A LU M N E W S O F X AV I E R H I G H S C H O O L
Celebration of Excellence
In this Issue
The color guard leads the procession at Xavier’s commencement ceremony on June 7th.
6 2007 Commencement Ceremony Members of Xavier’s Class of 2007 were treated to a month of celebration leading up to an elegant commencement ceremony on June 7, 2007 at St. Patrick’s Cathedral.
Kenny Colangelo ’75, Joe Buongiorno ’75, Jim Palumbo ’75, and Peter Colao ’74
11 To Be a “Xavier Legend” When six longtime Xavier teachers announced their retirement last spring, it wasn’t just the end of six teaching careers; it marked a moment in Xavier’s history. Combined, they’ve touched the lives of thousands of graduates, and they will each be deeply missed. Inside, each teacher shares his or her favorite Xavier memories! 24 Reunion Weekend Celebrates Xavier Ties This May’s Reunion Weekend celebrated the Class of 1957, and each class ending in 2s and 7s. Close to 400 guests attended Friday, Saturday and Sunday events. See the full photo spread beginning on page 24.
D E PA R T M E N T S 1 2 3 18
President’s Message From the Headmaster News from the Quad Knights Corner
September 2007 Vol. 10 No. 3
XAVIER HIGH SCHOOL Rev. Daniel J. Gatti, S.J. ’59 President
21 Class Notes 23 Mileposts 24 From the Advancement Office
Helene Strong Parents’ Association Coordinator Barbara Ciulla Advancement Office Manager
Michael LiVigni Headmaster
Norma Piecyk Administrative Assistant to the President and to the VP for Advancement
Office of Advancement and Alumni Relations
Joseph F. Gorski Vice President for Advancement and Alumni Relations Eric Lamar Rivers Director of Annual Giving Michael L. Benigno ’00 Managing Editor of Alumnews Director of Alumni Relations and Public Information Loual Puliafito ’00 Advancement Officer
Lt. Col. Roy Campbell Eric Lamar Rivers Alumnews, the Xavier High School magazine, is published three times a year by Xavier High School. Correspondence and address changes should be mailed to: Alumnews Managing Editor Xavier High School 30 West 16th Street New York, NY 10011-6302 Or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Matt Frank ’97 and Kevin Cuddihy ’86 at this year’s Reunion Gala.
MSG Jones is recognized by Lt. Col. Campbell at St. Patrick’s Cathedral.
Dear Alumni, Parents and Friends,
Patrick C. Keely: Architect of Xavier and of Cathedrals
Another academic year has begun, Xavier’s 161st! What started back in 1847 with Fr. John Larkin’s four classroom school in a church basement in lower Manhattan continues on 16th Street in five joined buildings with over forty cyberspace classrooms we now call “smart.” The buildings themselves have an interesting history, and occasionally yield up some hidden treasures: a painted mural of an athletic scene adjacent to the original gymnasium, dating to 1900; 19th century soda and beer bottles left in the rafters by workmen; and folded pages of a 1924 written Latin assignment, embedded behind a plaster wall. If some of our walls could speak, they might tell of their maker, Xavier’s architect, Patrick Keely. Allow me to speak for our walls in sharing with you their maker’s story. At his death in 1896, Patrick Charles Keely left for posterity some of the most beautiful church edifices in the United States, including cathedrals in more than fifteen dioceses. He was also well known to the Jesuits of Xavier. The design of Xavier’s currently oldest building, dating back to 1862,“39 West 15th Street” (known today as the Lynch Building), was Keely’s. Then over a period of thirty years he did more work at and around Xavier: St. Bernard’s Church on West 14th Street in 1877, the great Church of St. Francis Xavier at 46 West 16th Street, dedicated in 1882, and “the College Building” along 16th Street between the years 1888-1892. Born on August 9, 1816, the son of a Tipperary architect, Keely emigrated from Ireland to America at the age of twenty-six and settled in Brooklyn, where he resided the rest of his life. His first major commission was in 1847, the design for what was to be the Church of Sts. Peter and Paul. He went on to design churches up and down the East Coast and had as a collaborator, his son-in-law, Thomas Houghton, also a distinguished architect. In 1884 Keely was honored by the University of Notre Dame as the second recipient of the Laetare Medal. The first recipient, in 1883, was John Gilmary Shea,“the Father of American Catholic History.”The paths of both men had ironically crossed years before. On July 7, 1862, at the College of St. Francis Xavier’s Commencement, Shea received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree. That Commencement Day also marked the inauguration of the new building at “39 West 15th Street,” a building of architect Keely’s design. The father of a large family, Patrick Keely regarded his talents as a God-given vocation to serve the Church. He attended Mass each morning and for many years was a daily communicant. He died on August 11, 1896, just two days after his 80th birthday. In paying tribute to him, The American Architect in its issue of August 22, 1896 stated: “Among the architects we have to record the deaths of several men of note. Of these the best known was probably Mr. Patrick C. Keely who is said to have designed and built more than 600 Roman Catholic churches in this country, and to have had plans for fifty of them in preparation in his office at once. . . . His best work is probably the Jesuit church, on Sixteenth Street, N.Y.” He was Xavier’s preeminent architect, a treasure in himself, no longer hidden, now revered.
God bless you always,
Rev. Daniel J. Gatti, S.J. ’59 President
Some of the notes on Patrick C. Keely, courtesy of The Tablet, Brooklyn, NY. SEPTEMBER 2007
FROM THE HEADMASTER
A Summer of Xavier Pride Dear Xavier Alumni, Parents and Friends: One of the hallmarks of any Jesuit school is its commitment to teaching students to serve others. In many ways this is at the heart of what we try to teach our students. At Xavier, the Companions of St. Francis Xavier (affectionately known to our students as CFX) helps us to live out this mission by coordinating volunteer and service opportunities over the summer. I had the opportunity to travel with CFX this past July to Tijuana, Mexico, with sixteen teachers and fiftey-three students. Working through Esperanza International, an organization dedicated to giving the people of Tijuana a “hand-up not a hand-out,” we helped build concrete houses for the hardworking people there. I have never been prouder of our young men. They worked eight-hour days in the hot Mexican sun and never once complained. Xavier is getting quite a reputation with Esperanza. The director of the program, Eduardo, told us that they “mark down on the calendar” when Xavier boys are coming so they can get a lot of the prep work done prior to our arrival. Eduardo told us that, unlike the volunteer groups who stop working when they get tired after a day or two, Xavier students can be counted on to work hard the full number of days we spend in Tijuana. The families we helped were moved to tears at the eagerness and politeness of our students and for the great service they rendered. These comments are a testament to the type of young man that comes to Xavier High School: eager, driven, and not afraid to get dirty for a good cause. These are the very same qualities that enabled Xavier to have such a successful year both on and off the athletic field. From football to rugby and from robotics to journalism, Xavier students are excelling at every level. This success is thanks in large part to the help and dedication of our alumni and friends and to the dedicated members of the faculty and staff. This dedication was never more evident than the warm thanks and reception six retiring faculty members received at graduation from the class of 2007 as they were honored for a combined 185 years of service to this school. Xavier will not be the same without them, but it is my hope that the dedication shown by Mr. Woehling, Mr. Moroney, Mrs. Lamour, MSG. Jones, Mr. Iacovone, and Deacon Laurato will be found in the new teachers that will join us in the fall. These young men and women are eager to begin and will bring great gifts of creativity and energy to our school. I look forward to a fresh school new year where every day 945 students will be taught, but, more importantly, will be given the opportunity to grow into men of competence, conscience and compassion.
— SEPTMBER 2007
MIKE LiVIGNI Headmaster
Wrestling Coach Julio Chacon with Jon DiMola ’07.
News from the
IN BRIEF: Xavier’s Varsity Rugby Team was proclaimed national champions after winning big in Salt Lake City, Utah, in May… The Robotics Team was stronger than ever this year, taking first and second place in the New York/New Jersey regional championship competition… Members of the X-Squad drill team were treated like royalty as they were hosted by a church group in Tennessee… The 23rd Annual Golf Outing took place on May 22nd, bringing out dozens of alumni and guests for a great day on the links… The Hawaiian Luau themed Volunteer Reception spiced up the month of June as a thank-you to volunteers who generously gave their time to Xavier this year… This year’s Parent’s Gala Fundraiser was themed the “International Market,” and it was an evening of fun, games and prizes for hundreds of guests!...
