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Xavier High School Foundation

Xavier Foundation

January 2012

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2011 Parish Appeal Kicks Off

In 1977, at the age of 28, Regis class of 1967 alumnus John Negro purchased Nelson Electric Company. Since then, he has grown the company from eight to 130 employees and developed substantially as a company. Throughout the development Negro has operated under the motto of “sell quality priced right.” In order to do this, Negro and his staff work hard and subscribe to the teaching of “treat others as you want to be treated.” As a local business owner, Negro chooses to support the organizations he believes are important to our community. The 2012 Xavier Foundation Business Appeal marks the 20th consecutive year Negro and Nelson Electric have supported Xavier High School. For Negro, the choice to support Catholic secondary education in Cedar Rapids was an easy one. The oldest of 10, Negro and all of his siblings were educated through the Catholic school system, each one graduating from Regis High School. Similarly, Negro and his wife Donna sent their seven children through St. Matthew’s grade school and Regis and Xavier High Schools. In spite of the demands of running a successful business and raising a family, Negro made time to give back to Catholic education in a number of ways. Recognizing the importance of gifts of time and talent in addition to monetary support, Negro sat on the Regis alumni board for 10 years, four of which he served as president. Negro also played an integral role in the decision to build Xavier High School as the head of the Buildings and Ground Committee during the planning and construction of the new high school. His passion for supporting Catholic education, while deeply rooted in family and tradition, extends to identifying core beliefs and values and making them a priority, “Parents send their children to Xavier for the quality of education and for the faith aspect, and do so knowing that their children will be in an environment where the faculty and staff, students and other parents have similar goals and values; that’s so important.” Negro notes that the Xavier Foundation business appeal is instrumental in funding an excellent, competitive education for Xavier High School students, “The funny thing is, you (sic) don’t give to Xavier for the recognition or free advertising or for a perk of some sort. You give because Xavier is educating our future employees – Xavier is producing hard working, talented leaders for our future.”


fast facts...

Business Appeal 2012 Kickoff: February 8, 2012 Chairs: Heidi Brown and Donna Garland Goal: $115,000 Contact: Lynn Jump, WINTER 2012

Business Appeal 2012 This year’s campaign chair is Heidi Brown, community volunteer and former Deputy Administrative Officer for the United States Attorney’s Office and the associate chair is Donna Garland, owner, Nesper Sign Advertising, Inc. Brown and her husband Rick are members of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton parish and have three children, Ryan (X10), Zachary (X13) and Kylie (Regis 7th grade). Garland and her husband Phil are members of St. Pius X parish and have two children, Thomas (X07) and Nicholas (X10) Brown and Garland will lead nearly 80 volunteers in the pursuit of raising $115,000 to benefit Xavier High School. Also serving in leadership roles for the campaign are team captains: Mike Bouchard, Bouchard Home Improvements; Tom Ekland, (L78), Seltec Sales; Kevin Giles, TransAmerica; Duane Jasper, RuffaloCODY; Jeff Kaiden, (L72), Principal Financial Group; Joe Kirby, Lynch Ford Chevy; Jim McPartland (R75), TrueNorth; Becky Picard (L66).

Parish Appeal 2011 “You know well enough that Our Lord does not look so much at the greatness of our actions, nor even at their difficulty, but at the love at which we do them.” ~ St. Therese of Lisieux We are pleased to announce we have raised $397,556 during the Xavier Foundation 2011 Parish Appeal. Thanks to Jeff & Monica Robinson, (St. Jude) and John & Dana Miller, (St. Elizabeth Ann Seton) for their leadership during this most important fund raiser for Xavier High School. We would also like to thank our pastors who support the mission of educating our children to “Learn, Lead and Serve” through their leadership and support of our fund raising efforts in their parishes. The success of the campaign would not happen without the dedicated efforts of individual parish leadership teams, volunteers and parish donors. Xavier High School was built with faith and investment by our area parishioners, alumni, and supportive businesses. Our Catholic community can be proud of our school. Thank you for your continued prayers and financial support! Contributions are still being received. If you would like to contribute, please visit our web site at and select donate now, or mail your gift to the Foundation office, P.O. Box 10956, Cedar Rapids, IA 52410-0956.

