Page 1


Saving Lives


In this Issue

The “Octopus” and the “Starfish,” along with several of our notable Xavier doctors.

16 My Heart is in Your [Plastic] Hands Dr. Joseph McGinn ’73 explains how the use of modern tools made Off-Pump Coronary Artery Bypass surgery a viable choice for thousands of patients that might otherwise be deemed inoperable. 20 Beyond Skin Deep Dr. Dom Gadaleta ’78 sees patients that are desperate to do something about their weight on a daily basis, but it’s sometimes a struggle to help them view Morbid Obesity as more than just a physical problem. 22 Xavier Knights and Neuroblastoma When the daughter of Bill Kelly ’91 was diagnosed with a rare form of pediatric cancer, he had no idea the search for a physician would lead him to another Xavier graduate. 24 Fifty Years in Mexico Rev. Thomas Lavelle ’43 left Xavier with such a profound view of service that he knew he would do anything to have an impact on others—even if it meant giving his life.


James Cronin '08 is fitted with the Knight costume on Maroon and Blue Day.

D E PA R T M E N T S 1 2 3 26

President’s Message From the Headmaster News from the Quad ReuKnighted

February 2008 Vol. 11 No. 1

XAVIER HIGH SCHOOL Rev. Daniel J. Gatti, S.J. ’59 President Michael LiVigni Headmaster

Office of Advancement and Alumni Relations Joseph F. Gorski Vice President for Advancement and Alumni Relations Eric Lamar Rivers Director of Annual Giving

27 Class Notes 29 Mileposts 24 From the Advancement Office

Barbara Ciulla Advancement Office Manager Norma Piecyk Administrative Assistant to the President and to the VP for Advancement

Contributing Writers Mr. Richard Duffell Benjamin Hamm Eric Lamar Rivers Loual Puliafito ’00

Maroon and Blue Day filled the street with fun!

Photography Anthony Gochal ’08 Paul Rindone P ’09 Loual Puliafito ’00

Michael L. Benigno ’00 Managing Editor of Alumnews Director of Alumni Relations and Public Information

Alumnews, the Xavier High School magazine, is published three times a year by Xavier High School.

Loual Puliafito ’00 Advancement Officer

Correspondence and address changes should be mailed to: Alumnews Managing Editor Xavier High School 30 West 16th Street New York, NY 10011-6302

Helene Strong Parents’ Association Coordinator


Or by email to


The 2007 Turkey Bowl capped off a championship season for the Knights.


“Christmas at Xavier” December 21, 2007 Mass in the Church of St. Francis Xavier Homily by Rev. Daniel J. Gatti, S.J. The Internet is a marvelous thing, and so is the mighty search engine Google. An offshoot of Google is Google Earth. Have you been there lately? Well, let’s all take a trip there together. Click, and there’s planet earth, the beautiful blue planet, turning and floating in cyberspace, then coming to rest, showing us North and Central America. Double click on the United States and we’re zooming in; double click twice on New York and now Yonkers appears, as well as Jersey City; keep clicking and zooming in and we can see this church and Xavier High School right here on 16th Street. It’s easy to find and recognize what we’re familiar with; we have our own little world and we’re comfortable in it, and often perhaps, entertain the temptation to simply put up a sign: “DO NOT DISTURB.” Now what if Mary had behaved that way? “No way, Gabriel; you’re freakin’ me out! You’ve got the wrong woman! My cousin Elizabeth is pregnant and could use some help? Sorry, I’m no mountain climber; she lives too far away; try someone else in the family who lives closer; I’m busy right now with my own stuff.”We know that Mary acted quite differently. She was not the center of her own universe. She accepted God’s loving and gracious plan for her. She responded to the needs of others, and made the rough journey to be of help to Elizabeth. Mary was most certainly a “woman for others!” Elizabeth is delighted to see her cousin and says to Mary,“Most blessed are you among women.” Do we ever stop to reflect on how blessed WE are? Let’s become a little more aware of others; let’s jump back into Google Earth, and now zoom out, leaving in the distance the comfortable, familiar world of our own. How do we stack up with the rest of the world? How

truly blessed are we? Someone thought about that and answered this way: • If you have food in the refrigerator, clothes on your back, a roof overhead and a place to sleep—you are richer than 75% of the world. • If you have money in the bank or in your wallet, and spare change in a dish some place—you are among the top 8% of the world’s wealthy. • If you woke up this morning with more health than illness—you are more blessed than a million who will not survive this week. • If you have never experienced the danger of battle, the loneliness of imprisonment, the agony of torture or the pangs of starvation—you are ahead of 500 million people in the world. • If you can attend a church service without fear of harassment, arrest, torture or death—you are more blessed than 3 billion people. • If your parents are still alive and still married—you are very rare, even in the United States. • If you hold up your head with a smile on your face, and are truly thankful— you are blessed because the majority can, but most do not. • If you can hold someone’s hand, hug them or even touch them on the shoulder—you are blessed because you can offer a healing touch. • If you see this message in print and can read it, you just received a double blessing—more blessed than 2 billion people who cannot read at all. COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS EVERY DAY OF THE YEAR; BE THANKFUL FOR WHAT YOU HAVE. A week ago yesterday we were gathered in the gym for an assembly, and we heard from two remarkable people. They could easily have died years ago; they were both shot. They could have been pathetic, but turned out to be inspiring; they could have thrown in the

towel, but they took up a cause and they proclaim a message of forgiveness, love and non-violence. Detective Steven McDonald and Hashim Garrett count their blessings every day. And what do their lives say to us? It is the same message we see in Jesus’ life! Jesus was beaten, mocked, spat upon and led to his death, a criminal’s death on a cross. He could have chosen violence and revenge, he could have wiped us all out—but no, that’s OUR way, not GOD’S way. Judas betrays him, his disciples abandon him, yet, before he dies, he prays to his Father “forgive them”! Christ passed through death and rose to life in glory. Detective McDonald and Hashim Garrett in their remarkable lives teach us that Christ-based message of love and forgiveness. We celebrate in this Eucharist God’s love for us personified, Christ’s sacrifice that forgives our sins and helps us to show our love in return. We celebrate in this season the joy of Christmas, not only the joy of presents, good food, family and friends—but at the heart of the matter, the great heart of God, that God should so forgive and love the world and us, that God would become one of us, that Jesus, Son of God would be born of Mary, would become Emmanuel, God with us! Let our hearts and our voices sing out with great joy today:“O Come, let us adore Him, Christ the Lord.” Have a wonderful Christmas! Be safe and be good to your family and friends, and ALWAYS, ALWAYS, be thankful for who you are and what you have: amazing blessings from God! FEBRUARY 2008