Up and Away for Wrestler DiMola ’07 New School Record Set In the world of high school wrestling, one of the more impressive milestones a wrestler can reach is to win 100 matches over the course of four years. This level of achievement has been reached only twice before at Xavier, but in early January at the Msgr. Farrell Ironman Tournament, Jonathan DiMola ’07 accomplished this goal, and his achievement was announced publicly at the tournament. Jon, however, had nine more wins to go in order to break the Xavier record of 108, for most wins in a high school career. By early February’s NYCHSAA wrestling championships he had done exactly that by winning match numbers 109, 110 and 111. He also managed to win gold in his weight class of 135 lbs. DiMola’s wrestling talent allowed him to advance to the New York Catholic School state championships, where he entered the tournament as the number one seed from New York City at 135 lbs. He successfully advanced to the semi-finals by beating the number one seed from upstate, and went on to beat Chaminade High School’s best 135 lb. wrestler 5-1. In the finals, Jon faced a Kellenberg Memorial High School wrestler who was the number one seed from Long Island, in a close match that ended in a 7-2 victory for Kellenberg. After his great season, however, it is not surprising that Jon’s silver in the Catholic States, matching silver at the NYC Mayor’s Cup, and thirty-six wins as a senior put him on the recruiting radar of a number of colleges. Jon will attend Pace University in the fall. A number of Xavier teammates also made Catholic States, including Steven Cabrera ’08, Anthony Cerullo ’10, John Fall ’07, Donovan Fuentes ’10, Patrick Erickson ’09, Anthony Giganti ’08, Elliot Ortiz ’07, with Donovan Fuentes taking third and John Fall fourth in their respective weight classes. Donovan, who stepped off the football field in November and onto the wrestling mats for the first time, managed thirty-two wins this year as a freshman! SEPTEMBER 2007
News from the Quad
XAVIER ROBOTICS WIN REGIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP Xavier’s Robotics Team wrapping up an award-winning season with a successful bout for the New York/New Jersey Regional Autonomous Robotics Championship title, bringing back trophies in both first and second place positions in May. Each February, the Robotics Team holds its own competition at the Xavier Science Fair to share the latest designs and developments with the rest of the school. This year’s event, hosted by Robotics moderator Mr. Michael Chiafulio, drew hundreds of spectators. But in addition to putting on a show, the February competition also gives team members the chance to test their ideas and make improvements before actual school-on-school, regional and national competition. During the competition, each team
is given an identical set of electronics and equipment, with six weeks to build robots for the game. The game changes on a yearly basis and consists of a variety of scoring variables. Each robot must work on its own, without physical manipulation from its designer. Students use lamps to trip a light-sensing component, and each robot must rely on the internal programming it was given during the building process to respond to obstacles and challenges. The team whose robots score the most points in ninety seconds wins the round. “There were actually teams at the regional that could have beaten us, but our boys were just smarter. They improvised and adapted very well. They
changed things up on the fly and adjusted to make sure they beat the better teams,” said Mr. Chiafulio. Xavier’s two teams walked away winning First and Second overall, as well as First place in documentation, head-to-head competition, and the best National Research and Design Website category. Earlier in the year, Xavier entered the Botball National Research and Design contest, given the challenge to create a practical, “green” solution for future agricultural sustainability. Xavier robotics won first place in the nation for their design of a robot-operated skyscraper farm, called the “agtower.” An animated website showcased the students’ designs, and Xavier was granted a $1000 scholarship as a result of their efforts.
For more information, please visit http://faculty.xavierhs.org/chiafuliom/AgBots/ 4
— SEPTEMBER 2007
News from the Quad
Rugby Team Captures National Title The Xavier Varsity Rugby Team clinched the U.S. Rugby High School Championship in Salt Lake City, Utah on Saturday, May 19th, topping three of the nation’s best teams in what was truly a coast-to-coast competition. Xavier’s ruggers defeated Jesuit High School (New Orleans), United U-19 (Provo, UT), and the Los Angeles Cougars rugby team in a victory that was attributed to solid teamwork and strong players in every position on the field. Led by captains John Burke and Ryan McTiernan, both Xavier seniors, the team beat the Cougars 26-0 on Saturday, closing a strong 15-0-1 season in which they competed regionally, as well as internationally. In April, the team completed an exciting trip to Corraise-Nay, France, where they held a 7-2 record while competing against French, U.S., and English teams. Head Coach Mr. Michael Tolkin traveled with the team to Salt Lake City, complete with its twenty-seven members, accompanied by assistant coaches Joe Sweeney ’85, Tim Walsh ’85, Stephen Olsen ’04, and moderator Anthony Paolozzi. Tolkin said the victories in France were great morale boosters for the team, giving them a winning mindset midway through the season. For the past eight consecutive years, Xavier has won the Northeast/East Coast Championship title, but this is the school’s first national title since 1993. “It was great to finish that way because this team really had a lot of heart,” said Coach Tolkin.“They played with a lot of heart and intensity, and they deserved it. We played an all-around complete game, with good talent everywhere on the field.” Asst. Coach Joe Sweeney said the team’s toughness on defense, and fluidity of play impressed other coaches who competed over the weekend.“I think for the guys, it’s great to have the ability to travel to other places and to play on a national stage. For them, it’s just a great experience to see the country and compete successfully. There are very few people that can say they were the best in the country at something.” Four sophomores—Seamus Kelly ’09, Gregory Voigt ’09, Michael Juszczak ’09 and Stephen Sanchez ’09—were accepted to the U.S. National Under-17 team, after trying out among the best rugby players in the country. In addition, Billy Slattery, John Burke and Ryan Wunder made the very selective Under-19 team.
The 2007 Varsity Rugby team after capturing the National title.
Commencement Ceremony The Class of 2007 was the “talk of the town” at the close of the school year as seniors were treated to a number of special events leading up to the June 7th commencement ceremony held at St. Patrick’s Cathedral. At the Baccalaureate Mass on June 2nd, faculty members and administrators processed down the aisle, recognizing the achievements of the senior class at the close of a busy school year. Fr. Gatti celebrated the Mass and bestowed a blessing on the class as they were about to begin the transition from students to alumni. Following the Mass, senior Anthony Perrotto ’07 presented a check to Fr. Gatti on behalf of the Senior Class Gift Committee. The Committee raised
— SEPTEMBER 2007
a total of $3,362 for Xavier, which went toward the purchase and installation of an extended trophy case to house Xavier’s larger sized awards. The Senior Barbecue and Breakfast were two events that brought students together in celebration, and a new addition to the breakfast was the presence of alumni at each student table. A number of generous alumni donated their time to speak about their Xavier experiences and make contact with our soon-to-be graduates. The Senior Prom, held May 25th at the New York Athletic Club was a festive night of dinner and dancing for seniors and their dates. Finally, the family members of 206 graduating seniors filled
St. Patrick’s Cathedral for Xavier’s 165th commencement ceremony. This year, in the place of a commencement speaker, it was fitting to recognize the six “Xavier Legends” who announced their retirement at the close of the 2006-2007 school year. Deacon Vincent Laurato, Mr. Rocco Iacovone, MSG James Jones, Mrs. Grace Lamour, Mr. Brian Moroney, and Mr. Hank Woehling were presented with awards for their many years of service. A number of accomplished seniors were recognized at commencement, including valedictorian, Joseph Caputo, salutatorian, Vincent Russo, and the winner of the Rev. Vincent A. Taylor, S.J. Gold X Award, Anthony Porcelli.
News from the Quad
2007 honorees included: The Rev. Vincent A. Taylor, S.J. Gold X Award – Anthony Porcelli The Gold Medal for General Excellence – Joseph Caputo The Silver Medal for General Excellence – Vincent Russo The Bronze Medal for General Excellence – Matthew Cantirino National Merit Scholarship winner – Connor Gannon The Gates Millennium Scholarship – Yong Xiang Zheng Deacon Laurato recognized for his years of service.
The Christopher L. Fagan Award – Kevin Sammut The George M. Carney and Helen D. Carney Memorial Award – Alejandro Alvarez The Rev. Joseph Latella, S.J. Award – Jose Aquino The Joseph P. Lombardo Memorial Award – Michael Reinhardt The Barney Keller Mathematics Scholarship Award – Matthew E. Sandberg The Matthew J. Burke Memorial Award – John Burke Jesuit Secondary Education Association Certificate – Andrew Nesci and Lawrence Rispoli The Manhattan College Medal – Douglas Moringiello The Silver Medal in Computers and Technology – Jason Attard
CDT/COL Michael Chiaia is honored.
