ’19

Andrew Phan ’19

Andreas Giannitsopoulos ’18 Carson Rau ’19 John Green ’18

Gabriel Rios ’18

Jackson Hanna ’18

Tuscan Savarino ’19

Samuel Hebert ’18

Kristoph Sayavedra ’19

Hunter Henderson ’19

Thomas Snow ’19

John Horner ’18

Angel Sosa-Yanez ’19

Ben Huggins ’19

Daniel Vannoy ’18

Alexander Jacobs ’19

Juan Vazquez ’19

Gabriel Lenz ‘19

Michael Vogelsang ’18

Grant Lurix ’18

Alexander Whiteley ’18




s the education landscape changes more rapidly than perhaps ever before, and within a society embracing a fervent demand for design, innovation and entrepreneurship, the maker-movement has exploded into the mainstream and highly regulated world of primary and secondary schools. The St. Thomas Sixth Annual Middle School Administrators Conference, co-hosted with Duchesne Academy of the Sacred Heart and St. Agnes Academy, explored the makerspace dynamic with the intent of empowering faculties to develop universally applicable and transferable skills in concert with an established curriculum. Ana Josephson and J.E. Johnson served as co-presenters to 35 middle school representatives meeting on the St. Thomas campus. The co-founders of Maker Ready, a consulting and product company that has worked with hundreds of teachers nationally to bring hands-on,

Josh Madden ’19 These champion scholars join their fellow Eagles who had previously demonstrated the ability to excel, serve, lead and succeed with a genuine quest for challenge and accomplishment. Henry Adair ’18

Mario Juguilon ’18

Nathaniel Belcher ’18

Noah Kotlarek ’18

Nicola Brito ’18

Andrew Leyendecker ’18

Peter Chauvel ’18

Philip Matula ’18

Sam Donoho ’18

Gabriel Meriano ’18

Drake Everist ’18

Michael Patton ’18

Josh Falcone ’18

Haden Ritchie ’18

Tristan Fauntleroy ’18

Parker Rzasnicki ’18

George Fisher ’18

Chase Stanley ’18

Daniel Garcia ’18

Trevor Sides ’18

Josh Gensheimer ’18

Matthew Soto ’18

Cooper Gottschalk ’18

Christopher Thomas ’18

Zach Hamm ’18

Wallace Woodlief ’18

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project-based learning into elementary classrooms, are ardent believers in the transformative effects of creative problem solving, and the ability to apply that mindset to real-world challenges. “We are in the midst of a culture that is emphasizing this makerspace style of learning,” Johnson said. “Students are developing skills for any career. Designthinkers, inventors and entrepreneurs ... the resilient who dare to take risks ... maker education is the quickest way to get to that point.” Johnson is a master craftsman and faculty member at the University of Texas, where he has overseen construction of more than 100 theatrical productions and currently manages one of the nation’s largest university scenic studios. He has adapted his apprenticebased approach to teaching children at the DeBusk Enrichment Center for Academically Talented Scholars and the Austin Tinkering School.

Inherent to the discussion was middle schools addressing a clear and present message echoing through virtually every

“inspiration, plain and simple. Both big picture and small budget. Start immediately so that administrators can measure the impact. (Duchesne has) robotics at the middle school level ... robotics, engineering and the like at the college preparatory level ... students making drones from the blueprint and flying them.” “The priority for educators moving forward is providing that balance with standards-based instruction so that when students experience high school and advance to universities, they’re equally comfortable in a lecture hall, a lab, a discussion, or a makerspace with the ability and confidence to thrive in any environment.”

“The priority for educators moving forward is providing that balance with standards-based instruction so that when students experience high school and advance to universities, they’re equally comfortable in a lecture hall, a lab, a discussion or a makerspace with the ability and confidence to thrive in any environment.”

Johnson sees the makermovement “as an antidote to standardized testing, a release from that. Openended and creative curriculums have the potential to unlock student’s brains. I struggled all through elementary school. Finally, I was given a specific project that I could feel confident about. It opened an entirely new world for me.”

Josephson has taught science, technology, engineering, art and math for more than fifteen years. She earned a Masters in Science Education from the University of Texas at Austin and specializes in incorporating Project Based Learning across the curriculum to provide realworld experiences. “Students today are so technologically driven. They sit for hours with phones, devices or tablets,” Josephson said. “But

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it’s human nature to create with our hands. It’s in our genetic make-up. I think middle school students can be the most kinesthetic learners. They all have that wonder, plus the energy and drive. There’s no question that every teacher attending this conference will leave with something they can immediately implement.”

Anne Quatrini is in her third year as an enrichment specialist at St. Laurence Catholic School in Sugar Land while also enterprising a STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) lab for all students first through eighth grade.

“This conference was a great reinforcement that I’m not alone in this – Donald Cramp, Ed. D. endeavor,” Quatrini said. “Our society is changing Head of Upper School for Duchesne every single day and we as teachers must adapt to develop students with critical-thinking and problem-solving skills. corner of enterprise. Whether AT&T, Google, or local start-up companies, the “Twenty-first century power skills are marketplace is geared with new tools that my focus. I am all for students learning greatly accelerate development from idea from a hands-on experience. The rote to finished product, and the remarkable memorization isn’t near enough for future number of makerspaces, fab labs, tech success. I consider myself a maker, and incubators and similar facilities are my motivation is to spark that interest and dedicated to bringing that vision of a new curiosity in students to then carve their product to fruition, translating an idea into own path.” a tangible, marketable item. The annual conference is sponsored by St. Donald Cramp, Ed.D., the Head of Upper Thomas Advancement and coordinated School for Duchesne said the takeaway by Molly Hittinger. Previous discussions for those participating in the forum is focused on such topics as:

n transparency and insights to the

college preparatory admissions process n supporting and motivating educators integrating new age tools and techniques into daily curriculum n the proliferation of technology and social media changing the way educators teach and students learn n effective strategies for fueling the gaps in opportunity for students with learning differences

“We have great relationships with our middle schools,” president Fr. Kevin Storey, CSB said. “There’s a wealth of professional expertise who can learn from each other given the proper context. We embrace providing that arena and pushing the dialogue so that these educators might better engage and inspire their students. The feedback from year to year is that our efforts are significantly valuable.”

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Have you ever wondered what is in





U2, CIRCA 2009


It’s a long way to the top if you wanna rock ‘n’ roll ~ AC/DC 26 - Eagles’ Nest Winter 2017


ong before assuming CSB status among the Basilian Fathers and his El Presidente role at St. Thomas ... Kevin Storey strutted from his cozy University of Toronto campus to join some former high school mates at Cobo Hall in Detroit to take in one of the biggest-selling acts of the seventies highlighted by a bass-playing, fire-breathing, tongue-wagging ghoul. The setlist that frosty December night in 1984 launched, appropriately enough, with “Detroit Rock City” and surged through the next two-plus hours until the final encore of “Rock and Roll All Nite.” “My first concert was Kiss ... a great show band ... tons of pyrotechnics and special effects,” Fr. Storey says. “I like them even today.” But when calibrating his current ab fab fave, Fr. Storey kicks decidedly for the anti-Kiss and the sweet sounds of Michael Buble which are usually less than a serenade away. “He has such a soothing voice that I can listen to all day,” Fr. Storey says. All day music, with or without War, is the theme and the favorite musical artists within the St. Thomas campus community range from A to V ... ABBA to Van Morrison ... and (thankfully) not even a sliver slice of Vanilla Ice. The choices from a decidedly less than Gallup-styled poll include electro swing, salsa, and punk-pop, along with a ballot punched for Prince (Rich McGuire: “One of my life’s regrets is not seeing him live.”) and Pink Floyd (Mike Lynch ’04: “I couldn’t get into the 1994 show at Rice Stadium so I hung out and heard it from the parking lot.”) And there was ample boot-scootin’ evidence for those who prescribe to the sentiment that there are really only two kinds of music ... country and western. Campus ministry director Marty Matulia was among multiple nods favoring George Strait.