Turning Challenges into Assets Dear Alumni and Friends of Xavier High Schoool, As many of you probably remember, Xavier High School is not always an easy place to go to school. I suspect it never has been. There are many reasons for this, some of them, while unavoidable, are not necessarily desirable. For instance, the fact that we are a landlocked school in New York City limits our physical growth, making some things more difficult here than would be the case in many other schools. I often think (usually after visiting one of the many Jesuit schools of the mid-west) that it would be great to have 100 acres of land and space enough to create facilities for our teams and activities; but that is not the reality of New York City. However, our position in Manhattan ensures that our student body is diverse and comes from all parts of the New York Metropolitan area. This makes Xavier unique among Jesuit schools, and I believe gives each one of our students a true gift. But this also means that students from different backgrounds, neighborhoods, and traditions need to learn to cope with each other, to get along with each other, and to grow together. Sometimes this is not easy, but doing this is exactly what we mean when we ask our young men to be “open to growth.” Xavier students come to learn that the challenges they face in attending Xavier have the power to transform them into men who grow beyond the limitations set upon them by others. Never was this made clearer to me than in the remarkable accomplishments of our football program. The team had a record-breaking year in virtually every category: Catholic High School Football League (CHSFL) Division Champions; CHSFL Division Playoff Champions; Thanksgiving Day Champions; most victories by a Xavier football team ever; most yards rushed in New York State—the statistics go on and on. I told a gathering of parents at our Rugby Dinner last year after our team won the National Championship, that athletics at Xavier is in some ways a miracle, but as I think on it, it is a miracle in only the most superficial way. Our students learn to overcome obstacles here. They learn to balance their time in such a way that many of them come back to us while in college thanking their teachers and coaches for teaching them the art of time management. While I certainly would love to have more space, and would be thrilled to have an athletic field, being a student at Xavier teaches our young men the value of being dedicated to something greater than themselves. Some of the challenges in attending Xavier are planned. Ours is a school that takes rules seriously, yet not to frivolous effect. We hold fast to the tradition that personal responsibility will help our students grow into good men and solid leaders. Our world is not a place where personal responsibility is cherished, but generations of Xavier students can attest to the fact that by holding them accountable, Xavier helped fashion them into the leaders they have become. Many times, teaching personal responsibility means holding our students to task for their actions. But while our students are held accountable for their actions and for following school rules, it is always done with an eye toward the day that they will hold themselves accountable for more important things.




MIKE LiVIGNI Headmaster

News from the


IN BRIEF: Three wonderful donor events celebrated the success of the 2007 Annual Fund, which broke the $2 million mark for the first time… The fall Open House drew in over a thousand prospective students, family members and guests, as over a hundred JROTC cadets and Xavier students showcased all that Xavier has to offer… Thirteen Career Day speakers informed and entertained our juniors on November 9th, sharing their personal experiences in the work force and while students at Xavier… One of the biggest, boldest and best new events at Xavier, Maroon and Blue Day kicked off to a great start this year. Also, we have a mascot again!… The Fr. Larkin Super Raffle gave students the chance to make a contribution to the Annual Fund, and a few lucky student winners walked away with great prizes for their efforts… We hit the road again for our annual fall regional receptions, holding receptions for alumni in Washington, D.C. and Philadelphia. Were you there?!...

Donor Events Celebrate Xavier’s Most Successful Annual Fund The Xavier Society and Loyola Associates Reception, the President’s Council Reception, and the President’s Council Dinner took place during the months of September and October, ringing in the start of a new academic year as Xavier thanked many of its generous donors. The Xavier Society and Loyola Associates Reception was held September 19th at Moran’s Restaurant, as over eighty guests came together to hear updates on life at Xavier, including the success of the 2007 Annual Fund, which broke the $2,000,000 Fr. Gatti with some of the newest members of the President’s Council. mark for the first time in the school’s history. The first annual President’s Council Reception took place September 25th at the Manhattan Penthouse, on 5th Avenue at 14th Street. The evening was a celebration of all things Xavier, bringing 100 guests back to the familiar streets surrounding the school. The event was also attended by a number of Xavier administrators, including Mr. Michael LiVigni, Xavier’s headmaster, Mr. Joseph Sweeney ’85, Xavier’s assistant headmaster, and Brian McCabe, Xavier’s dean of students. The President’s Council Dinner took place October 4th at the Union League Club, as 120 graduates, supporters and their guests arrived for an elegant evening of cocktails and dinner. Guests were addressed by Fr. Dan Gatti ’59, Xavier’s president, Joe Gorski, vice president for advancement and alumni relations, and Thomas Conniff ’52, chairman of Xavier’s board of trustees. Finally, following long-standing tradition, Frank Gregory, former dean of students, led a rousing rendition of “Sons of Xavier.” The Advancement Team would not only like to thank all those who attended the reception and dinner, but also to acknowledge the continued generosity of those who could not attend. We enjoy the opportunity to thank our donors each year, and we look forward to your attendance at events in the future!




News from the Quad

Baseball Alumni Top the Varsity Team Xavier’s second annual Alumni Baseball game was held on Sunday, September 16, 2007. The day was filled with fun and high spirits as new and old friends came together as a community again! The Varsity Baseball team played against the alumni in a friendly game of nine innings. The alumni used aluminum bats, and the varsity team used wood bats for the first time to get a feeling for how the rest of the season would be. Derrick England ’90, the St. Peter’s College Baseball coach allowed us to use his team’s field so that this event could take place. Everyone who attended felt strongly about the event and would like to make this event an annual affair. All the players had a great day and enjoyed each other’s company. In the end, Joe DeSapio ’86 pitched the complete nine-inning shutout 1-0 victory for the alumni. Let’s all come out and support the Knights this spring. Check future issues of Alumnews and the school’s website for updates on future alumni games and the spring baseball season. —Mr. Richard Duffell Head Coach, Varsity Knights Baseball Team

Fall Open House Welcomes Thousands On Saturday, October 27, 2007, Xavier held its annual fall Open House. Over 700 fifth and sixth grade students from all five boroughs and New Jersey visited Xavier, and in total, we had over 2,000 guests walk through the hallways on this rainy and humid day. Despite the weather, the day was a great success, and feedback from the visiting families was overwhelmingly positive. One of the distinctive characteristics of Xavier’s Open House is the individual attention prospective students and families receive. Each family is paired with a current Xavier student and gets an individual tour of the campus. Members of the JROTC Regiment and National Honor Society graciously volunteered to be tour guides, as did many other eager students. Every year, 16th Street entrance. I am always reminded on this day how much pride our students have in their school; it is apparent not only in what they say to prospective families, but also in their demeanor and the way they conduct themselves throughout the day. On the tour, Mr. Gregory Harkness, the Cadet Colonel, and President of the Student Council welcomed families in the student Hurtado Hall. chapel and spoke briefly about what a Xavier and Jesuit education truly means. The tour proceeded through the Library and Learning Center, the Chemistry and Physics laboratories, and many of our Smart classrooms where student ambassadors and teachers were available for questions and brief discussions. The tour eventually finished up in Hurtado Hall and the gymnasium, where teachers from all departments and members of clubs and athletic teams had presentations set up. Such great attendance was a clear sign of our strength as an institution. —Mr. Benjamin Hamm Director of Admissions

Fr. Larkin Fundraiser

Ray Chan ’11. Fr. Gatti and Joe Gorski present the $10,000 prize from the student raffle to Dr. Louis DeSantis, father of Joseph, Class of 2011.