The Silver Medal in Art – Adam Augeri The Silver Medal in Music – Daniel Rosenthal The Modern Language Medal in Spanish – David Brito The Modern Language Medal in Italian – Angelo Mannino The Modern Language Medal in French – Matthew Cantirino The Latin Medal in Memory of Rev. Joseph Shea – Dennis DeVivo The Donald G. Cooke Medal – Jonathan Klay The Bausch and Lomb Science Award – Matthew Cantirino
Anthony Perrotto, presenting the Senior Class Gift.
The Science Medal in Memory of Rev. Hippolytus DeJuynes, S.J. – Joseph Caputo
Joseph Caputo is honored at commencement.
The Campbell Historical Medal – Joseph Caputo The Michael J. O’Donnell Mathematics Award – Joseph Caputo The English Medal in honor of Clarence Ramsey – Matthew Cantirino The Religion Medal in honor of Bridget and Patrick Mooney – Joseph Caputo Hank Woehling recognized for his years of service.
News from the Quad
X A V I E R G O L F S ! Volunteer
Brendan Doyle ’77, Joe Gorski, Kevin McLaughlin ’74 and Rich Scheller ’74
The Westchester Hills Golf Club.
Xavier’s 23rd Annual Golf Outing was held on May 22nd, bringing out close to ninety golfers for a sun-filled spring day of golf, school pride, and good friendship. The outing began fter brunch, with a shotgun start at around 12:30 p.m. as the foursomes took to the links. This was the second year the outing included the Jet Blue Challenge, which gives golfers the chance to win fun prizes like airline tickets, golf merchandise, and even a $50,000 prize for a hole-inone. This year, no golfer took home $50,000, but George Janis P’07 won a pair of round-trip airline tickets when four of the best golfers of the day faced off in a closest-to-the-pin contest. The winner of this year’s putting contest was Dave Anderson ’47, who consistently bested competitors through three rounds of putting. Dinner was served at 6:30 p.m., followed by skill awards, raffle prizes, and a new silent auction. Congratulations to Joe Brogan, the winner of the Golf Trip Raffle!
Reception was a Trip to the Islands
Gentle breezes and soft island music greeted the much appreciated alumni and parent volunteers at this year’s Volunteer Reception. The Advancement Office thanked its volunteers with a Luau complete with special drinks and colorful leis. The buffet included such delights as Duck a l’Orange, Coconut Shrimp, Luau Ham and many more delicious foods. The Commons was designed to look like a Hawaiian island complete with brightly colored birds. Everyone had a great time and the staff was pleased to be able to say Mahalo to its great volunteers.
International Market FUNdraiser Thrills Hundreds of Guests! On Friday, May 11th, the Parents’ Association held its annual FUNdraiser. This year’s theme was “International Market” and Xavier parents, alumni and friends spent four fun-filled hours raising money for the school’s operational expenses. Decorations reflected the many nations from which come our students and alumni. There were sensational raffle prizes in theme booths in the gym, a fabulous Silent Auction in the Commons, and a “play” Casino in the cafeteria! Many people went home with great prizes and the Xavier benefited from the good will and generosity of all.
Parent Volunteers celebrate.
Eric Lamar Rivers poses with Sal Favia P’04, P’06.
— SEPTEMBER 2007
News from the Quad
A Note From the Colonel’s Desk by Lt. Col. Roy Campbell
X-Squad Sees the South
The members of Xavier’s X-Squad were invited to participate in patriotic Memorial Day services at Cornerstone Church in Nashville, TN. Next year’s team nucleus, all juniors and sophomores, received two standing ovations on Sunday morning from a congregation of over 2,600 attendees. They also received a standing ovation at the Saturday evening service in front of about 1,400 souls. Our young men were veritable “rock stars” after the services ended. Throngs of faithful Christian people gathered around to congratulate them. Quite simply, our cadets were overwhelmed—physically, emotionally, and spiritually —by such attention. One sophomore, Giancarlo Rindone, said that “I will never be the same after that!” It was quite a sight to see! I might add that there were quite a few “Southern Belles” eager to speak with our men in Xavier Blue as well. Like our community at Xavier, these God-loving people are truly the salt of the earth. Their genuine level of unabashed patriotism sent chills up my spine on more than one occasion during the services. Awesome! After learning of the community’s 20+ year mission to smuggle Bibles into China, I immediately thought of the missionary work of St. Francis Xavier and our connection with Cornerstone in this way. Pastor Davis told me about his many secret trips to China to bring the Word to the people there. Many in the congregation had been on 10-15 trips each to China! I asked Bill Johnson ’08, our new Cadet in Charge, to describe the life of St. Francis Xavier and Bill’s own experience with our CFX program, and he did so with great enthusiasm. The congregation in Nashville has also built over 2,000 churches in Kenya and has achieved its goal to provide a church home within walking distance of every Kenyan family. Their parish has over 3,000 people who have offered to serve as “prayer warriors” for our boys during Drill Meets. All that they need are the dates and times. Our young men were showered with southern hospitality to the utmost degree, and I can only hope that we will have the opportunity to do the same if these good people find themselves in New York. They gave the cadets gift packages of CDs and Study Bibles, along with a gym bag embroidered with their names, and they paid for all of our expenses. It didn’t cost the cadets a dime! Pastor Davis noted that this was probably the first time in their parish history that “so many Yankees were within the sanctuary at one time!” This has been a wonderful experience for our men, and I could not be more grateful for their superb bearing and conduct. As usual, the men of Xavier bring great credit to our school. Lt. Col. Campbell is Xavier’s Senior Army Instructor.
Xavier has hit a major milestone by reaching an Annual Fund of $2 million. It took Xavier fifteen years to hit $1 million and another ten years to hit $2 million. This could not have been possible without your support and the diligence of the Class Chairs. 865 donors increased their support which accounted for 19% of the entire donor pool. Also, 341 donors were new and 542 donors hadn’t given in at least two years, collectively accounting for 19%. This is astonishing. ANNUAL FUND GROWTH 2000-2007
In order to continue to improve the quality and diversity of education for our students we need your support once again. Our goal for the 2007-2008 is just as ambitious as last year’s goal. With your help we hope to exceed last year’s record-breaking achievement with yet another Annual Fund improvement.As this is Father Gatti’s last year we hope to raise a record amount in honor of his eleven years of serviceand leadership as Xavier’s President. SEPTEMBER 2007
CHECK OUT OUR NEW LOOK! All of our pages have a new design and format! Alumni will notice that many of the features they have grown accustomed to have been upgraded. One of the most asked for features is here: add an event right to your Outlook calendar with a click of a button.
Are you tech savvy? Would you like to be in-charge of your class web site? Don’t be turned away, it is as simple as sending an email. If you are interested please email Loual Puliafito ’00 at email@example.com
S E N D U S YO U R C L A S S N OT E S ! Marriages, births, accomplishments, awards, promotions– we’re always happy to publish the latest news of our alumni in each issue of Alumnews, so please fill out the is form below! The Class Notes section is one of the most-read parts of each magazine, and your notes not only update the Xavier community, but will also help keep our records more accurate. You are also welcomed to send photos, which will be published, space providing*. Please mail this form to Xavier High School, c/o Class Notes Editor, 30 W. 16th Street, New York, NY 10011.