“I got a free cassette tape in the 1980’s from the Columbia Music Club ... didn’t even know who Strait was,” Matulia says. “Five-six years ago I saw him live at NRG Stadium for Rodeo-Houston with my wife Melinda. First dance at our wedding ... ‘I Cross My Heart.’” Social Studies dean Brett Mills was growing up in Montana when the Eagles made the jump into life in the rock & roll fast lane, creating a song cycle that succeeded on nearly every level. And Mills has been riding shotgun ever since Hotel California was released. “I bought the vinyl LP in 1977 (along with six million others in the United States),” Mills says. “I had heard the title track on the radio and thought that it was the best rock song ever recorded. Still do. Really cool stuff.” As a fledgling undergraduate at St. John Fisher College in Rochester, New York, assistant dean of students Fr. James Murphy, CSB was working at the now defunct campus radio station WFCX where he was exposed to Barenaked Ladies (so to speak), the cool and clever Toronto-based quintet who gained popularity throughout the 1990s. During an excursion to his Massachusetts home Fr. Murphy popped a Memorex dub into his parent’s automobile cassette deck, and asked for a rapid reaction without declaring the band’s name. “Mom and dad loved it ... thought they were fun and quirky,” Fr. Murphy says. “I figured revealing the Barenaked tag would result in either an immediate rejection ejection or a 180-degree approval.” History confirms that hilarity ensued. Dean of Science Pete Nordloh took in U2’s monster worldwide 360 sweep that grossed more than $730 million with a total attendance of more than 7.2 million, both tour tallies remaining the highest ever reported.

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Nordloh left the then-Reliant Stadium in 2009 with priceless memories of audience choruses joyfully shouting classics such as “One” and “With or Without You.” “The crowd was all ages and races,” Nordloh remembers. “The points when the band would allow the crowd to sing gave me chills. Hearing 70,000 people all at the same time was incredible.” Athletic coordinator Kenny Martin ’01 received a Southern rock baptism from his father and believes to be “fortunate to have seen Lynyrd Skynyrd (pronounced ‘Lĕh-’nérd ‘Skin-’nérd) live five times (two at Rodeo-Houston). It’s a connection that we’ve really enjoyed. They’re the soundtrack for our annual trips to our lake house. “The first time I really experienced classic rock & roll was maybe the fifth grade. We saw Skynyrd at the Astrodome. I looked around during (the epic anthem) ‘Free Bird’ to see thousands and thousands of lighters in the air ... a really cool moment ... had never seen anything like it before ... and definitely won’t see anything like that again.” Dean of Students Rod Takacs proved to be all in on the Allman Brothers Band, who paved the Southern way for Skynyrd by single-handedly inventing a flavor of boisterous rock & roll and jazzy, jam-oriented hard-driving blues in ways no other group did. “The greatest live album in the history of recording ... The Allman Brothers

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at Fillmore East (1971) and also my favorite band,” Takacs says. Repping the survey were Wilco, Rilo Kiley, and Rise Against but not the top two selling musical artists of all time, the Beatles and Elvis, nor Michael Jackson ... nearly 50 acts in all without so much as a murmur from ZZ Top, that little ol’ band from Texas.

with the Isley Brothers and Gladys Knight & the Pips. The ticket was $1520. Best-ever bang for the buck.” Rust Never Sleeps for Ed Marintsch when it comes to Neil Young, who Marintsch traveled with his son recently to see perform with another best-loved, Band of Horses, at the Red Rocks Amphitheatre outside of Denver.

There were a contingent of hard rockers Steve Pothier caught an introduction to Ween while in middle school with if not headbangers and also some Chocolate and Cheese ... funk, folk and notable easy listening. rock fed into the proverbial blender for Beth Breuer cast a split vote for the a uniquely twisted take. once upon a time Divine Miss M, the “Their music was strange but confident big voice and wildly diverse Bette Midler, and the most high-profile female in its obscurity,” Pothier says. “After jazz artist of her generation, Diana Krall. years and years of failed attempts to see the band live, I finally got my hands “I love Bette because it is a concert with on a ticket for a concert November of a musical, comedy show and just singing this year. The show was amazing ... all-in-one,” Breuer says. “I’ve seen her scratched another item off my list of three times. Amazing! And I can sit unfulfilled dreams.” back and listen to Diana’s smooth voice Lance Dundee ’90 sided with Billy Joel and melodic piano playing all night. and was among the throng inside New Some of my favorites ... ‘Frim Fram Sauce’ ... ‘I’ve Got You Under My Skin’ York’s famed Madison Square Garden when the piano man rocked New Year’s ... ‘Temptation’ ... ‘Besame Mucho.’” Eve during the dreaded Y2K paranoia. Deacon Leonard Lockett locked into “He said that night ‘this is the center the mighty elements from the early 1970s. He remembers vividly the night of the universe’ and in many ways he was right,” Dundee says. “The show when love was changing the minds of lasted more than three-and-a-half hours pretenders while chasing the clouds ... songs he had not done since the away. beginning of his recording career (plus “Earth, Wind & Fire played Hofheinz covers from the Rolling Stones, the Pavilion, which at the time was the best Jimi Hendrix Experience and Sly & the venue in the city,” Lockett says. “Those Family Stone). He stopped at midnight were the pre-Summit days. Mega-show to do a countdown to the New Year.”

Speaking of countdowns ... the top vote-getters ... George Strait (3) ... Eagles (2) ... U2 (2) and Led Zeppelin (2).

Mike Adair...................................................... Led Zeppelin Social Studies Faculty

Deacon Leonard Lockett....................... Earth, Wind and Fire Campus Ministry and Theology Faculty

Ashlie Bausley...............................................Sabrina Claudio Administrative Assistant in the Business Office

Ryan Lousteau................................................Kenny Chesney Business Office Assistant and Eagle Baseball Head Coach

Beth Breuer...............................Bette Midler and Diana Krall Math Faculty

Mike Lynch ’94....................................................... Pink Floyd Science Faculty

Alison Broussard.............................................. Rick Astley Annual Fund Manager/ Database Administrator

Ed Marintsch, Ph.D.............. Neil Young and Band of Horses Science Faculty

Daniel Bryant ’93........................................................ Rush Science and Technology Faculty

Kenny Martin ’01........................................... Lynyrd Skynyrd Athletic Coordinator and Eagle Soccer Head Coach

Gail Calkins..................................................................... U2 Assistant Dean of Students, Director of Summer Programs Catherine Chandler...............................................Luke Bryan Special Events & Volunteer Coordinator Bonnie Coates............................................. Fleetwood Mac Fine Arts Faculty Mary Criaco............................................. Miranda Lambert Assistant Principal Carol Connor.................................................... Bob Schneider Science Faculty Raymond Davis.............................................................. AC/DC LEC Math Specialist and Defensive Coordinator Aaron Dominguez ’96....................................Grateful Dead Principal Mark deTranaltes ’83................................................ The Who Vice President for Advancement Jay Dewitt ’09.................................................... George Strait Help Desk Specialist and Website Administrator Sebastian Domenech ’10........................................ Don Omar Alumni Relations Associate Lance Dundee ’90..................................................... Billy Joel Technology Faculty Christina Gensheimer............................................Elton John Social Studies Faculty and Assistant Dean of Instruction Eve Grubb.............................................................Rod Stewart Vice President of Finance Patrick Hagler...................................................... Rise Against Choices Counselor Molly Hittinger................................................... Van Morrison Grant Writer and Website Administrator