Starting in September, students sold raffle tickets for the Fr. Larkin Raffle, a student fundraiser that builds on giving back to Xavier to help other students. This year, students raised over $55,000. The raffle drawing was held at the annual Turkey Bowl Rally, with three winners. The first prize of $10,000 went to Dr. & Mrs. Louis DeSantis, parents of Joseph, class of 2011. Second prize, a 32” LCD TV & Home Theater System, was won by Sofia Stec, the mother of Jimmy, class of 2009. The third prize, a new 20” Apple I MAC, was won by Suet Kan Wong, the grandmother of Ray Chan, class of 2011. In addition, all students who sold at least one raffle book were eligible for the student raffle drawings, one of the incentives that aimed at helping to motivate the students. The first prize, an XBOX 360, was won by Erik Poldroo ’11. John Young ’09 won the second prize, a Four GB Ipod Nano. The last winner, Martin Cebula ’11, won a digital camera.

News from the Quad

To Teach by Example: C


Maj. Tom Hutton ’86 summarizes his work as an Army officer.

Over a dozen dedicated alumni were back in the building on November 9, 2007 to speak to members of the Junior class at Xavier’s annual Career Day. The speakers were asked to explain what led them toward their respective professions as our Juniors are beginning their college search and are in the position to make early decisions on their future careers. Students heard from Dan Rodriguez ’58, who contributed the keynote address, speaking on his work as a partner in a major architecture firm and his ongoing work at Xavier as a trustee and supporter. In collaboration between the Guidance Department and the Office of Advancement, Juniors chose three lectures they wished to attend. Alumni speakers used props, videos and Powerpoint presentations to explain their careers in interesting, entertaining ways.


2 0 0 7

Maj. Hutton dresses a student in body armor.

Evan Barnes ’93 speaks on his work taking photographs for the New York Post.

This year’s speakers included: Evan Barnes ’93

MAJ Tom Hutton ’86

News and Sports Photography, New York Post

U.S. Army

Frank Comerford ’73

Daniel McCarthy, Esq. ’71

President and General Manager, WNBC Television

Chief Trial Counsel, Bronx District Attorney’s Office

Hon. John Countryman ’50

Charles Mulham ’84

U.S. Ambassador (Ret.) to Sultanate of Oman

Special Agent, ATF

Pete Dowling ’68

Dan Rodriguez ’58

U.S. Secret Service (Ret.), Sr.VP Security at AXA Equitable

Montoya-Rodriguez Architects

Jerry FitzGerald ’58

FOX 5 News

Aviation Engineering, Pres. Aviation Perspectives

Dominick Gadaleta, M.D. ’78 Gastrointestinal Surgery, North Shore University Hospital

Michael Sheehan ’66 Vlad Wolynetz ’88 Emmy Award-Winning TV Series Producer

Don Gross ’72 Accounting

Mike Sheehan ’66, former NYPD homicide detective and current FOX 5 News reporter addresses a group of students.

If you are interested in speaking at an upcoming Career Day event, please contact Mike Benigno ’00 at 212-924-7900 x.1435 or




News from the Quad

Leaving a Legacy This is a very special year—the final year of the historic eleven year tenure of Fr. Daniel J. Gatti, S.J. ’59 as president of Xavier High School. For the past eleven years Fr. Gatti has been the voice of Xavier’s educational aspirations for its students, the cautious steward of Xavier’s resources, the tireless cheerleader of all things Xavier, the faithful alumni chaplain, the quiet friend to many parents, the champion of building improvements, the first fan of Xavier sports, among other things. He has constantly challeneged us to join him in committing ourselves to Xavier. The sincerity of his invitation has been enthusiastically embraced by so many alumni, parents and friends. In humble gratitude for Fr. Gatti’s selfless commitment and to honor his many accomplishments on behalf of Xavier, the Board of Trustees authorized the establishment of the Mary B. Gatti P’56, ’58, ’59 Memorial Fund forXavier as a permanently endowed fund in support of the annual operating expenses of Xavier. As part of the 2008 Annual Fund, each dollar contributed to Xavier in excess of $2,000,000 will be deposited in the Mary B. Gatti Memorial Fund as the initial funding for this endowment. If we acheive our 2008 Annual Fund goal of $2,500,000, the initial funding for the Mary B. Gatti Memorial Fund will be $500,000. To date, $1,346,323 has been contributed in cash and pledges by our generous alumni, parents, and friends, including a $250,000 pledge from John C. Meditz ’66, a member of the Board of Trustees. Join us in honoring Fr. Daniel J. Gatti, S.J. ’59. Contact the Advancement Office at 212.924.7900 x1465 for more information.




News from the Quad

Were You There? This Season’s Alumni Events…

Loual Puliafito ’00, John Khinda ’00, Anthony Ciaffone ’03, and Timothy Williamson ’00 at the GOLD reception.

Alumni and friends gather at the 2007 Washington, D.C. reception on December 5, 2007.

Young Alumni Reunion, November 21, 2007

The GOLD reception invited young graduates back to Xavier on November 29, 2007.2007.

On the road for Xavier…in Philadelphia on December 4, 2007.

Thanks again to our many donors for making the 2007 Fiscal Year our most successful yet.The following individuals were mistakenly left off the 2007 Annual Report. We extend our sincerest apologies for the oversight.

Michael R. Andrews ’85 Memorial Scholarship Michael Egan ’85 Rev. Joseph A. Novak, S.J. ’44 Anonymous Coach J.“Pat” Rooney Memorial Scholarship Lawrence P. Brown, Jr., M.D. ’55 A. N. Finn John K. Hurley, M.D. ’61 Daniel G. McDonald, M.D. ’59 Roy T.Van Brunt ’63 Patrick A.Yuen ’70

Annual Fund Gifts President’s Council— Distinguished Members Dr. & Mrs. Paul Piccione P’09 Xavier Society Joseph F. Acosta ’87 Loyola Associates Francis L. Hanigan, Ph.D. ’53 Joseph E. Ross ’92

Century Club Mr. & Mrs. John R. Stefandl P’11 Michael Cruz ’81 Thomas J. McCarthy ’45 Lee E. Schneider ’70 Leon V. Stanisz ’67 Mr. 7 Mrs. John R. Stefandl P’11 General Contributor Don P. Hooper ’97

15 Years of Continuous Giving Raymond Lustig ’64 FEBRUARY 2008



News from the Quad




News from the Quad

Maroon and Blue Day: A Team Effort A building overflowing with school spirit and Xavier pride—that’s the best way to describe the newest addition to the school calendar, Maroon and Blue Day, held September 28th. The result of a collaborative effort between school administration and a newly formed event committee consisting of Mr. Ben Suro, Mrs. Eileen Carty, Mrs. Margaret Gonzalez, Mrs. Jen Kennedy-Orlando, and Ms. Anne Happel, the day replaced previous year’s Spirit Day celebrations and exceeded all prior expectations. “We wanted it to be fun like Spirit Day was, but we wanted to focus all of the events of the day around the goal of increased school spirit,” Ms. Happel said. During the days before the event, all students, faculty and staff were given either a maroon or a blue Xavier t-shirt and broken into two rival teams. Throughout the day, the two teams competed against one another in activities ranging from street-side sports to pie-eating, water-balloon tossing, and even a team color-themed gymnasium decorating contest. Scores were recorded by faculty and staff moderators spread

Maroon and Blue Day activities: • a faculty tug-of-war in the gymnasium • a mascot competition • video games set up in classrooms • a pie eating contest in the quad • a “Xavier American Idol” karaoke competition

throughout the event, and the winner of the competition was set to receive bragging rights until next year. The day got off to a great start, and student activities throughout the building and on 16th Street were divided by scheduled times when all participants would regroup in the gymnasium for larger events and to hear updates on team scores. Special highlights of the day included a “Xavier American Idol” competition judged by special in-house guests including Mr. Mike LiVigni, Xavier’s headmaster, and a mascot competition that culminated with the unveiling of a new Xavier Knight costume won by the lucky winner, James Cronin ’08.“We really haven’t had an actual school mascot costume in years, and we wanted to bring that tradition back by hosting the competition and getting the whole school involved,” Ms. Happel said. The day enlivened students and staff alike, and the Blue Team emerged as the winners of the first annual Maroon and Blue Day games. With the entire school population taking part in some friendly Xavier competition, the day was truly a team effort!