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To teach is to touch lives
forever. Thousands of Xavier students have passed through the classrooms of the six “Xavier Legends” who announced their retirement at the close of the 2006-2007 school year. Combined, Mr. Hank Woehling, Mr. Brian Moroney, Mrs. Grace Lamour, MSG James Jones, Mr. Rocco Iacovone, and Dcn. Vincent Laurato provided 185 years of service to Xavier, and each instructor has selflessly given of him or herself for decades, blending life experience while leading others toward knowledge. A number of sendoffs at Xavier and during the commencement exercises at St. Patrick’s Cathedral allowed the Xavier community to reflect on the impact of these six “Xavier Legends,” who will be missed dearly. SEPTEMBER 2007
Mr. Hank Woehling’s first experience of Xavier took place in 1951, when he enrolled here as a student. The Xavier that Woehling remembers as a 13-year-old is different from the one it is today, or even was when he first began teaching math in the fall of 1963, forty-four years ago. Military order pervaded the institution; speaking in the corridors was prohibited above the ground floor. Woehling said he ran into trouble once in a while, but usually observed the hallway rules. After graduating from Xavier in 1955 Hank attended St. Peter’s College in Jersey City and following his graduation spent eight years serving in the U.S. Army both on active duty and in the reserves, ending his service as a captain. He took a position teaching at Holy Cross High School in Queens, then one day he serendipitously met Joe Caruso, another legendary Xavier teacher, formerly one of Woehling’s own instructors. It was Caruso who suggested that Woehling explore an open teaching position at Xavier. Beginning in the fall of 1963, he learned the art of teaching by imitating influential teachers from his past, including Caruso and Bill “Turkey” Thompson. Hank’s mother was a housewife, while his father ran a steel warehouse, and Woehling’s boisterous personality developed partially as a reaction to the stringent German mannerisms he witnessed in some of the older members of his family. His math classes were littered with stories of Xavier’s history, of military service, and most frequently, of his childhood. They are bizarre, memorable, bold, absurd—all entirely funny. His classes are choreographed: a high kick to the side, more fists than West Side Story; his look, carefully constructed: chalk dust pants, thick white mustache, glass frames falling from his face. For thirty of his forty-four years teaching, Woehling was assigned to freshmen and sophomores. That’s thirty years of giving nicknames to 13- and 14-year-old young men, thirty years of shocked faces, restrained first-day laughter, and sometimes, weeks of watching students adjust to his sense of humor. “I get sidetracked once in a while,”Woehling said.“Sometimes I’ll deliberately tell a story, but sometimes the students will initiate it and get me off on a tangent. If you interject things like that once in a while they pay attention. I think I helped an awful lot of boys through math who may not have gotten through it otherwise.
“Some of them don’t know how to react to me. They don’t know if I’m crazy! They have to figure it out first—really, they don’t know.” Woehling’s zany nicknames followed students around for years, even as they came back as alumni. Growing up, he said, everyone on his block in Queens had a nickname.“It was a crazy Italian-American block. Everybody had to have a nickname. I was such a skinny kid, believe it or not, my nickname was ‘Broomstick.’” From that point as a young man, he started giving everybody nicknames, at Xavier and beyond. At Holy Cross High School, he taught a student with dwarfism named Roach, whose feet, he recalled, did not touch the ground while sitting. It was common practice in class for Woehling to write on the chalk board for a period of time, and then toss the eraser to one of the students in the front row to erase the board. He began to notice that Roach seemed to be feeling left out in the classroom; after all, he was the only student in the front row that could not erase the board because of his height. One afternoon while teaching, Woehling made it a point to write only on the lower part of the board without saying anything to the class. No one seemed to notice, so he tossed the eraser to Roach who quickly walked up to the board, erased the lesson and took a bow. During this episode, the principal of the school happened to be walking by and witnessed what Woehling was doing. Thinking Woehling was mocking the student, the principal accused Hank of cruelty. Woehling’s response was to have the principal hear the student’s perspective.“Roach, come here,” Woehling recalled saying. The principal then asked whether the student liked erasing the board. Roach told the principal that no one at the school had treated him like a regular person except for Hank. It was the last time the principal ever asked Mr. Woehling about it. Hank sees himself “taking it easy” in the future. He enjoys golf and bike riding, and he frequents the bike path beside Fort Totten, near his home in Whitestone, Queens. He has always had a close bond to his daughter and son (who is set to make his 2nd tour in Iraq in a few months), and to his three young grandchildren. “I plan to come back to Xavier and bust some chops,” he said.“I’ll miss this place.”
Hank in recent years, on the dunk tank on Spirit Day.
Hank with family members at his daughter Christy’s wedding.
Brian Moroney It wasn’t until the age of twenty-eight that Mr. Brian Moroney became interested in opera. In fact, by his own account, he had resisted opera all his life. But it was the voice of the great Franco Corelli singing “Panis Angelicus” that changed his life and, one could say, helped create the Brian Moroney thousands of Xavier graduates came to know. Moroney purchased an album one day just by chance, and he was overwhelmed by the beauty of Corelli’s hymns and arias.“This is an amazing, awesome, gorgeous, powerful voice,” Moroney remembers thinking.“I became an opera fan right on the spot.” Few teachers share more of their passions in the classroom than Brian Moroney. His desk is covered with papers, stereo speakers, photographs; his shelves littered with vinyl records
and opera programs. To say that Mr. Moroney jumps at the chance to speak on the things he loves would be too simple a statement. He is inspired and well-spoken, and spreading that excitement has become his way of life for the past forty-three years teaching at Xavier. “Repetition leads itself to boredom unless you learn to love along the way,” he said. Right from the start, Mr. Moroney had difficulty adhering to the teacher typecast. In 1962, he started teaching Engish and French at Brooklyn Prep, but when it came to the English courses, he remembers spending less time on required material than on literature he preferred to focus on. At the end of two years, he got a note saying his services were no longer needed after a departmental reorganization. As an Astoria, Queens, native, Mr. Moroney
attended Bishop Loughlin High School and the only experiences he had with Xavier students were the times he saw them on the subway. He wouldn’t have guessed that he would end up teaching at Xavier one day, nor would he have guessed that he would be hired in the fall of 1964 to teach conversational French and English. Mr. Moroney would teach French for ten years at Xavier, before switching to the fine arts department. He spent ten years teaching a course on performing arts, and it was a step closer to being the teacher he wanted to be. His first opera trip with students took place in 1969. Mr. Moroney remembered the trips an influential colleague at Brooklyn Prep had taken with his own students, and he was motivated to do something about the lack of out-of-school activities he noticed at Xavier. He began to make several trips each year, posting dates in the morning announcements, attracting all sorts of students.“My attitude was that I took ordinary kids,” he said.“There were some artistic kids, but it was open to anyone. You get signatures and you have a prep class and then you go.” Among many of his opera trip participants, Mr. Moroney is famous for his sprints to the 1-train on the way to the Met. Depending on the number of students, extra tickets would be needed, and the only way to secure them in a pinch would be to arrive before the show. Moroney would gather students, then dash down 14th Street in what he imagined must have been quite a spectacle. Since 1983, Mr. Moroney has taught English classes exclusively, a love affair from the first day. “I discovered that every teacher finds a reason why that person is a teacher,” he said. “It took me until the late 1960s before I realized what I could bring to the situation that maybe other people couldn’t. It wasn’t just inside the classroom, and it gave me a sense of urgency about teaching. It was more than just English and French, and as the years went on I became more comfortable in the role of a teacher.” Through his forty-three years at Xavier,
Mr. Moroney said he has particularly enjoyed meeting graduates he hadn’t seen in decades, only to learn that they still recalled the exact performances they attended with him while students. Some even had the chance to see Henry Fonda in Our Town; others saw Helen Hayes. As a result of Mr. Moroney’s work, Xavier is the only Jesuit high school to be a member of the Metropolitan Opera Guild. “There was a time when I was the youngest face at twenty-one, but I didn’t have to spend any extra energy putting on a façade. As I got older, the kids kept looking at me and I’m no longer twenty-one, I’m thirty-one, forty-one, fifty-one. At some point the faculty started having fun with me about my age, too,” Moroney said. In recent years, vocal chord problems forced him to take several leaves of absence. It wasn’t until a trip to a doctor’s office after a relapse this spring, when Mr. Moroney decided he would leave Xavier.“I said if it happens again I will leave—and they call it retiring. I laugh at how fast a person’s life can change in a sense, and how I am so accepting of it even though it is bittersweet. Being needed and being useful is important, and in the future I am going to have to create my own usefulness.” Mr. Moroney has had forty-three Junes, he said, to feel free as a bird, and he anticipates that he won’t feel like anything has changed until September, when classes would usually resume. Still, the next few years are reserved for things he’s put off—traveling to London, and maybe even to Africa. He also plans to catch up on reading, to volunteer, and to get into better shape by going to the gym. In the week after the 2007 graduation, he already had two nights booked to see theater shows. “Receiving the Bellarmine award at St. Patrick’s was an amazing occasion, and in an amazing place. You’re not just saying that these people are leaving and getting this award, but this is why,” Moroney said.“I felt like the king of the world.”
Mr. Moroney introducing his opera trip participants to Leonard Bernstein in the early 1990s.