Marty Matulia.................................................... George Strait Campus Ministry Director Jennifer McDonald............................................ Garth Brooks English Faculty Rich McGuire................................................................. Prince Physical Education and Eagle Football Head Coach Brett Mills......................................................................Eagles Dean of Social Studies Claudia Mundell...............................................................ABBA English Faculty Fr. James Murphy, CSB............................. Barenaked Ladies Assistant Dean of Students Mike Nebel.....................................................................Eagles Dean of Fine Arts Mike Netzel......................................................................Wilco Athletic Director Chau Nguyen.............................................................Rilo Kiley Fine Arts Faculty Pete Nordloh, Ph.D...............................................................U2 Dean of Science Sergio Plata.......................................................Marc Anthony Director of Operations Erica Pothier.................................................... Postal Service Accounting & Benefits Manager Steve Pothier....................................................................Ween English Teacher & Publications Advisor Andrew Quittenton.............................................. Simple Plan Theology and English Faculty

Chris Hodge...................................................... 11 Acorn Lane Director of Technology

Fr. Kevin Storey, CSB........................................Michael Buble President

Jerrod Johnson.................................................. John Legend Physical Education Faculty

Rod Takacs.......................................... Allman Brothers Band Dean of Students and Social Studies Faculty

Susan Krus........................................................ George Strait Accounts Receivable Manager

Laura Thornton..........................................Johannes Brahms English Faculty

Nathan Labus.............................................................Alabama Science and Physical Education Faculty

Darrell Yarbrough............................................... Led Zeppelin English Faculty

Eagles’ Nest Winter 2017 - 29

TODAY Pay cable bil

Buy grocerie



Remember S

t. Thomas

Plan now. Give later. Remembering St. Thomas in your will or estate plans costs nothing during your lifetime, but will transform the lives of STH men down the road.


Mr. Mark deTranaltes, ’83, P ’10 Vice President for Advancement 713-341-5557

Learn More

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So many of our students could not have the St. Thomas experience without the faithful giving of others. If St. Thomas opened doors for you, consider how you can now open doors for others. Join the 1900 Society by including St. Thomas in your will or estate plans and help provide affordable tuition, exemplary instruction and spiritual growth for generations of students to come.

If you remember all the goodness, discipline and knowledge that St. Thomas gave you, then please: Remember St. Thomas.



Good Ol’ Boys............................................... p34

Good Ol’ Boys Hugh Rafferty ’42 & Fitz Fitzgerald ’61, p34

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he St. Thomas Alumni Association has gifted the school with a $50,000 contribution to the 4500Forever Finish Strong capital campaign, the final fundraising initiative designed to complete the Joplin Campus expansion.



Association Vice President Dominic Savarino ’88 (Tuscan ’19) made the formal announcement with St. Thomas Vice President for Advancement Mark deTranaltes ’83 during the recent Alumni Weekend celebration. “We are ever-grateful for the Alumni Association for recognizing this significant development in our efforts to best serve our students, now and for decades to come,” deTranaltes said. “This is an unprecedented move by the organization which is not built as a fundraising arm. They operate with limited resources so every single dollar is meaningful.” deTranaltes recalled discussions when the donation was first proposed. “Within minutes a member suggested that theirs is a ‘rainy day’ reserve and that he couldn’t identify a better ‘rainy day’ cause than helping the campus expand ... that the future of St. Thomas is why they were all here. The response was immediate 100% approval which speaks to the group’s loyalty to St. Thomas and appreciation of the contributions our students make to society.” The monumental acquisition to secure the adjacent property from HISD is a commitment by the Basilian Fathers and supporters to further strengthen St. Thomas’ forward momentum at the vanguard of college preparatory

32 - Eagles’ Nest Winter 2017

education, not only in Texas but throughout the region. 4500Forever Finish Strong, co-chaired by Bo and Amy Huggins (Pete ’16, Ty ’17 and Ben ’19), has raised roughly $8 million of the necessary $12 million for the Joplin Campus redevelopment. HISD broke ground in October 2016 on its new campus for the High School for Law and Justice at Scott St. and Coyle St. in East Downtown. The project is currently slated to be finished by June 2018 with St. Thomas then aiming to take full possession of the purchased property with 60-90 days. “Our goal is for our current parents to recognize that we are gaining possession in short time,” deTranaltes said. “Just as we were under an urgent deadline with the initial phase to make the purchase, we are now in a similar critical time frame to have bulldozers and crews on the curb at the soonest possible moment to begin the renovations to make the expansion St. Thomas worthy.” The Joplin Campus will include four new state-of-the-art science labs, an innovation lab, three technology classrooms, a robust area for foreign language, speech, and publications, plus an expanded location designed exclusively for Eagle Broadcast Network and cutting-edge digital media services to support faith-based, academic, performance and athletics programming. Also among the most notable features are a black box theater for drama and music rehearsals, a historic 600-seat theater to augment the Moran Fine Arts Building and Cemo Auditorium to better serve the performing arts, plus a vibrant 8,000 square foot student center dedicated to giving students the best out-ofclassroom experience possible with a range of resources to meet their daily needs while fostering personal growth as they arrive early on campus or remain into the early evening hours.

“For more than a hundred years, our students and campus community have not only achieved, we have consistently exceeded even our own considerable expectations. We recognize that we can do more and we will. With only a few short months remaining in this Finish Strong campaign, I know that we will once again show that, together, there is nothing St. Thomas cannot accomplish. Every single gift to this campaign ... large or small ... matters and will ensure that Eagles for generations have the opportunity to participate in the academic excellence and Basilian tradition at the heart of our community.” – Fr. Kevin Storey, CSB President

Replacing the existing second floor weight and locker rooms will be an expanded science corridor with classrooms and four state-of-the-art technical labs for STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) curriculum which emphasizes a collaborative and applied approach to the four specific disciplines while providing students with a foundation to pursue a number of growing, in-demand careers. The redevelopment actually begins with a new and improved location for Fr. Wilson Field and filling that vacancy with two natural grass practice fields to serve many of the 12 varsity sports of a surging Eagle athletic program which captured seven consecutive TAPPS all-sports awards from 2010-2016. This commitment to the growth of Basilian education will enhance continued academic innovation, helping develop the complete student in STH’s ever-diverse population, including a senior lounge, study rooms, club meeting rooms and a dining option area accommodating approximately 125 students. “We are forever blessed by the extraordinary generosity demonstrated so far ... how much our supporters treasure the St. Thomas experience ... and also showing those outside our community the incredible value of an investment in this institution,” president Fr. Kevin Storey, CSB said. “I genuinely look forward to completing this journey as we continue to work together.” 4500Forever and 4500Forever Finish Strong are the most comprehensive financial efforts in the school’s 118-year history, anchored by the legacy commitments from Jane and Bill Joplin ’54 and Dona and Al Clay ’61, in raising more than $60 million to provide an essential physical expansion and position St. Thomas to cultivate academic innovation, retain the finest teacherscholars, dramatically enhance financial aid and student opportunities, all while continuing to build a premier Catholic college preparatory environment.

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Another rousing reunion for the Good Ol’ Boys ... more than 150 strong returning to St. Thomas ... participating in Alumni Weekend ... gaining an update on the upcoming Joplin Campus expansion ... all while renewing friendships and continuing a brotherhood unlike any other.


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ll for one and fun for all was the theme as St. Thomas Drama brought the swashbuckling The Three Musketeers to life in Cemo Auditorium for an extended engagement at the Moran Fine Arts Center in Cemo Auditorium.

St. Thomas Drama Stages Riveting & Rollicking


Director Dan Green and his host of versatile and talented actors enjoyed the rich embrace of the masterful 1844 tale by Alexandre Dumas ... treachery, heroism, narrow escapes, and most importantly, honor as The Three Musketeers battle against the cunning Cardinal Richelieu and his henchman Rochefort.

En garde! “Danny Vannoy wanted me to consider this material and typically I hope to provide a play the seniors believe in,” Green said. “I sifted through a half dozen scripts, discovered the right one for our group and audience. I wanted some bravado, some flamboyance, some comedy. I wanted us to have fun.”