• a homeroom door and gymnasium wall decorating contest • maroon and blue face painting in the school lobby • sports and amusements on 16th Street.




Meet the New Teachers The September 2007 issue of

staff member, beginning with the six

Alumnews profiled a group of “Xavier

men and women you’ll read about on

Legends” that retired last June after

the following pages. From little-known

mentoring and educating literally

facts to their initial thoughts on being

decades of Xavier men. Readers

at Xavier, our new staff members spoke

responded to the profiles at an

on their personal lives and professional

unprecedented level, and at the

backgrounds. They lead interesting

start of the academic year, Xavier was

lives and use their experiences to guide

pleased to welcome a number of new

our young men each day in their class-

faculty and staff members to 16th Street.

rooms and offices, and we are proud

In this issue and the spring issue, Alumnews will be profiling each new




to introduce them to our alumni and friends alike.

Jonathan Cambras English

Jillian Waldman Science

James O’Hara Guidance

Where are you from? I grew up in Stratford, Connecticut, and attended Fairfield Prep. After high school I attended Penn State, where I studied speech communications and creative writing. In 2006, I began my educational career by working toward and receiving my Masters degree in English Education and teaching certification at New York University. I was a student-teacher at two public schools in the city: New Design High School and Brooklyn School of the Arts.

Where are you from? I grew up in Rochester, New York, where I attended an independent school for nine years. I went to Swarthmore College in Swarthmore, Pennsylvania., where I studied physics, Russian, and linguistics. I graduated in 2006 and moved to New York to teach. I spent last year teaching ninth-grade math at a public school in the Bronx. I’m working on a Master’s in mathematics education at City College of NY and anticipate being dual-certified for math and physics.

Fondest Xavier memory: Though my time at Xavier has been short thus far, my experiences coaching freshman football have already made some lasting impressions. The most memorable thing I’ve experienced occurred when our freshman team was playing a home game at Aviator Field. It was a tough, close game and Bishop Ford was winning 16-14 late in the fourth quarter when one of their players went down with injury. While their players were waiting for the trainer, our team calmly took a knee in two neat rows at the line of scrimmage, being respectful to the injured player but intently waiting for play to begin. It was a special moment that demonstrated the discipline and respect that we strive to teach our students. That is what separates Xavier from the other schools.We lost the game, but this was one of the best moments I’ve experienced as a coach.

What are your initial thoughts on being here at Xavier? I’m learning a lot, and enjoying it. My students have a lot of energy, a lot of curiosity. I thought teaching classes consisting entirely of boys would be weird, but it turns out to be a lot of fun, even if I don’t know the names of the sports teams they follow. My colleagues have been amazingly caring and supportive, besides being incredibly nifty people.

Where are you from? I was born and raised in northern New Jersey, in the shadows of the George Washington Bridge. I graduated from Leonia High School and moved on to The College of New Jersey where I received a B.A. in English, with a minor in Professional Writing. After contemplating a career in teaching, I decided that I wanted to be a guidance counselor and enrolled in Manhattan College to pursue my Master’s degree. I have experience as a counselor intern in public schools in the Bronx, and I have also worked for Manhattan College.

Suggestions for wintertime reading: • The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger • A Curious Incident of a Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon • The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

Suggestions for wintertime reading: I’m a science fiction addict; right now I’m reading Kim Stanley Robinson’s Red Mars series. It’s good wintertime reading because its descriptions of the Martian surface make you realize how warm it is outside on earth with the snow and freezing rain. Also good reading for a science teacher, because you accidentally memorize all these facts about Mars.

Fondest Xavier Memory: As a counselor, I see and experience many memorable moments on a weekly basis with our students. But by far the most memorable school-wide event has been Maroon and Blue Day. The pride and enthusiasm displayed by the students is something that I will not soon forget. It seemed like the perfect combination of school spirit, competition, and fun. The best part was the karaoke competition, where we learned about the talented and not-so-talented singers that we have here at Xavier! What is the best advice you’ve heard about teaching? One of my colleagues told me when I started that the most important thing is to just be myself. Most kids, especially New Yorkers, can see through a fake façade and will have more respect for a staff member when they are honest and just being themselves.




Nygel Roach ’02 Assistant Dean of Students

Jan Herschel Mathematics

William Pace Fine Arts

Where are you from? I have spent most of my life in North Bergen, New Jersey. It’s a great place to live. I’m a 2002 grad of Xavier and a 2006 graduate of St. John’s University with a B.S. degree in finance. In the past, I’ve worked for [“Saturday Night Live!” producer Lorne Michaels’ entertainment company] Broadway Video Entertainment, the 1199 National Benefit Fund, and for St. John’s.

Where are you from? I was born in Stamford, Connecticut, and lived in Norwalk until we moved to New Delhi, India when I was eight. We were there for three years, then in London until I went off to college at Harvard, where I earned a Bachelor’s degree in philosophy. Since college, I have (in rough chronological order): taught skiing at a ski academy, worked in investment banking as an analyst, gone to graduate school, and taught in New York City public schools as part of the NYC Teaching Fellows program while earning my Master’s in education from Pace University—all before coming to Xavier.

Where are you from? I grew up in South Florida and became interested in jazz while taking bass lessons as an elective at a local college. The highlight of my career was a twoyear stint with jazz organ legend, Dr. Lonnie Smith. Other notable performances were with Lou Donaldson, Richie Cole, Marcus Strickland, the Palm Beach Pops and the New World Symphony. I earned masters and doctoral degrees at the University of Miami on full scholarship, while teaching there and at Miami Dade College. In New York for about six years, I’ve performed regularly with the avant-garde clarinetist, Perry Robinson, and with singer, Allan Harris, including his concerts at the Kennedy Center,Town Hall, Jazz at Lincoln Center, and the Blue Note jazz club.

What is the best advice you’ve heard about working in a school? I’ve always sensed that it is very rewarding helping others understand new things. I was once told that it’s better to try at something and fail, then not to try at all. I can accept failure if I have given my best effort in trying to reach my goals, but couldn’t accept it if I knew I was unwilling to take a risk and try my best. What are your initial thoughts on being here at Xavier? It’s great working here as asst. dean of students, and as the asst. basketball coach for the JV and Varsity teams. It was also exciting coming back to work with people who were faculty members while I was a student here. I take a lot of pride in being part of such a wonderful tradition as Xavier. Fondest Xavier memory: The most memorable thing I’ve experienced at Xavier was actually my own graduation ceremony at St. Patrick’s Cathedral. A little-known fact: I played Division I basketball for St. John’s University’s “Red Storm” from 2003-2006.