The 2012 theme focuses on three priorities that Catholic schools establish that make them stand out from other educational institutions. Children are taught faith – not just the basics of Christianity, but how to have a relationship with God. Academics, which in Catholic schools are held to very high standards, help each child reach his or her potential. Service, the giving of one’s time and effort to help others, is taught both as an expression of faith and good citizenship. Xavier High School will celebrate Catholic Schools Week with an all-school Mass on Tuesday, January 31 at 10:00 a.m. The Xavier community is welcome and invited to attend.

Keep Us in the Loop! Have you moved recently? Do us a favor and provide us with your new address so that we can continue to mail you our publications! LaSalle, Regis, and Xavier alumni are also encouraged to share personal or professional updates to be included in the Alumni News section of the Common Thread. E-mail updates to or call 319-378-4571. Thank you!

Most people need wills, and when you make yours, please remember the Xavier High School Foundation.

Xavier Foundation

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Looking back...

1962 REGIS State Champs Celebrate a Memorable Victory

In 1962, the Regis High School basketball team conquered the state championship- the first championship (sanctioned by the Iowa High School Athletic Association) for a Cedar Rapids team.

Fish was talking about nothing else except us winning the state championship,” Jennings recalled. “On the court and in the hallways, that’s what he talked about. And people started believing him.”

In celebration of the 50th anniversary of this monumental event, members of the team and coaches Bob Jennings and Dick Breitbach reunited at Xavier High School on January 7, 2012 for a team reception and film viewing followed by a reception with family and friends, and were then honored during a presentation during half-time of the Xavier High School varsity boys basketball game.

Regis finished the regular season with a 15-5 record. The Royals’ longest winning streak was five games, but an important point was they lost only one road game, at Burlington.

The Royals opened the district tournament with routs over Vinton and Cedar Rapids St. Patrick’s. Then, it was a much-awaited match up with Gay Dahn’s Cedar Rapids Jefferson team at the Iowa Field House. At various “Regis’ title was an especially big times during the season, Jefdeal for the city of Cedar Rapids... it ferson and Regis had been ranked No. 1 in the state. was the first state championship for Regis held off Jefferson, 47-42 , to advance to the a Cedar Rapids team.” sub-state tourney.

For some onlookers, this might appear to be nothing more than just a special trip down memory lane – but for those who can recall the excitement and fervor with which the mighty Regis Royals and their coaching staff were followed, this anniversary marks a celebration of unparalleled community and spirit. In an article titled “Regis celebrates anniversary of a very special team” published in the Cedar Rapids Gazette on November 29, 1986, writer Mark Dukes expertly details the Royals winning season of 1962:

[Excerpts from: “Regis celebrates anniversary of a very special team” by Mark Dukes, Gazette sports editor. Published November 29, 1986 in the Cedar Rapids Gazette, Cedar Rapids, IA.] …The Royals had a tremendous following, not just from Regis fans but from many others in Eastern Iowa. When they wrapped up the state title in 1962 at the Iowa Field House, a caravan of cars stretched a good distance from Iowa City to Cedar Rapids. Many will recall the traffic jam on First Avenue in Cedar Rapids that stretched from the west side of the Town House near Marion, where a reception was held for the Royals. Jennings said he had a good feeling about the Royals when the season began in the fall of 1961. “From day one, Dave 4