In directing The Three Musketeers for the first time, Green opted for an adaptation largely faithful to Dumas’s original story of a young man arriving in 17th-century Paris to join the King’s Musketeers, only to be quickly embroiled in political intrigue, romance, and of course, sword-fighting.

Touche! “We met six days a week and at least 45 minutes every one of those days was devoted to the choreography,” Green said. “It was demanding, but you put a sword in a high school student’s hand and tell him he’s going to fight someone else, there’s not much extra motivation required. I just had to make sure everyone was safe. They all respected this had to be a craft and not just splashing and waving and understood the artistic priority in telling an adventurous and romantic story.”

36 - Eagles’ Nest Winter 2017

The ensemble confidently portrayed a full array of colorful yet psychologically convincing characters, all doused with an extra large lust for life while accepting the challenge of rapid-fire scene-to-scene action. Daniel Griggs ’19 delivered a savvy mix of humor and danger to D’Artagnan, the remarkably good-natured and engaging protagonist who has come to Paris in hope of becoming one of Louis XIII’s revered Musketeers. D’Artagnan’s three daring mentors stood out as distinct personalities with a collaborative chemistry and all thoroughly enjoyable ... Porthos (Isaac Flanagan ’18) both brash and braggadocious ... the religious yet libertine Aramis (Michael Patton ’18 in his ninth STH production) ... and the mysterious Athos (Jake Moreau ’18). As the four go about their business, dropping their quarrel to make common cause against the arrogant blades and villainous machinations of Richelieu (Michael Banks ’18) and Rochefort (Danny Vannoy ’18), Green kept the story clear and dynamic. The beautifully self-possessed cast featured standouts among the Dumas’s women ... Jessica Kluksdahl (Incarnate Word Academy) as Queen Anne ... Abby Meyer (IWA) as Constance ... Susannah Wilson (IWA) as Sabine ... and Emma Loden (IWA) who portrayed the nefarious Milady de Winter with a vivid performance of one of literature’s most delicious femmes fatales. “The guys all have a genuine like for each other and that showed,” Green said. “They are seasoned veterans. Griggs possesses natural comic timing. The language was very modern in this play and that fueled a fast interpretation. The actors didn’t have to be concerned with subtext which was important because this work is so plot-centric. “Griggs and Abbey Meyer contributed some tender moments. And ultimately the heroes are only as good as the villains. Banks, Vannoy and Emma Loden were superbly wonderful. I especially enjoyed the sequences when Richelieu, Rochefort and Milady were particularly threatening. Really well written and really entertaining.” The terrific showcase of evil plots and ferocious duels, outsized personalities and athletic grace were greatly served by an inventive set construction expertly crafted by designer Phil Gensheimer, fellow faculty member Daniel Bryant ’93, and staff member Duane Fuchser, all bolstered by a contributing crew of Eagle students. “The set was changing every three minutes, 21 scene changes in all, and we had six and half weeks to put this together, essentially because of Hurricane Harvey,” Green said. “We worked right up until we opened the house to make sure we could execute without a hitch. Time was such a critical factor in telling this story. I have the highest expectations but was still somewhat surprised that the show had that exacting fluidity. But, then again, I’m not surprised because our actors are so skilled and dedicated.” The evergreen Musketeers story has survived several retellings with a long arc of remakes including Broadway musicals and multiple movies. Since 1900, every decade has seen at least one new version on film or television ... including the 1921 silent era cinema starring Douglas Fairbanks ... then advancing through generations with the far-ranging talents and personalities such as Gene Kelly and Vincent Price (1948) ... Charlton Heston, Michael York and Raquel Welch (1973) ... Charlie Sheen and Kiefer Sutherland (1993) ... and most recently, Christoph Waltz, Orlando Bloom and Milla Jovovich (2011). All for one and one for all, indeed.

The St. Thomas Spring Musical is scheduled for March 23-25. Eagles’ Nest Winter 2017 - 37

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Robertson ’18 Adds to Surging Acting Career........................p.40 Spiritual Bond Unites Eagles With Fathers.............................p42 Eagle Baseball Crosses Championship Paths with Astros.......p43 M&M Boys Star on National Signing Day...........................p45

Philip Matulia ’18, p45

Eagles’ Nest Winter 2017 - 39



ROBERTSON ’18 Adds to Surging Acting Career in HITS Sweeney Todd


o commemorate his 50th appearance in a stage career already smart, accomplished and occasionally quirky, Parker Robertson ’18 decided to submerge into something convincingly cruel and deliciously sinister ... dripping in dark revenge, tragedy with heartbreak ... all threaded by horror and coalblack humor. Unrelenting grisliness. Just for giggles. Robertson stepped out front and center in the musical thriller Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, a weekend HITS version of Stephen Sondheim and Hugh Wheeler’s 1979 musical macabre set in a gloomy London of the 1800s or thereabouts. A tale of lost innocence, betrayal, the monstrous perversion of justice and a compulsive need for revenge, all while ruling out decency and mercy. “The opportunity was inspiring and unlike any other I’ve experienced,” Robertson says. “There’s a quote that best describes my motivation. ‘I’m not an actor because I want my photograph taken. I’m an actor because I want to be a part of the human exchange.’ I don’t care if it a classic or avant-garde ... if the audience is 15, 50 or 5,000 ... doesn’t matter.” Robertson brought a fine wide-ranging voice, a chilling expressive presence and uncanny timing to the vile Judge Turpin who banishes the title character, born Benjamin Barker, to exile and imprisonment even though he had committed no crime. The heartless Turpin then makes off with the younger man’s lovely wife Lucy and young daughter Johanna, who grows up to become the hanging judge’s ward and prisoner. He soon finds himself in the crosshairs of a bloodlust-obsessed antihero once Sweeney escapes and commences his one-man rampage of revenge. “Over the years I had listened to the show, seen the (2007 Tim Burton) film a couple of times, so you have an expectation of how you might play the character,” Robertson says. “Alan Rickman was obviously great alongside Johnny Depp but as an actor, you want to discover something genuine in your talents ... something unbiased to what you have previously seen ... not simply an imitation of someone else but your own interpretation.” Given the real-life mayhem associated with Hurricane Harvey, Robertson and the cast had

40 - Eagles’ Nest Winter 2017

to adjust once the three-month, six-hour Saturday-only rehearsal schedule was truncated to five weeks. Yet Robertson was still able to harness a serpentine charm while also discovering that sometimes evil can become him. “I spent just as many hours in the mirror as reading alone ... experimenting with facial expressions ... morphing my face ... adjusting posture ... discovering the subtle physicality,” he says. “There’s a zone ... creepy, ominous ... where you have to deep dive. That means pulling upon other works or art unrelated to the role ... Rembrandt and El Greco portraits ... anything to try to see how this guy views the world. The judge is dead behind the eyes so I searched for pictures of sharks who have that glass-eye, dolls-eye look. Inspiration can come from unpredictable sources.”

person exposure to the stage, Hello, Dolly! at Miller Outdoor Theatre. “They’ve told me that their expectation was I might cry but apparently I was mesmerized, just stared at the performers for the entire show,” Robertson says. “They asked me on the way home if I would wish to see the show again and my immediate answer was ‘yes.’ We went five times.” At age five Robertson was cast at HITS in Grease (“I had one line ... Could she get me a friend? ... from ‘Summer Nights’”).

Robertson was asked to portray a walking form of abusive privilege, a monster do-er of wrongs, “a dark role for any actor but especially demanding for a student,” director Marley Wisnoski says. “I had to select someone who could handle the material, not only vocally, but also the heavy nature of the character. Parker was more than Robertson in 2010 HITS Cats equal to the challenge. He came in and we agreed on a clever approach The litany of roles embraced by Robertson’s while still remaining true to the story.” burgeoning talent through the years at Robertson and Wisnoski collaborated previously during the 2016 HITS production of Elf, The Musical Jr.