Fondest Xavier memory: Seeing the Church of St. Francis Xavier packed to the gills is pretty impressive. How we manage to get 950 boys down there and back to class in a matter of minutes is just as impressive and a credit to the staff organization. What are your initial thoughts on being here at Xavier? The sense of community, collegiality, and camaraderie among both the staff and students is palpable and tremendous. I am extremely impressed by the commitment level of the boys to their extracurriculars. I’ve been involved with the chess club and look forward to coaching the tennis team in the spring. Suggestions for wintertime reading: For some reason, I tend to read contemporary fiction in the summer, and classics or historical novels in the winter. In the latter category, you can’t beat War and Peace, by Tolstoy, and there is a new translation that is getting rave reviews.

What is the best advice you’ve heard about teaching? I am thankful for the constant reminder to live a Christian life by our work here at Xavier and with the Jesuit Community. What are your initial thoughts on being here at Xavier? Practice doesn’t make perfect, only permanent. A little-known fact: I saw the lady that became my wife on the Manhattan-bound F-train most mornings for six months before I actually got the courage to ask her out. If you took up a profession other than teaching, what would it be? I would want to make documentary films.

Meet Xavier’s Cadet Colonel, Carlos Galletti ’08. A native of Ridgewood, Queens, Carlos exudes Xavier pride each day as he heads the current Xavier regiment. In this issue of Alumnews, Carlos answers some of the most frequently asked questions by alumni while touring the school, and he offers

his own interpretation on what he’s learned about leading his peers.

Alumnews: How is today’s military program structured? Cdt. Col. Carlos Galletti ’08: Today’s military science program is a cadet-run program. Cadets are responsible for organizing and running activities on and off the drill floor. A: How many weeks do freshmen have to take the program? What happens if they opt not to take it? G: The military science program is without a doubt the backbone of Xavier High School. Prior to 1972, every young man who entered Xavier High School had to enroll into the military science program. After 1972 the program became optional; however, freshmen are required to join the program for their first quarter. After first quarter, freshmen decide whether to remain in the Regiment for the duration of ninth grade. A: When can students begin to join the optional teams and activities the regiment has to offer? G: Once a freshman decides to continue with the military science program, he can pledge for any of the Regimental teams: X-Squad, Raiders, Rifle Team, and Academic Challenge Team or any of the activities: Sabre Guard and Military History Club. A: Today’s program is at the highest level of participation it’s been since the military went optional here after

the 1971 class graduated. Why do you, personally, think the program has been growing? G: The current Senior Army Instructor, LTC Roy Campbell USA (Ret.) came to Xavier High School four years ago, at the same time that I entered Xavier. Since then the numbers have gotten bigger and bigger every year. I can honestly say without the slightest hesitation that the reason why the numbers have been getting bigger is because of the fact that LTC Campbell is the freshman Instructor. When I congratulated him on the fact that we have the largest enrollment (160 freshmen cadets) this year since the program went optional, he said something along the lines that the Regiment is about quality not quantity. It is because of his philosophy that LTC Campbell can so humbly teach the freshmen about the program and get high numbers. A: What are the responsibilities of the Cadet Colonel? Who does he report to and who reports to him? Does the Cadet Colonel have power to demerit/merit cadets? G: The Cadet Colonel is accountable and responsible for the regiment. He is granted his power by the President of Xavier, and the Army Instructors. The military program at Xavier is run by cadets; therefore the Cadet Colonel essentially runs the program, with the guidance of the Army Instructors. The Cadet Colonel reports to the Army Instructors, and the administration of the school if needed. The Regimental Executive Officer, Battalion Commanders, and the Regimental Command Sergeant Major report directly to the Cadet Colonel. The Cadet Colonel does have the power to assign demerits to cadets

which can affect the grades of cadets. This authority can be delegated to cadets in key positions like the Battalion Commanders and Command Sergeant Majors. A: What is it like to still be a young man in high school and charged with leading students through a program that teaches citizenship, responsibility, discipline, and values? G: It is a great feeling knowing that I have a role in helping to teach values to my peers. Sometimes, however, it is a burden because not everyone catches on right away. I am responsible for the success and for the failure of the regiment. I experience both, and I believe that this helps me mature as a person morally. Success is excellent; however, before you learn how to succeed, you learn how to fail. Once you have failed, you know how to succeed. A: What are your plans for the future at this point? G: I have narrowed down my options to two: I will either be a civilian working in the business world, or an Army Officer leading troops. A: What kind of impression do you have of the military program here in a school that has such a long history? G: I believe that the military program is the backbone of Xavier High School. It is because of the military science course of study offered that so many students leave Xavier with many values and a profound understanding of what it means to be both a “Man for Others” and a Unites States citizen. Both understandings are taught within the first quarter of Military Science for the freshmen, however, it is reinforced for those who remain in the program. FEBRUARY 2008



The 2007 Varsity Knights Season

Most wins in a single season: 10 Most points scored in a single season: 410 Highest average points scored per game: 37.3 Most points scored in a single game: 61 #1 Ranked rushing team in NY, NJ, CT & PA: 334.6 YPG

The Knights Earn Their

Spot in the Sun

A legendary football program achieves a triumphant accomplishment: The Xavier Varsity Knights win the CHSFL Division A Championship, the Playoff Championship and the Turkey Bowl in the 125th year of Xavier football!

Fr. Gatti, Xavier’s president, Tony Paolozzi, Xavier faculty, and Mr. LiVigni, Xavier’s headmaster, at the Turkey Bowl.

Since 1882, Xavier has put a football team on the field. From a meager start of just three recorded games against St. John’s College, Xavier’s football program endured changes in the city, the school, and within the other Catholic school teams that would eventually make up the Catholic High School Football League (CHSFL). What better way to celebrate 125 years of football at Xavier High School than to have a championship season? That’s exactly what the 2007 Xavier Knights (10-1), CHSFL Division A Champions, did this year, capturing their first division title since the fall of 1999. The 2007 Varsity football season took off to a strong start, with four straight wins. Xavier’s running game went on to steal the show, and at the end of the season the Knights had racked up 3681 rushing yards—well over 500 more than any other team in the division—averaging 8.1 yards per rush, with over 53 touchdowns. The Knights also scored 410 points this season, more than any other Xavier team in the past. On November 18th, Xavier faced St. John the Baptist (6-4) in a bout for the division championship. Trailing St. John’s 27-14 with only 7:20 left to play in the fourth quarter, the Xavier offense exploded for 31 points during those final minutes, beating St. John’s 45-33 and clinching the playoff title. The championship win marked the start of what would go on to be a magical week of Xavier pride. On November 21st, over 200 alumni and guests packed the Xavier gymnasium alongside the entire school community for the annual Turkey Bowl Football Rally. Coach Chris Stevens ’83 readied the team for the following day’s battle, and each player was cheered by students lining bleachers on both sides of the gym. The Knights did not disappoint Xavier as they slammed the Fordham Prep Rams (8-3) in the Turkey Bowl the