“One of the things great about that team was there were unsung heroes every game,” Jennings said. “Wagner had 17 points in the Jeff game and was tremendous on the boards. And Jim Roberg hit a couple key free throws. He hadn’t practiced in three weeks because he had a sprained ankle, but he hit a couple with 35 seconds left. I still think Jefferson was the best team we faced in the whole tournament. It was a fantastic game and a turnaway crowd. From there on, after that game, we knew we’d win the state championship.” Regis got into the state tourney with a 7-point win over Iowa City High and a 3-point victory over Clinton. The Royals won the state championship with a 76-64 victory over Laurens. Regis’ title was an especially big deal for the city of Cedar Rapids. To a generation, it was the first state championship for a Cedar Rapids team. Old Washington High School won state titles in 1914 1916 and 1922, but those were not sanctioned by the Iowa High School Athletic Association. WINTER 2012

Xavier Foundation

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Alumni Hall of Fame 2012

L aSalle • Regis • Xavier

Sean Greenwalt, a 1990 graduate from LaSalle High School will be in-

ducted as an Outstanding Athlete. Sean was named Class 2-A 1st team all state his senior season in 1990 after he led the Cedar Rapids Metro area in scoring with an average of 26.0 PPG. As a junior, he was named honorable mention all state. He was twice honored as first team all-metro and all-conference (WAMAC). Sean was a three year starter and holds the school record as the all time leading scorer with 1128 career points. His career average was 17.6 PPG. He also holds the school record for points in a single game after scoring 46 vs Independence his senior season.

After graduating from LaSalle, Sean played two years at Kirkwood Community College. His freshman season he was named 2nd team All-Region after averaging 18.7 points, 6 assists, and shooting 44% from the three point line and 83% from the free throw line. His sophomore season he was named 1st team All-Region after averaging 17.9 points, and leading the region in assists with a 7.9 average. Upon graduation from Kirkwood, he was the schools 2nd leading scorer in history with 1,075 points.

Carol Ann Riha, a 1975 graduate from LaSalle School will be inducted as

an Outstanding Alumna. After graduating from LaSalle and earning her bachelor’s degree from George Fox University in Newberg, Oregon, Riha was selected to attend a prestigious post-graduate program, “Women and Power: Leadership in a New World,” at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government in 2005. After a start in radio at KLWW and WMT in Cedar Rapids, she was recruited by The Associated Press, where she worked as a journalist for more than 27 years, climbing her way up the corporate ladder from a reporter in the AP’s Detroit, Michigan, and Portland, Oregon news bureaus, to News Editor and eventually Bureau Chief in the AP’s Iowa office. She oversaw national coverage of the Iowa caucuses in 2000, 2004, and 2008.

The coveted position of Bureau Chief is one that few reporters attain. Carol did the job justice over a period of several years, earning awards and numerous accolades, as well as the respect of all who associated with her. In 2009, she was invited to AP corporate headquarters in New York for a special celebration of her professional accomplishments.

Adam Spanich, a 1995 graduate from Regis High School will be inducted

into the Outstanding Athlete category. Adam Spanich goes down as not only the greatest basketball player in the history of Cedar Rapids Regis High School, but arguably the greatest in the city of Cedar Rapids. Adam was named the state of Iowa’s “Mr. Basketball” in 1995 as well as the Gatorade Player of the Year. He was named 1st Team All-State twice, 1st Team All Mississippi Valley Conference, and 1st Team All-Metro three times. He was twice named MVC Player of the Year.

Adam led the MVC in rebounding three times and scoring twice. His 28.9 points per game average his senior season is not only the highest in Regis High School history, but in the history of the Metro. Adam set a conference record in scoring his senior year with an average of 30.4. He finished his high school career the second leading scorer in Metro history. The Royals qualified for state in each of his three varsity seasons.


2011 Inductees: Dan Sullivan (L67), Renee Dietrich (L87), Craig Chmelicek (R90), and Brad Joens (R96).

You’re Invited!

Come Help Us Celebrate: The LaSalle, Regis, Xavier Alumni Association cordially invites you to attend the 2012 Alumni Hall of Fame! The Hall of Fame induction will take place on Friday, February 3, 2012 during half-time of the Xavier varsity boys basketball game against Linn-Mar. A reception honoring inductees Greenwalt, Riha, and Spanich will take place at 6:00 p.m. on the “X” in Xavier High School. Game time is 7:30 p.m. Come show your support of these wonderful alums!