HITS, Miller Outdoor, plus productions at St. Thomas and Duchesne Academy of the Sacred Heart include ...

“Parker is a professional actor in the making, if he isn’t there already,” Wisnoski says. “He’s fantastic as a performer ... very smart ... makes good choices. We have limited rehearsals (at HITS) and he’s always prepared to the fullest ... takes a very intelligent approach to every role. I’ve also worked with him in a stage management capacity ... always organized ... understands theatre in-and-out. It’s always a joy to work with him.”

n The Wiz in 2005

The joy exuded for two-year-old Robertson when his parents provided his very first in-


Cats in 2010


The Wizard of Oz in 2012


The Drowsy Chaperone in 2013


The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee in 2016

The robust Robertson seized the Cemo Auditorium stage in only his second St. Thomas production with the colorful and

explosive Action in West Side Story ... followed with the not-so-foolish fool Feste in Twelfth Night, a jester who thoroughly embodied the spirit and folly of the madcap festivities ... and then delivered a devilishly delightful pitch-perfect performance as the patriarch Gomez in The Addams Family. “West Side and Twelfth Night were my favorites because of the amount of preparation demanded,” Robertson says. “The Action character is hot-headed so I spent months with physical workouts and searching for that emotional rage. For Twelfth Night I lost 20 pounds over the summer, grew my hair out to play a vagrant type. “(Director) Dan Green has such a passion and vision for each production and each performer. We developed an instant rapport that allowed me to finely tune those roles with a strategy that allowed me to grow and develop this craft in a way might not have otherwise.” Robertson is banking that his best is yet come, committed to further his acting career following his fast-approaching St. Thomas graduation. He’s targeting more than a dozen destinations in a process as exhausting as it is competitive with scrutiny well beyond the academic admissions process. Additional written essays ... digital portfolios ... pre-screen videos to reach an audition phase. Many of the call-back auditions are on campuses but also part of the mix are “unifieds” held in New York in January, Chicago and Los Angeles in February, where more than 30 universities and theater programs conduct simultaneous auditions and interviews for entry. “The possibilities are literally all over the map,” Robertson says. “Rider University (New Jersey), North Carolina School of the Arts, Boston University, SUNY(State University of New York) Purchase. Texas State has an amazing theatre program. Their musical department accepts only 14 students a year. It’s exciting and humbling all at the same time.”

Eagles’ Nest Winter 2017 - 41







aniel Cardinal DiNardo has led the Galveston-Houston archdiocese since 2006 and has consistently prioritized engagement with the St. Thomas academic community.

St. Thomas was blessed to welcome Cardinal DiNardo to campus for the third time since 2016 ... most recently as the principal celebrant and homilist for the traditional Father/Son Mass on All Saints Day. In 2016, Cardinal DiNardo was elected president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops after serving as vicepresident since 2013.

42 - Eagles’ Nest Winter 2017






n May the Houston Astros graciously hosted and saluted Eagle Baseball following its second state baseball title in four years ... fourth in eight years ... and 24th in the program’s rich history.

On the first day of the Astros season, as part of a raffle fundraiser benefiting fellow Basilian St. Anne Catholic School, five-time all-star Jose Altuve conducted a 90-minute mid-morning mini-clinic at Fr. Wilson Field for middle school students before launching a campaign where he was eventually named the American League Most Valuable Player after earning his third career and second consecutive batting title. On the final day of the season, Altuve and his teammates cemented the first World Series title in the 56th year of the franchise with a convincing 5-1 Game 7 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers, basking in their own resounding and raucous celebration. Champions appreciate champions. History Earned.

Eagles’ Nest Winter 2017 - 43




Four St. Thomas High School singers earned all-state recognition by the Texas Private Schools Music Educators Association. Dante Segura ’20 was selected as a Tenor 1 while Isaac Flanagan ’18, Jacob Moreau ’18 and Leo Wilson ’21 were selected in the Bass 2 section. The four will perform in the All-State Choir Concert at the Eisemann Center for the Performing Arts January 27.

St. Thomas has welcomed 11 new members to the Columbian Squires Circle #5196, raising the current total to 73 active Squires. The Squires Investiture team for the 2017-18 academic year includes chief squire Adam Rinaldi ’18, Faraon (Diego) Gonzales ’18, Josh Falcone ’18, Travis Bartniski ’18, Daniel Tran ’19, Douglas Beirne ’20 and Davin Tran ’20.

Ethan Hunter ’19 has earned the prestigious rank of Eagle Scout as a member of Scout Troop 1226. Previously Hunter was awarded the bronze, gold and silver Eagle Palms presented to young men who earn five, 10 and 15 or more merit badges beyond the 21 required to become an Eagle Scout.

Nicholas Chandler ’20 has been selected to represent St. Thomas at the Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership Seminar held annually to inspire and develop a global community of leadership, service, and innovation. John Gardner ’20 and Luke Pane ’20 will also participate as HOBY attendees June 15-17 at the University of Houston Main Campus.

Jim Wolfinger, the architect of Eagle Rugby which has produced unmatched championship success while instilling and nurturing a champions for life spirit, has been elected to the Texas Rugby Union Hall of Fame, the ultimate individual recognition for his contributions as a coach, player and referee.

40 44 - Eagles’ Nest SWpring inter 2016 2017





he St. Thomas M&M Boys were paired side by side for the November National Signing Day just as they were in the state championship spotlight five months before, pillars supporting the second St. Thomas title in four years, fourth in eight years and 24th in the program’s dynamic history.


But this traditional all-in Wednesday was a two-pronged individual celebration reserved for the two-time all-state pitcher and thunder bat Owen Meaney ’18 and his tag-team all-state catching partner Philip Matulia ’18. Meaney followed through with his September verbal commitment to the University of Texas while Matulia confirmed his April decision to next play for Louisiana Tech. Meaney was sold on the depth of UT’s academic support, its palatial athletic facilities and the program’s rising momentum already underway with second-year head coach David Pierce. “I really believe they’re on the way to restoring Longhorn Baseball to where they’re a nationally dominate program,” Meaney said. “Coach Pierce really reminds me of (Eagle) coach (Ryan) Lousteau, same demeanor, allowing players to perform with an intense but relaxed confidence. The combination of excellent academics and athletics reminds me of St. Thomas, such a rich history of tradition and winning championships. That’s what drew me to St. Thomas, that brotherhood, and history. I felt the same at UT.” Lousteau marveled that “Owen has always shown great maturity and competitive edge. It starts with his repertoire and command and he’s shown the scouts both. He’s going to play for an outstanding coach in David and a staff that does an excellent job with pitchers. That group is tremendous developing talent.” Matulia (the son of long-time St. Thomas Campus Ministry Director Marty Matulia) led Eagle Baseball in 2017 with eight home runs and 42 runs batted in … hitting .315 while Philip Matulia ’18

STUFF Owen Meaney ’18


Nest Winter 2017 - 45




slugging nearly .600 with a .433 on-base percentage, the only private school player to earn All-Greater Houston by the Chronicle, and all while making the transition from the outfield to his first full season as a starting catcher. “Even though there was a certain formality to the day there was also excitement putting pen to paper and seeing my name alongside Louisiana Tech,” Matulia said. “The summer was really an affirmation that I was making the right move. And the more I distanced myself from my (verbal) commitment, the more I felt comfortable knowing where I was headed without dealing with all the pressure of scouts watching every move throughout my senior year.” The two Eagle brothers-in-arms shared not only the Hall of Honor stage but also a large dose of mutual respect and admiration as teammates with a bond beyond baseball. “I truly appreciate how Philip carries himself,” Meaney said. “I remember meeting him the first day of my freshman year and we were instantaneously friends. We’ve been on this same baseball journey together, long and hard, and it’s all come together for us both at the end.” Matulia says Meaney “has been such a valuable friend the last four years. I love his competitive nature, how he drives himself to be the best, and that drives me to do the same. Plus he’s an incredibly giving person.” Following one more battery-mate season, Matulia and Meaney will matriculate in separate directions, college destinations roughly 400 miles apart. And if the two should eventually staredown in a final at-bat to determine one team continuing a College World Series dream, and the other wallowing in heartbreak and heartburn, how might that mano-a-mano make out? Matulia, with a slight pause of consideration: “I would like to think I could turn (the ball) off him. I would have to have a quick bat that’s for sure. I obviously know his stuff, have an idea how he would pitch me. Perhaps there’s an edge there somewhere.” Meaney, with a slight grin but without one degree of hesitation or doubt: “I’d strike him out. Of course.”