Grace Lamour In recent years, most students never knew that Mrs. Grace Lamour was the first female faculty member ever employed by Xavier. Many had also heard rumors, but only a few had actual confirmation, that she was, indeed, a Radio City Rockette for a time. Mrs. Lamour’s life inside and out of Xavier is truly full of these fascinating details, and many more about which she is too humble to speak. Growing up on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, Grace’s father was a builder and helped engineer the completion of the Holland and Lincoln tunnels, among other major structures in New York. Her mother graduated from Junior College, but chose to stay home to raise her three daughters and one son, all born within five years. During Grace’s years at Holy Cross Academy,
her dance instructor organized a ballet troupe of four to appear on a children’s television program each Saturday. In addition to that weekly appearance, Grace and the other girls appeared in the Sealtest ice cream commercials and the Ed Sullivan and Perry Como shows. After graduation, the four girls were invited to become Rockettes and, in spite of her parents’ initial protests, Grace’s parents allowed their A-student, oldest daughter to perform for several months before starting college in the fall. She performed several shows a week but despite the glamourous position, Grace remembers that she constantly found herself wishing she was with her friends instead. Following graduation from Finch College, Grace earned a job as a research assistant at Sloan-Kettering Cancer Research Institute. She
worked for a cardiologist and was involved in enzyme studies as well as cryogenics. Grace was inspired and invigorated by her work in science research. She felt engaged by the demands of a career in science and, with the assistance of her father, Grace invented an electrode to perform an EKG test on heart patients while in motion, a technology that evolved into the modern-day stress test. Her first daughter, Jacqueline, was born in 1963, and Grace left Sloan-Kettering to raise her. She accompanied her husband, Hank, a captain in the U.S. Army, to flight school in Alabama. Within 14 months of the birth of her daughter, her son, Hank II, was born as her family traveled to Texas in order for her husband to learn to fly helicopters. She returned to New York as her husband pursued his law degree at Fordham Law School, and gave birth to her youngest daughter, Tiffany. During this time, Mr. Bob Lynch, registrar of Xavier, convinced Grace to interview with Fr.Vincent Duminuco, S.J., then Xavier’s headmaster. She was offered the job but initially turned it down, only to accept the position teaching Biology several days later, when Fr. Duminuco allowed her to have first and last periods free to accommodate her children’s school schedule. Grace started teaching in the fall of 1969, well aware that she was the first female teacher in the school’s 122-year history. Her first class was huge and she wondered about her decision, but she said she fell in love with the students, the Jesuit philosophy and style of education.The balance of discipline at Xavier, along with the presence of strong leaders like Prefect of Discipline Fr. Ed Heavey, S.J. only helped her to adjust. While most of the staff was supportive of her presence and would ultimately become her close friends, there were those who had difficulty with the adjustment. She remembers being chastised for taking a job away from a man. She was also made to feel invisible in the faculty room, as the language of an all-male environment was offensive at times. Guardian angels like Mr. Jim Scott suggested the need for modifying their behavior, and in time helped achieve a balance. At her first faculty meeting, the Xavier legend in his own right, Leo Paquin, saw her walk into the room looking confused as she looked for a place to sit. He quickly guided her toward a seat next to him and continued the practice at every faculty meeting until he left Xavier. During one of her first years, a less supportive faculty member brought in a cat that was allowed to freely roam the floor and classrooms on the fifth floor for several weeks, fully aware that Grace was
highly allergic to cats. Her eyes would be swollen and irritated, and she needed medication for asthma, but she refused to complain. Eventually, Mr. Frank Gregory, longtime dean of students at Xavier, questioned her about her red eyes and she explained about her allergy to cats. As Mrs. Lamour recalls, Mr. Gregory asked whether other staff members knew that she was allergic, and when she said “yes,” he went upstairs and she never saw the cat again. “If I took these episodes to heart, it would have probably crippled me,”she said.The students during her first years saw what she was going through, but instead of antagonizing her during times of struggle, they often went out of their way to show their support.“They really gave me a brighter, positive side to see beyond the antics. I really do believe that I stayed here because of the absolutely wonderful students at Xavier and the friendships that grew with many members of the faculty.” Grace’s tenure at Xavier has lasted for 38 years, and she became a staple in the Kane Building’s science classrooms. Her personal life was also highly tied to the school as Grace’s son, Hank, attended Xavier as an honors student from 1978-1982, playing soccer, football and rugby. Her daughter, Jacqueline, was a cheerleader for Xavier, eventually returning to teach here for two years. Her youngest daughter, Tiffany, was a captain of the cheerleading team, as well. Her daughters have given her two wonderful grandchildren, Drew and Victoria. Grace will be forever considered a pioneer at Xavier and an has been an excellent example for the many other faculty members there are today. Her other accomplishments include serving as Chair of the Science Department for sixteen years. She considers the twenty years of coaching and moderating the female cheerleaders her gift in support of Xavier’s talented athletes. She introduced the New York State Science Honors Society to Xavier, and served on the Board of Governors. The Medical Science Club, the Science Journal, the Oesteichthyes Society and the Earth Day Project with Central Park Conservancy are all projects that grew within the NYSSHS under her supervision. Grace’s life after Xavier promises to be as rewarding as it was before Xavier. She plans to continue dedicating time to the Park Avenue Armory and the East Side Settlement House, where she is a member of the Board of Trustees. Also, she looks forward to spending more time with her family at her beach house in Ocean Grove, NJ. She said that whichever pathway she follows in the future, she will always carry in her heart the “superstars” that she has had the honor of teaching for the past thrity-eight years.
Grace at age 15, dressed for a television production.
Grace with her daughter, Jacqueline, and son, Hank II.
Grace with her grandson, Drew, in Ocean Grove, NJ.
MSG James Jones
MSG James Jones has brought a bit of Southern charm to Xavier since the fall of 1986. Born in Wadley, Georgia, he attended Savannah State College before moving North to take a job as a machinist in a Brooklyn factory. Jim is the middle child of five, and he was the first in his family to serve the armed forces. He and his wife, Estella, married in December of 1961 while living in New York, but they went on to live in Fort Bragg, NC and later in Germany. MSG Jones served the U.S. Army as part of the only Airborne Mechanized Infantry Unit in the world, and his unit developed ways to deploy troops and equipment to remote locations. As a Master Sergeant, Jones taught at the same Army Ranger school that he had attended at a time, and in June of 1986, he retired form the army after twenty-four years of service. Although he originally intended to become a corrections officer after retirement, on the occasion of a job fair, an acquaintance spoke about an opening at Xavier, a school he had come to know while occasionally serving as a judge at some of the drill meets Xavier’s Regiment participated in at the old 14th Street Armory. During the Alumni Farewell to Xavier Faculty Legends reception in June, the MSG Jones recalled his initial interview with Fr. Sullivan, then Xavier’s headmaster. Following their conversation, a miscommunication between the MSG and Fr. Sullivan resulted in the MSG apparently not showing up for work until two weeks after he was set to start! When Jim did start teaching military science at Xavier in the fall of 1986, the ranks stood at a little over 200 cadets, and the Regiment had lost its Gold Star status. Within a year, the Regiment regained the Gold Star, bringing the program back to the level of some of the best JROTC programs in the country. “The biggest challenge was to urge cadets to accept responsibility,” MSG Jones said, and his impeccable attention to detail set a high standard that is noticed by cadets, alumni, and instructors alike. Through his years here, he required that Xavier’s cadets take the program seriously, pushing leadership qualities to the forefront. The JROTC has grown to highest number of cadets it has had since the program went optional in the fall of 1971. Today, 354 students make up the Xavier Regiment, and there are three full-time instructors. During the past two years, approximately 55-60% of the freshman class have opted to stay in the program.
MSG Jones’ dedication was witnessed daily by members of the X-Squad drill team. Each morning, he would rise at 4 a.m. to begin a 90minute bus commute from his home in southern New Jersey so that he would be on time to supervise morning drill with the team members. Working with students and their families not only in the capacity of a teacher, but also as a mentor, has brought meaning to MSG Jones’ career at Xavier. For years, alumni visiting the school have made the military science office a regular stop on their tour, updating the MSG on their lives and, many times, their military career.“I have a lot of people that make me happy now,” he said, emphasizing the pride he feels when graduates attribute their current success in part to the experience they had in Xavier’s JROTC program. “MSG Jones’ authoritative Georgia drawl captivated the men of the Regiment for twentyone years,” writes Lt. Col Roy Campbell, Senior Army Instructor of Xavier’s Regiment.“His commanding presence inspired Xavier cadets to excellence in leadership and citizenship skills. His imposing classroom bearing, his grace, and his wit were legendary attributes for generations of Xavier cadets. In short, MSG Jones was one of the most loved and respected military instructors in the annals of Xavier Regimental history.” MSG Jones said he wishes to travel following his retirement, in the U.S. and beyond. He also added that he plans to return to Xavier as often as possible, especially for the annual Beefsteak Dinner, each January.