next day by a score of 20-14 in front of hundreds of loyal fans and alumni, walking off the field with the coveted Mike Dunn Memorial Award. This year’s game made use of the new Aviator Sports Complex, which Xavier has used as a home field for the past two seasons. This was also the first season in the history of Xavier football that the team had 10 wins in a season! News of the phenomenal season and the Turkey Bowl victory traveled fast, as Coach Stevens and the Knights were featured on all the major New York television networks. Several reports mentioned that many of Xavier’s Varsity football players were part of last spring’s Varsity Rugby team that won the U.S. Rugby High School Championship in Salt Lake City, Utah. Over the past 125 years, Xavier has been the home of football legends like Leo Paquin, who coached Xavier’s team for thirty-two consecutive years and was a member of the famed “Seven Blocks of Granite,” helping to make Xavier’s football program one of the strongest in the city. “The hallmarks of the 2007 championship team were Rugby swagger and fitness, bone crunching offense that wore down the opposition, great communication and halftime adjustments, and a young defense that grew up with the scheme during the course of every game,” Coach Stevens said.“We had an iron will to win, and this allowed the Varsity Knights to deal with high pressure situations and to take control of most games in the second half.” “This season was a great accomplishment for the entire student body,” said Rod Walker, Xavier’s athletic director. “Especially toward the end of the season, there was a lot of buzz about the games, and a lot of kids have seen the media coverage. It really brought us together.” Here’s to the Knights!




My heart is in your [Plastic] hands By Michael Benigno ’00

Joseph McGinn ’73 performs bypass procedures on patients while their hearts are still beating. New technology has opened the surgery to older, sicker patients…

and it’s simpler than you’d think. Six weeks into my freshman year at Saint Joseph’s University, I received a phone call from my mother, telling me the news that my father’s stress test had gone worse than expected. He was slated to undergo emergency heart bypass surgery as early as the next day. That Thursday night, after hanging up the phone, I did what any young student would do: I Googled it. And then I tried not to let what I found keep me awake in fear that night. My crash course in bypass surgery told me that my father, 49 at the time, had probably undergone a stress test that showed some blockages. An angiogram was probably performed to see where the blockages were and to judge the extent to which the blockages interfered with the function of his heart. The description of the actual bypass was what I would remember most. The terms alone sounded like something from a mad scientist’s laboratory, combinations of verbs and nouns I had never heard before. The splitting of the sternum. The stopping of the heart. The harvesting of the blood vessels. The attaching of the grafts. As it turned out, my father had gotten used to his heart functioning with 95% of its bloodflow being constrained. Five bypasses would be needed, and his entire chest would be cut, his ribs deliberately broken. When I visited him before the surgery, it seemed like he was comfortable in a bed before me, but the surgery—while it would save

his life—would put him through the physical trauma of someone in a major accident or a serious car crash. *** The patients of Dr. Joseph McGinn ’73, a heart surgeon at Staten Island University Hospital, sometimes have similar stories—vague family histories, different indicators of heart trouble, and maybe even nervous children away at college. But for the past nine years, McGinn has been perfecting an innovative technique of performing coronary bypass surgery using simple tools that delicately adjust a patient’s heart while it is still beating. Combined with a minimally invasive approach, McGinn has been able to use the tools to perform bypasses through a small incision in a patient’s side, instead of using a sternotomy, which opens the entire chest cavity McGinn was one of the first surgeons in the New York metropolitan area to perform Off-Pump Coronary Artery Bypass (OPCAB) surgery after working with Medtronic, a medical device company based in Minnesota. Medtronic’s tools aimed making bypass surgery and other heart procedures easier by enabling a physician to manipulate and stabilize the heart. In the past, this was an impossible task, and the only way to perform a bypass was to place the patient on a heart-lung machine and halt the function of the heart altogether.

Dr. Joseph McGinn ’73




The “Octopus” and the “Starfish” allow the heart to be stabilized so that McGinn can perform heart surgery through a window cut into a patient’s side.

When done in a minimally invasive manner, OPCAB surgery dramatically reduces the recovery time for heart patients.




The first tool developed was a type of heart positioner. Dubbed the “Starfish,” the positioner consists of a metal rod topped with a small plastic cup, like something that would scoop up an egg. The cup has three appendages each lined with tiny suction cups, barely visible. If the affected vein or artery faces the center of a patient’s chest, the starfish is able to grip the heart and rotate it with great ease so that surgery can be done, in the case of a minimally invasive approach, through an incision cut into the patient’s side. A second tool acts as a heart stabilizer. Dubbed the “Octopus,” this device appears to be another long, metal rod topped with two small, stationary plastic bars. It gets its name because the undersides of the plastic bars are also lined with tiny suction cups, which grip onto the outer wall of the heart and hold the exposed tissue being operated on in place. The octopus can be attached to a stationary object like a wall or the side of a gurney and locked into place for impeccable support. These two tools are two of the most innovative tools to enter the world of cardiac surgery in recent years. As far back as the 1940s, doctors were beginning to take on the general notion that the best way to repair a vein or artery within a human heart was to circumnavigate the damaged or blocked areas. In the 1950s, bypasses were first attempted, but there was no way to keep the beating heart still while a procedure was being performed. Early operations were overflowing with dangers and difficult for patients to recover from. While different techniques developed over time, the basic procedures involved in bypass remained the same for years. The first cardiopulmonary bypass machines, known more commonly as heart-lung machines, were developed in the late 1950s, enabling the heart to be stopped while keeping oxygenated blood flowing to vital organs. This was a major achievement toward helping doctors perform a safe, stabile bypass. Today’s heart-lung machines have the capability of replacing the heart and

lung functions, inducing dramatic metabolic changes while a patient is on the operating table. The heart is then stopped, making it easier for the surgeon to create bypasses. In the 1990s, doctors began chasing down ways to perform bypass surgery without stopping the heart. Early devices that attempted to stabilize the heart were clumsy to use, and McGinn had been working with Medtronic as they struggled to supply more efficient tools. “I was asked to review the latest development, which was the endoscopic Starfish, by its inventor at Medtronic, a physician assistant I had become friendly with,” Dr. McGinn said.“At first thought it was a little absurd to be operating on a beating heart, particularly through a minimally invasive approach, and I was very resistant to trying it.” OPCAB, especially when it is performed in a minimally invasive technique like going into a patient’s side instead of through their sternum, had the potential to allow different groups of heart patients to have more medical options than in the past.“We would be able to routinely operate on sicker patients, also on older, more disabled patients that can’t necessarily handle the incision,” Dr. McGinn said.“It also would open these kinds of procedures up to other kinds of sick patients, like people who have damaged immune systems that might be too weak to undergo a sternotomy, but are in need of a bypass. At one time, it would have been very possible that these patients would be overlooked or rejected for surgery. Now they could have a bypass in a way that makes it much easier for them to recover.” In 1999, Dr. McGinn performed his first OPCAB procedure using the Medtronic tools on a patient with a traditional sternotomy. Since then, the Octopus and the Starfish have stabilized the heart so well that today almost all cases McGinn handles involve bypassing arteries of a regularly beating heart. During the ten minutes he is actually removing one piece of vein or artery and placing in a new piece, blood is temporarily diverted away