46 - Eagles’ Nest Winter 2017


FIGHT Meaney ’18 Hooks Up with Longhorns........................ p48 Wolf ’19 Commits to Aggies Baseball............................... p49 2017 Eagle Football........................ p51 2017 Homecoming Court............... p56

Eagles’ Nest Winter 2017 - 47



MEANEY ’18 Hooks Up with Longhorns


hen Hurricane Harvey hit and hovered over Houston for days, a historic storm with an intensity and scope so enormous that weather forecasters, first responders, the victims, everyone really, couldn’t believe their eyes, Owen Meaney ’18 discovered a large symbol of individual triumph in the midst of tumultuous disaster. Throughout August, Meaney’s primo pitching prowess had registered on the Texas Longhorns’ radar. He had impressed at a showcase event in Round Rock where he first met second-year head honcho David Pierce and followed with an equally eye-popping performance at a UT fall camp. Meaney then somehow escaped the mayhem that Harvey unleashed on his city for Austin and an official visit with Longhorn coaches where he was promptly offered a scholarship from the tradition-soaked program. He accepted within 48 hours and then confirmed his verbal commitment on the November National Signing Day. “I feel really honored to be a part of coach Pierce’s first Longhorn recruiting class,” Meaney said. “He has won big everywhere he’s been and given the resources and history at Texas, there’s absolutely no reason to believe he won’t expand that success.” Pierce is just the fifth head coach for University of Texas baseball since 1911, the successor to the winningest in college baseball history, fabled five-time World Series champion Augie Garrido. Meaney appreciates the versatility and deep Texas roots that have served Pierce throughout three decades of coaching in the state … from the high school level … to an assistant role for nine years with Hall of Famer Wayne Graham at Rice University … to a three-year head coaching stint at Sam Houston State University where he guided three consecutive NCAA tournament appearances … before conducting Tulane University to backto-back regionals and its first conference championship since 2005. Throughout his unbeaten junior season, Meaney saturated the stat columns … eight wins with three shutouts while

48 - Eagles’ Nest Winter 2017

allowing only 21 hits and nine earned runs in 52 innings … striking out 90 … allowing opponents a .119 batting average while earning TAPPS All-State distinction for the second straight year. And his most exhilarating exhibition of pitching and purpose, of nerve and verve, came in the TAPPS 6A state semifinals against Dallas Parish Episcopal, where with every pitch Meaney grew stronger, the at-bats grew fiercer, and the air in the windpipes of the opponent grew tighter. In his first career playoff start, Meaney allowed an innocent single to lead-off the game, only two other base runners the rest of the way, finishing with a one-hit shutout, striking out 12 including seven of the last nine batters, AND drove in the game’s only run with a fifth-inning single. Now with his college destination determined, Meaney is allowed to take the proverbial exhale and concentrate on what he expects to be a scintillating senior sendoff and suitable state championship encore. “I can relax somewhat for a few weeks and really enjoy this accomplishment,” Meaney said on National Signing Day.“Throughout the summer I was aware of the scouts and scrutiny while trying to become more of a complete pitcher. It really wasn’t until August that I felt that I had that same groove that ended last season. Now I’m really confident with my velocity and control heading into the spring … believe I’m physically stronger … bigger and better than what I’ve shown before.”




verybody loves an up-and-comer ... whether hunting a growth company early in its run to greatness ... or breezing through the latest Forbes 30 under 30 ... or equipping a college pitching arsenal for a major offensive on the College World Series.

Sudden Recruiting Rush Sends

WOLF ’19


Josh Wolf ’19 was rising through the recent ranks of the summer high school hardball industrial complex ... his climb noticeable and notable ... except when calibrated by college scouts. Even with his large 6-2 frame filling out and his sizzling fastball clocking 94 mph on assorted radar guns ... not a single solitary ounce of meaningful nextlevel interest was thrown his way.

Zero. Zilch. Zippity do da. “The summer circuit went by ... no offers,” Wolf said. “I was improving ... no offers. I was pitching well against name competition ... no offers. I was thinking ... what do I have to do.” But on a mid-September Monday Texas A&M broke the seal after seeing Wolf pitch during the previous weekend and arranged an immediate oncampus visit for Josh and his parents Galit and Oran. “A&M was the first program to invite me and show me the grand tour,” Wolf said. “So impressive to see the depth of the program and facilities,

Wolf with Eagles Head Coach Lousteau

Eagles’ Nest Winter 2017 - 49




from the nutrition center to sports performance to academic support and housing.”

Futures U17) in Houston. The next day was when they invited me for the campus visit.”

Wolf was soon staring across from grand poohbah Rob Childress for a one-on-sit down. The third-winningest coach in program history has led A&M to a school-record 10 consecutive NCAA Championship appearances, five NCAA Regional titles, two conference regular-season crowns, four league tournament titles and the 2011 College World Series.

Wolf developed an immediate comfort zone with Sealy who emphasized to Wolf he was “the type of player we want in our program, not just talent but also competitive edge and mental toughness.”

When Childress casually slid Wolf the paperwork detailing the Aggies scholarship offer, Wolf’s brain immediately dialed into spin cycle. “I had been working for this kind of opportunity since I was five-six years old and that moment was a bit overwhelming,” Wolf said. “I was thinking, wow, this is actually going to happen. I had a goal ... pushed myself ... challenged myself ... had great support around me ... and now it’s all going to pay off.” After months perplexed by his lone Wolf status, Josh was delirious that his very first college opportunity suddenly surfaced from one of the most respected brands in the country when factoring recent history, coaching staff, conference dynamics and player development.

Texas A&M coach Rob Childress

On the return drive home to Houston Wolf methodically sifted through a mental checklist to confirm his adrenaline-rushed rapid reaction and reach a decision. “If I wasn’t playing baseball, would I have a strong desire to attend the school. Check. The total A&M academic-athletic package and experience. Check. My parents both graduated from the University of Texas and were totally comfortable and sold right away. Check. It was all good. “I called the coaches that night and said I’m ready to be an Aggie.” Long-time A&M assistant coach Justin Sealy was first impressed with Wolf during a summer Perfect Game showcase outing in Georgia and the intrigue continued to percolate below the surface when Wolf attended A&M’s Stars of Tomorrow camp in August. “I didn’t hear a response until the beginning of September,” Wolf said. “They wanted to see me pitch again (for Premier Baseball

50 - Eagles’ Nest Winter 2017

Two-time state championship coach Ryan Lousteau sees Josh as “a great example and student-athletes who enter our program should definitely take notice. At the beginning of last season, he was throwing in the mid-80s in the junior varsity scrimmages. We moved him to the varsity after threefour outings but how he has improved in the last six-seven months is remarkable. Hard work ... believing in the process ... and now he’s set to join one of the top Division I programs in the best conference in the country.” During the Eagles stellar 2017 season and climatic state championship march, Wolf emerged as a valuable situational reliever supporting more seasoned arms on a team that won its final 12 games, including a six-game buzzsaw through the TAPPS playoffs to finish 34-5 for a phenomenal 64-7-1 during the last two seasons.