Mr. Rocco Iacovone’s first afternoon at Xavier began with a vision. The school that he and Fr. Ken Boller, S.J., Xavier’s headmaster at the time, saw was a place where education was always tied closely with the arts, one that would have, among other things, a legitimate band supported by the students, faculty and administration. A full-time band instructor would build the band from the ground up, bringing forth an atmosphere of creative expression, and a forum where students could learn a new craft. Rocco Iacovone was the person given exactly that task. Coming from a musically inclined family in Greenwich Village, Rocco studied the accordion while a grammar school student, and he went on to take up the banjo and ukulele. His love for alto saxophone did not begin until after he graduated as a member of Xavier’s Class of 1962. Rocco went on to receive two degrees at Hunter College, including a Masters degree in Music Composition. His musical career was beginning to take shape, and he spent over a decade traveling on the road, playing in different groups and solo while holding teaching stints at St. Joseph’s and St. James, in Manhattan, as well as junior high schools in Northern California and Queens. At the same time, he wrote several arrangements for Hansen Music Publishing. In the fall of 1987, the band at Xavier was comprised of six students, but extended interest was immediately obvious to Rocco.“I had a homeroom my first year here, and just about 99% of those kids wanted to be in the band,” he said.“I took them in and we built the band together and that was really a bonding experience. I was always open to whatever their ideas were.”The first group of band members foreshadowed what the Blue Night Band would go on to become, a group of young men from different backgrounds with varying degrees of musical experience pooled together to form a fun, skilled group of musicians. His work at Xavier took on the role of extracting creativity, working with many personalities in a comfortable environment. “Each member has always been very different, and in order to get that pure music from them you have to take care of the whole student without prying.” Interest in the band began to snowball immediately, and by the end of the first year a number of school and public concerts were organized—an annual rotation that grew to over ten shows a year.
“When you’re doing something like music you are baring something so intimate,” Mr. Iacovone said.“You really shed all the nonsense, and I think that’s part of the job of any good director, band leader, or band member— to get right to the essence of the music.” Today, Xavier’s fine arts department has grown to a total of four full-time faculty members, and the Blue Night Band has gone from six students to over 35 students from all years, including twenty freshmen. Rocco went on to serve as chair of the fine arts department, and his work with the band brought them to Alaska, Mexico, Santo Domingo, Florida, Montreal, New Orleans, and Washington, D.C., building a network of musical contacts while playing for all those who will listen. They also perform alongside the Xavier’s JROTC Regiment at the St. Patrick’s and Columbus Day Parades. “My years here have been tremendously fulfilling,” Mr. Iacovone said.“I had to really learn my craft because what existed in my head before, I had to actually put into words and explain. I learned a lot from the kids.” After retiring, Rocco and his wife, Denise Iacovone (current chair of Xavier’s fine arts department!) traveled to Talkeetna, Alaska, as they have done for nine summers now to spend time writing, relaxing and playing at a small circuit of clubs and restaurants. His full-time band, the Rocco John Group, recently completed a jazz residency in Alaska funded by a grant from Chamber Music America. Rocco and the group brought music to several underserved rural communities, enlisting twenty-nine residents into a jazz orchestra and putting on a concert. The Rocco John Group plays extensively in Greenwich Village and throughout New York. Their most recent release, Don’t Wait Too Long (June, 2007), received great reviews! Finally, a Blue Night alumni band—“The Band of Brothers”—is already in the process of being formed, and “Mr. I” wishes to invite all former band members to come back to play once again. To accommodate busy schedules, the group will be open to graduates of all ages who will be able to choose which points in the year they would participate. “It will be a great way to allow all former band members to be together again,” Mr. Iacovone wrote from Alaska this summer. “It keeps ties to Xavier, and it’s actually “Men for Others” in action after high school.”
The Rocco John Group
Deacon Vincent Laurato The transcript of a speech changed Dcn. Vincent Laurato’s life. In 1988, Deacon Laurato was vice-president of a Manhattan-based banking corporation, and as an executive he would normally receive copies of speeches given by other high-ups within the bank. It was in early 1983 that the financial industry, in a speech, proclaimed “that the banking industry or any profitmaking enterprise could no longer afford to be people-oriented, but bottom-line driven. ” If there was a way to reach the same goal with fewer people, it didn’t matter whether an employee had five months or twenty-five years of experience- the most economical choice would be to do with less staff. “That scared me,” Deacon Laurato admitted. “In terms of the values that people were
embracing, it had all the earmarks of what was going to be the new tone of doing business in the market place, it was a tone that had all the echoes of “extremely high greed.” After twenty-six years working in the banking industry, the ordained Catholic deacon and a former U.S. Air Force chaplain’s assistant decided it was time to go. Coupled with the early signs of coronary heart disease and the need for a quintuple bypass operation, 1989 marked the end of Deacon Laurato, bank vice-president, and the beginning of Deacon Laurato, religion teacher. Growing up the youngest of four children to Italian immigrants on the Upper East Side, Deacon Laurato attended grammar school at St. Ignatius of Loyola School. At first he said he felt out of place in what was then a seemingly
strange atmosphere, living a distance away from the school, which is located on 83rd Street. He could just barely speak English at the time, but due to the kindness and care of several Jesuits and the Sisters of Charity who taught at St. Ignatius, Deacon began to realize and challenge his limitations and to overcome them one by one. After completing elementary school, Deacon wanted to attend Xavier, but due to rough times financially, he attended Cardinal Hayes High School instead. While a student at Hayes, he continued to feel more comfortable speaking English, and he participated in the debate team while earning an income by selling copies of the New York Times each morning in the school’s corridors and working in the afternoon in the mailroom of a publishing company. Ironically, during high school, in Italian class, someone had once asked whether Deacon would ever consider becoming a religion teacher—it was a young Martin Scorcese, a son of Italian immigrants himself, and one of Deacon’s Cardinal Hayes classmates. Prior to coming to Xavier, Deacon Laurato had taught CCD and adult education courses in his home parish of St. Barnabas in the Bronx, as well as teaching candidates for the Permanent Diaconate at St. Joseph’s Seminary, in Dunwoodie, Yonkers. In Deacon Laurato’s own words, his first year teaching at Xavier was “traumatic and dramatic.” By his second week, he was ready to quit. High school in the early 1980s seemed so different than what he had remembered from his own experiences. On the morning of the second Friday of the school year, he announced that he would be leaving. Fr. Russell Sloun, S.J., then Xavier’s assistant headmaster, asked that Deacon come back to his office at the end of the day.“You’ve been a manager in the business world,” Fr. Sloun told him.“You are the boss in your classroom, you’re free to manage. You set the tone. Now come back on Monday and manage, but only this time you’re not going to manage salaries, but you’ll manage their ability to learn and to relate, to make connections.” Deacon Laurato would go on to spend nineteen years—another career in itself—helping Xavier sophomores, juniors and seniors to learn and to relate- to find God in all things. It was rare that a student could sit in Deacon’s classroom for even one week at the start of the school year without sensing the urgency with which he taught. In recent years, he taught courses on world religions, social justice and on the Christian faith and morality.