from the affected area.The heart adapts to the changes in blood flow and pressure, and before any damage can take effect, the bypass is connected and blood flow is resumed. When OPCAB was able to be combined with the minimally invasive approach, the implications began to add up. What started as a way to help save the lives of patients who would otherwise not be candidates for traditional bypass surgery had such a strong success rate that, if deemed a viable option, minimally-invasive OPCAB began to be favored by healthier patients. Given the choice, McGinn said that, for the same results and effectiveness, patients tended to choose an option that shortened the recovery time dramatically. Major heart operations take between six weeks and three months to recover from, but the results of OPCAB procedures done in the minimally invasive manner are just a wound and some stitches to care for. For pain, patients are often given infusions of Marcaine for a period of five days.“People get home and they can get back to normal almost immediately,” McGinn said. “In many cases, this is really the patient’s preference.” In September, McGinn invited me into an operating room to observe a mitral valve replacement procedure on a 71-year-old woman using the Starfish and the Octopus through an incision in the patient’s side instead of her sternum. Flesh was still cut, muscle was even sheared to allow ribs to be spread gently, and padded clamps were put into place to hold the incision. The movement of the patient’s lungs was temporarily prohibited to gain visual access to the heart. But on that sunny day when I watched a pig’s heart valve take the place of a calcified human one, no bones were broken at all. The patient was wheeled out of the operating room with a heart that functioned dramatically better, and with only stitches to care for. In the past six months, McGinn has demonstrated minimally invasive OPCAB procedures to physicians across the region, from several states in the

South, as well as from China, Japan and other countries. Dr. McGinn and his partners and staff have performed OPCAB surgery on over 2500 patients since 1999; since 2005, over 300 patients have undergone minimally invasive off-pump bypass procedures. *** It took my father five months to recover from his life-changing quintuple bypass operation. His sternotomy enabled doctors to access his heart, and the broken ribs healed, leaving behind a long scar and numbness he can still feel now, over seven years later. He was impressed to learn that

People get home and they can get back to normal almost immediately. In many cases, this really is the patient’s preference. today’s heart patients are starting to have options that had the potential to improve their lives. The tools Dr. McGinn helped to develop and the modified minimally invasive approach have allowed him and his team to continue to operate on patients that would have had a compromised chance of recovering from traditional bypass surgery. Oliver Wendell Holmes, the noted American physician once wrote,“the great thing in the world is not so much where we stand, as in what direction we are moving.”The face of progress will always change, but, within the confines of an operating room in Staten Island University Hospital, and now several other institutions, progress is visible in the use of modern tools, and on the faces of patients on the road toward a healthy life.




Dr. Dominick Gadaleta ’78 demonstrates surgical tools at this year’s Career Day, November 2007.

Laser Skin Resurfacing

Collagen Treatment

By Michael Benigno ’00

Beyond Skin Deep The tummy-tuck




There are lots of quick fixes in medicine nowadays, and the list goes on and on. But, working with North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset, Dr. Dominick Gadaleta ’78, for the past 11 years, has been working hard to combat the misconception that Surgery for the treatment of Morbid Obesity should be on that list. In 1997, Dr. Gadaleta was given the task of establishing a Bariatric and Metabolic Surgery team at North Shore. Looking at the prospect of spending an extended period of time performing Bariatric surgery, he tried to learn all he could about this new branch of his career, at a time when no structured training programs were available.

Bariatric Surgery is the formal name for procedures available for the treatment of Morbid Obesity and the diseases associated with being 75–100 pounds overweight. The two procedures commonly performed are Gastric Banding, and Gastric Bypass. Gastric Banding involves the placement of a mechanical device high up on the stomach to restrict the volume of food consumed. Gastric Bypass is a procedure that creates a small stomach pouch connected to the small intestine by a narrow passageway. Patients not only eat less because of the smaller stomach area, but they also feel full for a longer period of time, as their stomach empties slower than normal. Combined with a healthy diet and regular exer-

cise, these surgical procedures can help patients lose significant amounts of weight safely. Surgery for Morbid Obesity is not a cosmetic procedure like liposuction, where body fat is surgically removed. But Dr. Gadaleta recently spoke of the popular misconceptions that sometimes lead patients to believe that these procedures are a one-time fix-all. According to the guidelines that Dr. Gadaleta and his colleagues at North Shore have established, the best candidates for obesity surgery are patients who have lost weight at some point in the past and who have a history of enjoying physical activity.“They have demonstrated that they can lose weight when they try. Obesity Surgery takes that established behavior, and optimizes the conditions so that often times, there are very dramatic results,” he said.“They then have the ability to resume or continue behavioral changes like exercising and watching what

chologist to determine whether he or she is willing and capable of making the necessary changes their daily life. “To maximize the potential for a successful outcome, the patient has to deal with the reasons why they are morbidly obese before undergoing surgery,” he said. Many patients Dr. Gadaleta sees have developed what he describes as a subconscious dependence on food. They eat as a way to cope with boredom, sadness, anxiety, and stress, rather than as a response to hunger.“It’s sometimes a question of how they are going to deal with life’s ups and downs,” he said. Surgical patients are warned about new habits that could potentially develop in the place of unhealthy eating. A small subset of patients return to smoking cigarettes; others become entangled with alcohol or other addictive behaviors.“Aside from the psychological impact of initially being 300

The Facelift Botox Liposuction they eat, and they are more likely to maintain long-term weight loss.” Gastric banding and gastric bypass have the potential to help people who have been dealing with massive amounts of excess weight over a long period of time, Dr. Gadaleta said. His patients have been struggling with their weight for at least five years and, for many of them, weight issues go beyond skin deep—beyond the weight-induced diabetes, hypertension and sleep apnea. Often it affects their self-esteem, confidence in the workplace, and personal relationships. Patients seeking to take control of their weight by surgery need to understand that their body will only do half the work, Dr. Gadaleta said. Each patient that opts for surgery is required to be evaluated by a behavioral psy-

or 400 pounds, a person’s well-being depends on their ability to cope with a new lifestyle. They need to develop strategies to handle not being able to go to food when they’re stressed out,” Gadaleta said. The point of the psychological analysis is for patients to realize that it’s not as simple as just walking into a doctor’s office and saying ‘operate on me.’” Patients that refuse to undergo a psychological evaluation are not approved for surgery, and in most cases, surgery is ruled out if a psychologist encounters a patient in denial of the behavior that has been detrimental to their health, or appears to be unwilling to make the needed drastic lifestyle changes. To be fully sure that surgery is the right option, there is often a three to six-month period

between the point where a patient first walks into Dr. Gadaleta’s office and the day of their operation. Ten years after the establishment of North Shore’s bariatric surgery program, Dr. Gadaleta, Dr. Gellman (a surgeon he has partnered with since 2001) and the rest of the Bariatric Surgery team were recognized as a Bariatric Surgery, Center of Excellence by the American Society for Bariatric and Metabolic Surgery. In addition they head a program that trains other surgeons to perform these procedures using advanced minimally invasive techniques. Dr. Gadaleta spoke to Xavier juniors at the annual Career Day event in November 2007, sharing what he has learned in respect to caring for the whole person during his time at Xavier and beyond. Now in his eleventh year, and after performing over 1600 of these life-altering procedures, Dr. Gadaleta said he continues to treat each new patient with an understanding of the magnitude of the challenges facing them.“For the surgeon, it should never be just another case, because for that patient sitting in front of you, whether it’s an emergency procedure or a planned one, chances are, they are facing one of the most important decisions of their life. “Often a patient’s questions and concerns stem from a lifetime of cultural, spiritual, and personal experiences that need to be acknowledged for “healing” to occur. These issues are often more apparent with the patient seeking Obesity Surgery, rather than hernia repair or gallbladder removal. The honesty with which many of my patients’ face their issues contributes to their success and the satisfaction my work brings to me. Through it all, I try to never forget that, the privilege of being involved in someone’s life and somehow making a difference, is a gift that comes with tremendous responsibility.”