Wolf attributes his suddenly ascending profile to “improving my technique. Plus my body and arm are much stronger” after a series of exhaustive 7:00 a.m workouts throughout the summer with teammates Owen Meaney ’18 (Texas) and John Griffin ’18 (Johns Hopkins) orchestrated by Dynamic Sports Training. Wolf’s ocean of pitching promise that engulfed Aggie coaches came in tandem with the two-time all-state Meaney signing with the Longhorns on the November National Signing Day and all-state catcher Philip Matulia ’18 sealing his commitment to Louisiana Tech. Wolf credits Meaney for providing “a huge influence during the recruiting game. He talked me through the ups and downs ... told me to just be patient ... not to panic. He assured me it would take care of itself. Another plus was that throughout my life I’m rarely nervous or feel the pressure or the scrutiny. I’ve been able to stay calm and just pitch.” For one more season with the Eagles. And then off to Aggieland.





irst-year head coach Rich McGuire was searching to rejuvenate Eagle Football following a five-win season that interrupted a run of straight-flush district championships.

McGuire brought a deeply rooted belief in his bedrock principles: ball, block, cover, cut and slice, pursue and gang tackle, and a firm understanding how to organize, how to develop, how to set up a system, and how to communicate the value in following it. The delayed start to the 2017 campaign was played out after scheduled games with The Kinkaid School, Strake Jesuit and College Station were canceled by an abrupt Hurricane Harvey hiatus and the wettest weather event ever to hit the continental United States. For the season-opening kickoff, Eagle Football welcomed TAPPS Cedar Hill Trinity Christian, featuring a coaching staff that included Pro Football Hall of Famer Deion Sanders, eight-year NFL veteran Aveion Cason and Sanders’ game-changing quarterbacking son Shedeur. In a second half that saw three lead changes after the Eagles relinquished a 10-point advantage ... thunder-foot kicker Jacob Manley ’18 had his final-play field goal attempt from 32 yards blocked ... and St. Thomas suffered its first season-opening defeat in six years. By season’s end, the Eagles were rolling a separate six ... the number of consecutive years at least a share of the district title was at stake in the annual stare-down with St. Pius X.

Eagles’ Nest Winter 2017 - 51




Quarterback Peyton Matocha ’19 passed to receiver Dylan Dixon ’19 for one touchdown and dived in for another but the octane went empty in the second half to end the regular season with back-to-back district defeats. The Eagles were forced to the road to open the Division I playoffs knowing it must defy conventional wisdom to mount a march during the month when the only metric that mattered was the scoreboard, their postseason lives either thriving in the moment or dying on the vine. An injury-devastated defense minus eight starters from the projected September line-up was blistered for two touchdowns in the first six minutes of the game and the Eagles (3-6) never challenged Plano Prestonwood Christian Academy in exiting the postseason tournament in the first round for the second straight season. “Obviously we all wanted much more from this season, especially for our seniors,” McGuire said. “But great

52 - Eagles’ Nest Winter 2017

“I have so much faith in what we’re building and what can be done here. I know we want more success. I want more success. That success is coming.” – Coach Rich McGuire

admiration for our team for never giving in throughout a really challenging season. There was never an ounce of quit.” Despite the dip-down debut, McGuire is determined to reposition Eagle Football from the TAPPS middle class to its penthouse. The invigoration figures to focus on player development and the philosophy

is simple ... players earn everything ... starts are not promised ... minutes are not guaranteed ... play poorly, don’t hustle, get used to standing on the sideline ... you have to fight for it. “The next season has already started,” McGuire said. “As a group, we have to get bigger, faster and stronger and that requires a commitment to sports performance and weight room ethic. Champions and championships are built in the off-season when the stands are empty. Our core will always rely on really good high school players who buy into the program 100% with a great desire to not be denied, to not accept mediocrity. I have so much faith in what we’re building and what can be done here. I know we want more success. I want more success. That success is coming.” After the TAPPS realignment for 201820, Eagle Football will compete during the next two academic years in an expanded district that now includes two San Antonio schools, Antonian College Prep and Central Catholic.

Eagles’ Nest Winter 2017 - 53

... GAME FOUR ......GAME

Hotze Field inside Granger Stadium

Bob Benson ’66 Stadium - San Antonio

Pasadena 21 Eagle Football 42

Eagle Football 31 San Antonio Central Catholic 28

Quarterback Peyton Matocha ’19 twice tag-teamed with Parker Nelms ’18 for touchdowns in a 42-point first half avalanche that included scoring plays from offense, defense and special teams as the Eagles pounded Pasadena for the first St. Thomas head coaching win for Rich McGuire. The first of two short-range touchdowns from wide out suddenly turned running back Blaine McDaniel ’18 was followed by a scoop-and-score touchdown from defensive back Jackson Reece ’18 on Pasadena’s first offensive snap. On the ensuing kickoff following Pasadena’s only touchdown before liberal St. Thomas substitution in the second half, defensive 54 - Eagles’ Nest Winter 2017

back Brandon Hondros ’19 bolted from the left corner to the middle of a congested pack, and back to the left sideline to race untouched 95 yards to the end zone and a commanding 21-7 advantage. Matocha then dialed up Nelms with a pair of scoring tosses in the second period, and in the face of absolute Red & White superiority, the white flag was effectively raised to the skies before halftime. There is often a difference between desire and achievement. For the first time, Eagle Football manned by McGuire married the two with a decisive outcome as thorough as it was convincing after digesting defeat during the first three weeks of the season.

Matocha connected with receiver Hunter Cheek ’19 with an ad lib touchdown in the right corner of the end zone in the final five minutes to complete a frantic fourth-period rally on the road for the second consecutive win of the season. After seeing Matocha’s Houdinilike touchdown romp for the potential go-ahead score negated by a holding penalty, the unquestioned leader of the offense needed only three plays to push the Eagles in front for good. From the 23-yard line, Matocha calmly moved to his right to avoid pressure and discovered a diving Cheek for the game-winning margin, 12 unanswered points in a pivotal three-minute stretch that determined the outcome. Eagle Football never led until the closing moments, was gashed for

FIVE .........GAME SIX .....

Hotze Field inside Granger Stadium

Beaumont Monsignor Kelly Catholic 22 Eagle Football 41 a touchdown on the first snap of the fourth period to trail 28-19, and was forced to overcome not only the deficit but a series of near-crippling penalties, a blocked extra point and a first-period fumble returned for a touchdown. Jacob Manley ’18 split the uprights from 25 yards with 7:08 remaining to close the count to 28-22. One minute later on the game clock, a crushing face-plant pounding from Jarrod Brown ’19 in his career-best game, forced a fumble that rolled through the back of the end zone for a safety to shrink the score to 28-24. After Matocha’s payoff to Cheek with 4:10 remaining, safety Daniel Coco ’20 erased Central Catholic’s last threat with his second interception of the second half to seal the verdict.

Matocha threw for three touchdowns and ran for two others in a first-half blitzkrieg as the Eagles launched the district race during Alumni Weekend with an overwhelming win that wasn’t nearly as close as the final might indicate. After turning the ball over on their first offensive snap, Eagle Football buried Kelly with an avalanche of touchdowns on six consecutive series. Matocha began the Surge Knight beat down with a 35-yard payoff strike to receiver Josh Madden ’19,

then capped a crisp seven-play 88-yard march with a read-option carry untouched to the end zone for 14-0. St. Thomas recovered a fumble on the ensuing kickoff, and running back Ian Wheeler ’19 carried on three straight plays for the final 25 yards and the touchdown for 21-0 roughly seven minutes into the game. Kelly soon resembled a collapsed building. Just a hole surrounded by a bunch of bricks strewn all over the road.