His time at Xavier has always stood in stark contrast to his previous career. It was in 1994, that he received a grace, namely that of the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius Loyola. With the guidance of Fr. Henry Zenorini, S.J, he was led through an experience that truly helped him to find God in all things: to seek Him in the classroom, in the students he taught, in his colleagues, in the daily preparations for class, in reflection, meditation and prayer, in worship and most importantly, in himself. It is the experience that has remained with him and continues to do so as he leaves Xavier, a place he found so imbued with the spirit of St. Ignatius of Loyola and its patron, St. Francis Xavier. He has honed the ability to share the connections between his past and its relationship to social justice.“The exercises have helped me in teaching, in ministry, and to be a better person.” From 2004-2007, he served as director of campus ministry, mentoring seniors during their Christian Service terms and coordinating the religious activities of the entire student population. As part of his ministry in his home parish, Deacon Laurato helps people who are seeking annulments, directs the RCIA program, serves as co-chair of the parish’s evangelization program, gives pre-baptismal classes for those seeking to have their children baptized, and assists couples preparing for marriage. He also will continue to teach in the Permanent Diaconate program at St. Joseph’s Seminary, in Yonkers. As for leaving Xavier, Deacon Laurato says, “This is not retirement.”“I don’t like the word. I think it’s a negative word, it’s a misnomer. Even though you’re leaving what one might consider a major part of one’s vocation, it becomes an opportunity and a means to continue to do God’s will. One never retires from the Lord’s presence; I can only continue to thank God for allowing me to stand in his presence and serve him.”This is the reason that Deacon came to Xavier as a deacon, which quite literally means “servant.” And he said it is the very reason that he now leaves Xavier, to continue in that ministry of service that he was called to at his ordination just over 30 years ago. Deacon Laurato considers his leaving Xavier as a point of moving on. In the future, he plans to continue ministry in his parish, to continue teaching, and he also plans to travel to Ireland and England. Finally, he said he looks forward to spending quality time with his wife, Carol, his daughters Christina, Carol-Ann, and Regina, and his first granddaughter, Abigail Rose! SEPTEMBER 2007
Reunion Gala 2007
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May 4th and 5th marked the festive 50th Reunion Weekend for Xavier’s Class of 1957, beginning with a private dinner at the Union League Club attended by over 100 alumni and guests. Friday night was also a night of celebration for the Class of 1947, which held a private dinner at the New York Athletic Club, the Class of 1962, which dined at Moran’s Restaurant, and the Class of 2002, which gathered at M.J. Armstrong’s Pub! On Saturday, at 3:45 p.m. at the Church of St. Francis Xavier, the reunion festivities began for all classes ending in 2s and 7s with a memorial Mass, followed by school tours, and cocktail receptions by class, grouped around the school building. The 24
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evening culminated with a sit-down dinner in the school’s gymnasium, attended by close to 400 alumni and guests who heard from Joe Gorski, vice president for advancement and alumni relations, and Fr. Dan Gatti, ’59, Xavier’s president. Members of the Class of 1957 Reunion Committee presented Fr. Gatti with a $63,000 contribution to the annual fund. As a special treat, during their cocktail hour, the Class of ’57 posed with a life-sized cardboard cutout of the famed Fr. Charles Lehmkuhl, S.J., prefect of discipline from 1951–1956. Many thanks go to those graduates and their guests who joined us on Reunion Weekend, and to those who helped plan individual class-year events.
Class Notes 1948 Anthony J. Panuccio wrote in to update the Xavier community: After graduating from the Citadel in 1952, Anthony helped run his family steel business, worked in real estate, and even ran for U.S. Congress in 1978. Even after retiring in 1999, Anthony began working again in 2006. 1949 Fr. Tom O’Brien will celebrate his 50th year as a diocesan priest. 1959 Michael Toner and Frank Buongiorno ’61 swam from the island of Lanai to the island of Maui in the Maui Channel Relay Race. 1963 Ernie Dewald spent two weeks in the Gulfport, MS, working as a forensic dentist following Hurricane Katrina. 1964 Bob Donnelly is combining his law practice with the entertainment department of the Midwest firm named Lommen, Ado, Cole, King & Stageberg. William Lundy runs the Chester House Inn, a seven-room bed & breakfast, in Chester, VT, 1968 Carl Hoffmeyer has written a book about Pope Pius XII. 1972 Thomas M. Flynn accepted a position as National Sales Director at Golf Digest Digital.
1973 Bob Wilke is the on-site manager for the additions being made to the Holy Name Hospital in Teaneck, NJ. 1977 Matthew Frank was named “Mr. December” in the 3rd Annual Accountants of New Jersey Calendar for 2007. 1983 William Olsen recently accepted the position of a Senior Sales Executive for a software financial services firm specializing in commodities and financial derivatives trading. 1991 Peter Kullman is a sales manager for the New York Giants. 1993 Richard Menziuso, a CPA working for PricewaterhouseCoopers, lives with his beautiful wife in Metuchen, NJ and is expecting the birth of their child in September. 1996 Gregory Morison has completed his studies at the Naval Justice School in Newport, RI and has been assigned to the Naval Legal Service Office at the Kitsap-Bangor Naval Base in the state of Washington.
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Rob was given leave to attend the birth of his baby boy, Alexander Marcos Suarez, who was born on February 23, 2007.
1997 Donald Hooper recently published a book titled “Lenox Lizzard and the Kukumacka Duppy.” 2002 Brian Byrd was recently dispatched for boot camp in the U.S. Navy. 2003 Joseph Guster interned for the public relations department for the New York Rangers during the spring 2007 semester. He graduated magna cum laude from St. John’s University in May.
Brian Purnell graduated with honors from Fordham University and has earned his PhD. in American studies from New York University.
On Sunday Nov. 13, 1966, the Xavier Varsity Football Team played the undefeated Msgr. Farrell High School team from Staten Island, which had won 15 consecutive games. At the time, all the local newspapers had Farrell heavily favored. In fact, during the match up just a year earlier, Farrell had won by a score of 42-0. When the dust had finally settled at Downing Stadium, Randall’s Island, late that Sunday afternoon Xavier had recorded what had to be the biggest upset that year in any football game in the city. Leading 15-13 at halftime, the Kaydets went on to complete a 29-19 defeat of the Lions! The following Monday morning’s Staten Island newspapers led with the headline “Lions Shocked by Xavier 29-19.” On Saturday, October 28, 2006, the 1966 team was honored by a group of Xavier football alumni at the Xavier/Moore Catholic game, won by Xavier 41-0. Ironically, Moore Catholic is also from Staten Island.
Robert Suarez ’86 is currenly serving in Ninewah and Kurdistan as a 1LT Suarez for the 144MP Company. He works with Iraqi leaders, and conducts Police operations to eliminate terrorism.
Standing, from left to right: Roger McTiernan ’69, Bill Montanaro ’67, Joe Garvey ’67, Chris Stephens ’83 (current Xavier Varsity Football coach), Joe Cervini ’67, and George Dwyer ’67. Seated, from left to right: Jim Rich ’67, Tom Lyons ’67, John Murray ’67, Jim Angelone ’67, and John Weber ’67. From left to right: George Dwyer ’67, John Weber ’67, Tom Lyons ’67, John Murray ’67, Kevin Regan ’68, Joe Garvey ’67, Bill Montanaro ’67, Jim Angelone ’67, Joe Cervini ’67, and to this day the “#1 Fan,” Jim Rich ’67.
Mileposts IN MEMORIAM Rev. William J. McGowan, S.J. , was born in Brooklyn on September 3, 1931, and was a graduate of Brooklyn Prep. On July 30, 1949, he entered the Society at St. Andrew-onHudson in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., where he made both his novitiate and juniorate studies before beginning his philosophy studies at Bellarmine College in Plattsburgh, N.Y. Fr. McGowan was assigned a sophomore year homeroom class at St. Peter’s Prep, and it would be the first of several positions in high schools for him. Fr. McGowan studied theology at Woodstock College in Maryland and was ordained in the Fordham University Chapel on June 21, 1962. After his fourth year studying theology at Woodstock and tertianship at Auriesville, he took a position at Xavier serving as a guidance counselor. Eventually, Fr. McGowan became Xavier’s director of college admissions, guiding countless Xavier seniors through the college application process with a wealth of knowledge and a stern sense of humor that made him famous at Xavier for over 40 years. Over the course of the last 10 years or so, Fr. McGowan’s health began to decline and he had a number of stays in the hospital. In 2001, he joined Xavier’s Advancement Office until his increasing debility forced him to leave Xavier in 2004 and retire to the N.Y. Province health care center at Murray-Weigel Hall, on the Fordham Bronx Campus. Fr. McGowan died on April 29, 2007 and will be forever remembered in the hearts of thousands of Xavier graduates and the entire community.