Alumni Basketball Tournament The Third Annual Alumni Basketball Tournament will take place on Saturday, February 4, 2012. Teams will be organized by decade of graduation. (Team 60s and 70s, Team 80s, Team 90s, Team 2000s, and Team 2010.) In addition to the games played, there will be contests for children and lots of family friendly fun! Registration is $25 in advance, $30 at the door. In lieu of an admission fee a free-will donation will be accepted and proceeds will be distributed to the Xavier High School Community Service Day fund. For more information, including a complete schedule of events, or to download a registration form, visit:


Alumni News LaSalle - Regis - Xavier Rosemarie (Houlahan) Hammill (R78) announces her employment a an LPN at the VA in Des Moines, IA. Rosemarie and her husband James have three children and reside in Urbandale, IA.

Delaney Marie Joens

Brad Joens (R96) and wife Cara welcomed a baby girl, Delaney Marie (pictured above), on August 23, 2011. The family resides in Fairfax, IA.

Jessica Wagner (X99) and Neil Ryan (L98) were married in 2006. The couple have three children, Elizabeth (4), Kate (3), and Nora (1).

Neil Hepworth (X00) and Catherine Czapski were united in marriage on July 9, 2011 in Our Lady Chapel at Mount Mary College in Milwaukee, WI. The couple reside in Norway, WI where both are English teachers in area high schools. Andrew Kidd (X01) announces his position as owner of Kidd Graphic Design. Andrew resides in Cedar Rapids.

Stacy and Neal Coleman

where the couple resides.

Stacy Kunert (X03) and Neal Coleman (X03) (pictured above) were united in marriage on August 6, 2011. Neal is employed at Nyemaster Goode Law Firm in Des Moines, IA

Jamie Spoden (X03) and Andrew Lollback were united in marriage on September 2, 2010 in Hawaii. The couple reside in Iowa City, IA.

RyAnne Ridge (X04) joined the Oglethorpe University athletics department as assistant women’s basketball coach. Ridge joins the staff after competing collegiately as a guard at the Division I level for Tulsa and Colorado University. At Xavier, she was a two-time Adidas All-American (02-03) and a honorable mention All-American by Street & Smith.

Xavier Foundation

Stephanie Beer (X04) and Reid DeSotel (X04) (pictured below) were united in marriage on October 1, 2011 in Cedar Rapids, IA. Several Xavier graduates were in attendance including: Back row (from left to right): Clark Hruby (X04), Ben Trueg (X04) Middle (from left to right): Maddy Stephanie and Reid DeSotel Cross, Megan Beer (X08), Sarah Ott, Zach Allyn Front (from left to right): Kristen Reichert, Chris Gierut (X04), Stephanie Beer (X04), Reid DeSotel (X04), Michaela (DeSotel) Gunsaulus (X01) and Jason Beer (X12). Jennifer Petersen (X06) and Jonathan Yuska were united in marriage in June 2011. Jennifer is employed as an RN/BSN at Mercy Medical Center in Cedar Rapids, where the couple resides. Three Xavier class of 2007 alums presented their master’s thesis at St. Ambrose University in November 2011. Meghan McLees, Katie Schreck and Meghan McLees, Katie Schreck, & Leah SchaufenLeah Schaufenbuel buel (pictured above) will receive their Masters in Occupational Therapy in May 2012. The following Xavier alumni and students participated in the St. Jude Parish service trip to Haiti over the summer: Abby Bedard (X11), Kelly Bierman (X12), Braxton Hall (X13), Lauren Kirby (X10), Allisyn Kirby (X08), Nicole Noonan (X12), Jake Schulte (X09), and Chloe Streif (X14). Xavier English instructor Lisa Streif served as an adult chaperone and also participated in the service performed.