Eagles’ Nest Winter 2017 - 55




agle Salute to 2017 Homecoming queen Emma McLean from St. Agnes Academy ... and her court of Oliva Cohn and Victoria Fauntleroy from SAA ... Teresa Garcia from Duchesne Academy of the Sacred Heart ... and Triciajane Asuncion and Abigail Torres from Incarnate Word Academy. Great thanks and appreciation to all who participated in making our annual Homecoming event a rousing success.

56 - Eagles’ Nest Winter 2017

CLASS NEWS 1950s Ed Finn ’55 has been elected President of the Optimist International Foundation. The Foundation located in St. Louis, Missouri, is dedicated to “Bringing Out The Best in Kids” through their support of the service organization, Optimist International.

1960s Sam A Listi ’60 and Daniel Listi ’98 have launched the 100 Club of the Rio Grande Valley, based on the same principles as the 100 Club of Houston. Donations received will be used for the benefit of the Valley’s police and fire offices. Michael J. Cenatiempo ’64 has joined Shannon, Gracey, Ratliff & Miller, LLP as senior counsel, where he will focus on counseling clients regarding private wealth preservation and estate planning including probate, trusts, wills, estates, gift, estate and GST taxation, fiduciary risk management, asset protection planning, elder law and guardianships. Mr. Cenatiempo is a Fellow of The American College of Trust & Estate Counsel and Board Certified in Estate Planning and Probate Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. He is licensed in Texas having graduated from the University of Houston Bates College of Law. Michael Zagst ’68 had his latest novel Eternity, Texas published by Buffalo House Books, available in paperback and ebook.

Tom Tauer ’98 was recently promoted to Lieutenant Colonel in the United States Air Force. He is a Test Pilot with 1830 total flight hours in 33 different aircraft, including 1370 hours in the F-16. Tauer attended the Air Force Institute of Technology at Wright-Patterson AFB, OH and earned an Aeronautical Engineering Master’s degree with emphasis in flight control design and aero elasticity. While at the USAF Test Pilot School, Edwards AFB, CA, Major Tauer served as the senior ranking officer for his class of 24 officers and earned a Master’s degree in Flight Test Engineering. Upon graduating, he was assigned to the 40th Flight Test Squadron, Eglin AFB, FL. As an Assistant Director of Operations in the 40th FLTS, Major Tauer flew elevated risk F-16 structural loads, weapons, and sensor tests. Maj Tauer is currently assigned as an Air Force Fellow at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency in Arlington, VA.


1980s James Martinez ’86 competed in the Chicago Marathon in March.

Andrew Locke ’03 was as assistant coach for USA Rugby Women’s team during the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Captain Locke (West Point ’07) Andrew is an active duty Army Infantry Officer, joining the Eagles 7s coaching staff through the U.S. Army World Class Athlete Program after his career as a resident player in the Eagles 7s program. CPT Locke has served as a Ranger Platoon Leader in the 75th Ranger Regiment, deploying three times to Afghanistan. He also served as a Rifle Platoon Leader in the 2nd Infantry Division, deploying to Baghdad, Iraq in 2009. Locke was a two time Collegiate All-American at West Point and a two time member of the U-19 National Team at the Junior World Cups in 2002 and 2003.

1990s Holly and John Farrar ’91 welcomed Wyatt Augusta Farrar April 26, 2016

Isaac Duplechain ’04 has been promoted to the rank of Lieutenant in the Houston Police Department and is now a shift commander for the Vehicular Crimes Division.

Eagles’ Nest Winter 2017 - 57




TODAY Take car to m e Go to 10 a.m. M


D appt.

Remember St. Thomas

Your car gets a check-up. Your health gets a check-up. Why not your will? You don’t need to write a big check to make a significant gift to St. Thomas. Include STH in your will and estate plans and discover how one quick action can have an enduring impact on future generations of St. Thomas Eagles.

Frank Accommando ’47, September 6, 2017 Jay B. Bisbey ’55, October 7, 2017

Darvin A. Bordelon ’57, August 25, 2017

Mark E. Connelly ’53, October 26, 2017

Matthew R. Fote ’09, November 13, 2017 Herbert A. Fox ’56, August 17, 2017 Michael J. Eisworth ’57, August 15, 2017

If you remember all the goodness, discipline and knowledge that St. Thomas gave you, then please:

Remember St. Thomas.

Contact us so we can help you find the right gift plan for you and your family. Mr. Mark deTranaltes, ’83, P ’10 Vice President for Advancement | 713-341-5557 58 - Eagles’ Nest Winter 2017

Lawrence G. Gillespie ’55, September 29, 2017. A University of St. Thomas graduate and lifelong educator who taught mathematics while coaching Eagle Football for 34 years. Dr. John R. Glauser ’66, September 30, 2017


Please notify the Alumni Office with information when an alumnus has passed away. Email

Patricia Gilbert, mother of Michael L. ’83, John W. ’86 and Randy A. Rice ’80, October 6, 2017 Eric O. Hanson ’60, July 7, 2017 Roland A. Hernandez ’42, August 16, 2017 Tom M. Johnson ’55, June 18, 2017 James J. Liuzza ’50, August 7, 2017 Elias “Sonny” Martinez ’79, September 17, 2017. A senior police officer and 25-year veteran with the Metro Police Department who was laid to rest after suffering injuries sustained during a motorcycle crash in League City. Fellow Metro officers described Martinez as “a special public servant and an extraordinary police officer.” Richard K. Matt ’59, September 25, 2017 Harold W. Muller ’49, August 15, 2017 John A. Pizzitola ’62, August 30, 2017

Annie Pulido, mother of Robert A. ’59, grandmother of Robert A. ’87 and Michael ’89, November 19, 2017 Jesse M. Rodriguez ’72, April 8, 2017

Michael J. Saladino ’59, October 10, 2017 Harold K. Shelton ’48, April 4, 2017

Carl E. Reichardt ’49 July 13, 2017

Chairman and chief executive of Wells Fargo during the 1980s and ’90s who introduced a leaner approach to commercial banking that served as a model for the industry, died at his home in the San Francisco Bay Area. Reichardt, named chief executive of the San Francisco-based Wells Fargo in 1982, shed much of the bank’s international and financial services businesses, slashed costs and refocused on retail banking and a few other activities in its home state of California.

the difference between fit and fat. I don’t know another C.E.O. so maniacally shareholder-driven.’’

Following his St. Thomas graduation, Reichardt enrolled at the University of Houston, but when the Korean War draft loomed, he enlisted in the Navy and was stationed in Long Beach, Calif. In 1954, he earned his bachelor’s degree in His laser-like zeal on the bottom line paid economics at the University of Southern off for Wells Fargo. The bank holding California. company’s stock price nearly tripled After his retirement from Wells Fargo, in the first three years of his tenure as Reichardt served on several corporate chief executive. He oversaw a 1,781 boards, including that of Ford Motor percent total return to investors before Company, where in 2001 William Clay retiring in 1994, far above the increase Ford Jr., in his first act as chief executive, of 385 percent for the Standard & Poor’s named Reichardt vice chairman, giving 500-stock index during the same period. him broad responsibilities over the Reichardt was described by one bankcompany’s leasing, credit and rental car stock analyst as “showing the industry operations.

Edward A. Scheffler ’55, July 19, 2017 ’02, October 19, 2017. Thomas L. Schulte Fred L. Syzdek, father of Chris ’82 and Kevin ’83, May 1, 2017 ’72, husband of Paula Langwell Matthew H. Talty ’63, Schulte (St. Agnes November 3, 2017 Academy ’77), father of Thomas L. ’00, brother of Eddie ’69, nephew of John W. Schattel ’64 and Fred Hablizel ’56, cousin of John ’82 and Paul Laetsch ’86, Conrad ’79 and Matt Hablizel ’88, and Brian Bedore Joseph S. Tamborello ’48, October 1, 2017

Eagles’ Nest Winter 2017 - 59










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