DEATHS Alumni George H. Burger ’29, December 1, 2006 Rev. Herbert Rogers, SJ ’30, March 3, 2007 Edward F. Shallow ’30, March 3, 2007 Charles G. McCormick ’33, May 11, 2007 John T. Gilbride ’34, March 31, 2007 William J. Hannan ’34, April 21, 2007 John A. Hobbs ’34, February 3, 2007 Vincent P. Bryan ’36, June 8, 2006 Joseph E. Murphy ’36, January 27, 2007 James J. Rogers ’36, February 6, 2007 John J. Linney ’39, April 9, 2006 James F. Connell ’40, February 20, 2007 Harry D. Bucalo ’41, February 25, 2007 Raymond A. Wiley ’42, January 30, 2007 Joseph A. Mulvihill ’44, February 25, 2007 Eugene J. Rooney ’44, December 26, 2005 Paul F. Cogan ’45, March 27, 2007 John D. Herold ’46, March 16, 2007 Robert P. McCarthy ’46, May 2, 2007 John M. Thull ’46, February 12, 2007 William F. Gilligan ’47, September 27, 2005 T. Eugene Malone ’47, February 13, 2007 Edward F. Oppasser ’49, February 11, 2007 Vito Cioffero ’52, March 2, 2006
Family John J. Giovanelli ’52, April 20, 2007 Raymond P. Griffin ’52, March 30, 2007 Gerald F. Cerchio ’53, February 27, 2006 Joseph F. Imperato ’53, October 12, 2006 William S. Busch ’54, December 20, 2006 Thomas A. McGrath ’54, March 15, 2007 Thomas T. Kennedy ’55, February 23, 2007 Michael P. Gabrian ‘57, November 23, 2006 Henry E. Martone ’58, August 28, 2006 Thomas R. Gabrielli ’59, November 18, 2006 John A. Cianci ’60, April 11, 2007 Angelo S. Gambino ’60, October 17, 2006 Arthur C. Williams, Jr. ’61, April 2, 2006 John D. Grant ’64, March 2007 Thomas E. Moisan ’66, July 30, 2006 Robert E. Langford ’67, September 5, 2005 James Wight ’71, April 20, 2007 Kevin J. McDermott ’72, April 11, 2007 John Machado ’80, March 5, 2007
Friends Eugene Burpoe, father of John Burpoe, former Xavier faculty member, January 18, 2007 William J. McGowan, Xavier faculty member, April 29, 2007
BIRTHS Catherine Elizabeth Connolly, Nov. 25, 2006 Maryellen and Joseph H. Connolly ’87 Cooper Ryan Kullman, December 11, 2006 Amy and Peter Kullman ’91 Annaliese Mosco, March 14, 2007 Michelle and Frank Mosco ’89
Barth J. Belli, mother of Gregory ’69, Charles ’71, and William ’73, March 31, 2007 Anna Chupa, grandmother of Matther Mohorovich ’04, February 9, 2007 David Corcoran, son of E. Peter Corcoran ’46, April 6, 2007 Louise Dantuono, grandmother of Matthew Kopp ’10, February 28, 2007 Myra Kovalchick, mother of Christopher ’00 and Nicholas ’05, March 13, 2007 Clare M. Pope, mother of Francis J. ’90, April 27, 2007 Thomas P. Reilly, father of Mark Reilly ’86, March 20, 2007 Lilly-Ann Rippon, mother of Stephen ’76, Christopher ’78, and Damian ’83, May 2, 2007 Alexander H. Whiteaker, father of Alexander Whiteaker ’09, May 17, 2007
WEDDINGS John P. Reilly, August 20, 2006 Patricia and Mark Reilly ’86 Robert Shabouk, May 21, 2006 Leah and Joseph Shabouk ’01
Richard Buttikha ’87 and Sara Epperlein, May 5, 2007 Wayne Quacinelli ’83 and Lisa Pirrone, May 2, 2004
Due to limitations, notices receivedafter late May 2007 will appear in the next issue of Alumnews.
FROM THE ADVANCEMENT OFFICE
JOE GORSKI Vice President for Advancement
— SEPTMBER 2007
As I write this, it is a typical summer’s day at Xavier. The weather is hot and humid and the building is quiet as it approaches 3:00 PM. The HAP Program has ended for the day and with it the frenetic physical activity in the quad, the commons, the gym and elsewhere throughout the school buildings that makes each of these summer afternoons a precursor of the beginning of the 2007–2008 school year which is fast approaching. The quiet has allowed me to reflect on the just completed fiscal year of 2007. It has been a year of milestones. Xavier High School celebrated the completion of its 160th year as an independent Jesuit, Catholic College Preparatory School dedicated to providing a rigorous and challenging education to young men of promise from the New York Metro area. As a community we celebrated the retirement of six Xavier teachers (the Legends featured in this issue of Alumnews) who have spent a combined 185 years of their lives dedicated to teaching students beginning with the class of 1964 and ending this past June. In fundraising, the annual fund program completed its 25th year and not only reached but exceeded the $2,000,000 mark for the first time. It took 15 years to surpass the $1,000,000 mark (during our sesquicentennial year of 1997), but thanks to the generosity of alumni, parents and friends, only ten additional years to reach our current level. We are very grateful to all of you for your support of Xavier’s mission. During this past year we have also added several events to our reception schedule that will hopefully better serve our varied constituencies. To increase our number of alumni class leaders we have instituted “leadership seminars” on a quarterly basis for members of alumni classes who are interested in becoming more involved in the daily workings of the school. Attendees are encouraged to explore such options of becoming involved as class chairs, class agents, phonathon volunteers or event committee members for our golf outing, basketball tournament, briefcase breakfasts, Bar Association and the like. To attract younger alumni back to the school, we established new events including the Pittaluga Alumni 3 on 3 Basketball Tournament and a series of Briefcase Breakfasts designed to encourage networking among Xavier graduates.We have also created a minority alumni council, which now meets on a bi-monthly basis, to mentor minority students at Xavier, to encourage minority graduates to more frequently attend Xavier events such as the Beefsteak Dinner and the Reunion Gala and to become more involved within the leadership of their classes. Finally, we had our first scholarship reception this past March in the Meditz Family Library Learning Center. The evening reception brought scholarship and financial aid recipients and their parents together with the donors who have provided the funds that have made it possible for these students to attend Xavier. It was a wonderful evening, a night of shared experiences, shared hopes and dreams, shared food and drink and a shared appreciation and thankfulness for the opportunities offered to these young men of Xavier and for the shared satisfaction of the “men and women for others” who made them possible. We thank all of you for making this past year such a successful one. We look forward to your continued participation in all things Xavier as we build on those successes throughout the coming school year and well into the future.
Explore your legacy.
& click on Planned Giving Advice.
Charitable gifts usually bring to mind writing out a check. This outright form of giving provides the personal satisfaction that comes with supporting a cause that you believe in—plus you receive the financial benefit of charitable deduction on your income tax return. But there’s another type of charitable giving known as “planned giving” that can provide you with even more benefits. Planned gifts are generally deferred until after your lifetime, yet you still receive a current tax break for them. Do you have questions about estate planning? Planned giving? Your will? Each month, Xavier’s alumni website features new articles and interactive features that cover such topics. We hope it will be a useful resource for you.
Make a Gift With Perennial Benefits True immortality is an impossible dream. But if you’d like to be remembered in perpetuity, consider creating an endowment in your own name.
The Best Is Yet to Come…Will You Be Ready? It’s not uncommon to think of retirement as a long vacation…the opportunity to relax and enjoy the things you never had time for during your working years.
Taxpayer’s Deduction Sinks With His Boat If you give a car, boat or other vehicle to a charitable organization, in most cases your tax deduction is limited to the amount of cash the organization receives when it later sells the vehicle.
& click on Planned Giving Advice.
Xavier Society and Loyola Associates Reception September 19, 2007 President’s Reception September 25, 2007 Maroon and Blue Day September 28, 2007 President’s Dinner October 4, 2007 Parent’s Phonathon October 15-18, 2007 Xavier High School Open House October 27, 2007 Career Day November 9, 2007 Young Alumni Luncheon and Rally November 21, 2007 Philadelphia Alumni Reception December 4, 2007 Washington, D.C. Alumni Reception December 5, 2007
Class of 2007 Reunion January 3, 2008
Winter Drama January 4, 2008–January 6, 2008 Beefsteak Dinner January 18, 2008 Alumni Phonathon February 4 2008– February 7, 2008; February 11, 2008– February 13, 2008 Florida Receptions February 28, 2008– March 7, 2008 Danny Pittaluga Memorial Basketball Tournament March 15, 2008 Boston Alumni Reception March 27, 2008 Parents Gala Fundraiser April 25, 2008 Reunion Gala and Dinner May 2 and 3, 2008 Golf Outing May 20, 2008 Baccalaureate Mass and Dinner June 7, 2008
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