We Remember Alumni & Friends Garrett “Gary” Michael (R59) of Cedar Rapids, died August 25, 2011. Gary is survived by siblings Beverly Calvert and Robert Michael; and fiancée Mary Walke. Reverend Henry “Hank” Charipar (R60) of Dubuque, died October 14, 2011. Hank is survived by two brothers Gerald and Karl (L67); and two sisters, Jo Brown and Charlene Stellamaris (R64). Robert “Bob” Harrington (R60) of Cedar Rapids, died September 20, 2011. Robert is survived by his wife, Nancy; six children, Debra Moen-Larson, Denise Moen, Darwin Moen, Dan Moen, Dianne Lerch and Duane Harrington. John Gradoville (R69) of Guttenberg, IA died October 6, 2011. John is survived by his parents, Charley and Ag; his siblings Bob (R64), Mike (R67), Jim (R70), Mary Bennett (R72), Denny (R73), Rich (R78), Bernie (R80), and Brian (R83). He was preceded in death by his brother, Chuck (R65). Ronald DuCharme (R73) of Watkins, died September 14, 2011. Ron is survived by his wife, Wendy Baltisberger; children, Doria Cook, Chelsea Petyrie and Angela Petrie; siblings, Randy (R72), George (R76), Gary (R81), and Victoria Sullivan. John Visek (R73) of West Des Moines, IA died August 29, 2011. Jon is survived by his wife of 35 years, Connie; two daughters, Melissa and Megan; siblings Bob (R61), Brian, Karen (R65), and Diane Dohrmann (R81). Nathan Cline (X99) of Maui, Hawaii died in a helicopter crash on November 10, 2011. Nathan is survived by his new wife, Violeta Escobar (married in Los Angeles, California on September 16, 2011). Sister Thomasita Ross, BVM died April 25, 2011. Thomasita entered the BVM community September 8, 1939 and was professed March 19, 1942. She then began her ministry of some 40 years as an educator in the field of mathematics. Over a lifetime of teaching she influenced hundreds of students with her love of and skill for teaching math.

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P.O. Box 10956 Cedar Rapids, IA 52410-0956

Non-Profit Organization U.S. Postage Paid Cedar Rapids IA Permit No. 353

Return Service Requested Parents: If this issue of the Common Thread is addressed to your son or daughter who has established a permanent residence, please notify us of that new address. Call (319) 378-4571 or e-mail

Jody Ruff

Executive Director

Lynn Jump

Annual Fund Director

Jessica Schneider

Dir. Marketing & Alumni Relations p: 319.378.4571 f: 319.378.2953 e: w:

Board of Directors Officers

Most. Rev. Jerome Hanus, OSB, STL William McCartan Brenda Clancy Conrad Baumler Rev. Philip Thompson Jody Ruff


Gary Becker Ellen Bouchard Michele Busse John Cleavenger Tom Hoffmann Tom Keating Dan Lynch Joe Schimberg Cynthia Sueppel

Board Emeritus Michael Stallman Gary Streit


Xavier To Honor Grandparents on April 11, 2012 Grandparents are the critical link between the promise of the future and the wisdom of the past. Grandparents Day at Xavier High School is a time to recognize the Christian vocation of being a grandparent and honor these special individuals. Grandparents play a particularly important role in today’s society including the role of spiritual guide. The unique relationship and bond grandparents often forge with their grandchildren provides an opportunity for teaching the young people of today to value and achieve spiritual rewards such as love, tolerance, compassion, reverence, joy, peace, gentleness, faith and kindness. On April 11, 2012 Xavier will honor Grandparents with a light breakfast and social followed by a visit with Xavier Principal, Tom Keating before uniting with their grandchildren for Mass. In 2011, more than 300 grandparents and great-grandparents from six different states gathered for the celebration. The light breakfast and social will begin at 8 a.m. on April 11. All grandparents of Xavier High School students are invited to join in the event. For more information about Grandparents Day, contact the Xavier Foundation at 319-378-4571 or


Xavier Foundation Common Thread January 2012  

Xavier Foundation newsletter for alumni, friends, and donors.

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