Healing Hands:

By Michael Benigno ’00

Two Xavier Grads Meet to Save a Life

The fact that Dr. LaQuaglia was a Xavier grad—I can’t even tell you how comforting that was.




Before Bill Kelly ’91’s six-monthold daughter, Maggie, had been diagnosed, neuroblastoma didn’t mean a thing to Kelly and his wife. They hadn’t ever heard of the disease, much less how to treat it, or who might help them. A simple doctor’s appointment to check on a fever that wouldn’t dissipate had revealed a mass in Maggie’s abdomen, and a CAT scan came back with startling results. Neuroblastoma is defined as a disease in which malignant cancer cells form in nerve tissue of the adrenal gland, neck, chest, or spinal chord. Each year, about 600 children, usually under the age of five, are diagnosed with neuroblastoma, and it represents about 50% of the cases of cancer diagnosed in infants. What had started as a mass in Maggie’s abdomen, had wrapped itself around her atrial and renal arteries. It had also spread throughout her body, affecting her bone marrow, skull, spine, and legs. “As a parent, it’s a matter of instinct when your child doesn’t feel well, you can help them; if your child gets a cut, you can put a bandage on it,” Kelly said.“At first, my wife, Danielle, and I really felt as if we couldn’t do anything about it. You try to find the best medical treatment you can get, and we would have traveled around the world to find it.” Initially, it seemed like the options at the medical center Maggie was diagnosed at were limited; Kelly and his wife spoke to a resident surgeon who had done four such surgeries in his entire career. “Going to a pediatric oncology section of a hospital for the first time was a big reality check,” Kelly said. “When you see little feet in those beds, you just hope they can get better and they can all get what they need.” At the outset of the search for a

specialist, Kelly came into contact with former faculty member Fr. Vincent Biagi, S.J. ’67, who recommended a physician that had helped save the life of the son of another Xavier graduate, Mick MacDonald ’77, when MacDonald’s infant son was diagnosed with another form of pediatric cancer over a decade earlier. Dr. Michael LaQuaglia ’68 works as chief of Pediatric Surgical Service at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Institute, and has published dozens of medical articles on cancer and ways to treat cancer in pediatric patients. When Bill Kelly first spoke with Dr. LaQuaglia, he learned that the doctor had performed three neuroblastoma surgeries just in that one week alone. Dr. LaQuaglia first started operating on neuroblastomas in 1982 at Massachusetts General Hospital and later at the Boston Children’s Hospital. When he arrived at Sloan-Kettering in 1987, he began working with doctors in many other institutions, specializing in the treatment removal of often intricate tumors in pediatric patients. It isn’t uncommon for doctors treating neuroblastoma patients in other parts of country to refer surgical candidates to Dr. LaQuaglia for potentially lifechanging operations. Right away, Kelly said he felt a sense of relief knowing that he and Dr. LaQuaglia had shared a similar past at Xavier.“The fact that he was a Xavier guy helped a lot,” he said.“We had to find the best medical treatment in the world, and all the signs kept pointing toward him.The fact that he was a Xavier grad—I can’t even tell you how comforting that was.” “Having a shared Xavier background certainly made it easier to speak with Bill and his family,” Dr. LaQuaglia said. “There are a host of intangibles that go along with that, I think, including a shared set of ethics, belief in God,

Dr. Michael LaQuaglia ’68 with Maggie Kelly. In October 2007, Maggie underwent an 8-hour surgical procedure after she was diagnosed with neuroblastoma earlier in the year.

and concern for others, and we also just got to know one another by swapping humorous epithets. This really helps in establishing trust.” Maggie had undergone fourteen rounds of high-dose chemotherapy to shrink the tumor, and this past fall, Dr. LaQuaglia and the Kelly’s discussed major surgery to remove the mass. This would be a major operation, and there was a chance that one of Maggie’s kidneys and her adrenal gland would have to be removed. “We made the decision to go ahead with the surgery,” Kelly said.“Dr. LaQuaglia took his time and walked us through what he was going to do, and it kind of blew us away.” Followed by a biopsy procedure, Dr. LaQuaglia performed extensive surgery on October 10th to extirpate Maggie’s tumor from its primary location in her abdomen. The procedure took eight hours to perform, but in the end, her kidney was spared and the entire tumor had been removed.

A paraflu that Maggie came down with before the operation had Kelly and his wife holding their breath, hoping that her challenged immune system would be able to fight off the risk of infection in her lungs. Maggie spent ten days on a respirator and, thankfully, made a full recovery from the operation.“She underwent an additional round of chemotherapy following the removal of the tumor, and began radiation treatment. Prolonged antibody treatment and high doses of Accutane, a retinoid prescribed as an anti-cancer chemotherapy aid, will help keep Maggie in remission. A fundraiser was held in Maggie’s honor in November, organized by Felix “Flip” Mullen ’97 and Karen Perine, Kelly’s brother- and sister-in-law, and another fundraiser took place a month later, hosted by Mike Minardi ’91 and a group of other Xavier classmates. In total, over $30,000 in donations went toward Neuroblastoma research at Sloan-Kettering and toward the Sloan-

A magnified image of neuroblastoma cancer cells.

Kettering Family Fund, which helps the needy families of children with cancer. “There was a great turnout from my Xavier friends. They’ve helped Maggie do so much to help raise awareness of this awful disease,” Kelly said. The Kelly’s and Dr. LaQuaglia continue to be amazed by Maggie’s strength and courage. “It’s an amazing thing to see what can be done when you throw statistics and mortality rates out the window and have faith in God, support from family and friends and trust in the doctors and nurses who are caring for her,” Kelly said.“Maggie has been such an inspiration to everyone who has met her.” Maggie continues to recover at her parent’s home in Rockaway Beach, NY.

To support neuroblastoma research and to follow Maggie’s progress, visit, click “Visit” and enter “MaggieKelly.” FEBRUARY 2008



A Life of Service in a Foreign Land

By Michael Benigno ’00

By the time Tom Lavelle ’43 attended Xavier almost fifty years ago, he already held a secret that would dictate the course of his life. In 2nd grade, while in grammar school at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel School in Astoria, Queens, his teacher and some of the other nuns would give talks about the lives of the many famous martyrs and saints that were glorified by the Catholic Church.“We knew that the martyrs were in heaven, and I decided that’s where I wanted to go,”Tom said. At the age of eight,Tom knew that his highest goal would be to give as much of himself as possible and to dedicate his life toward helping others—even if it meant sacrificing his life. But the way Tom remembers it, his ambitions weren’t shrouded in mystery to everyone. His mother had a suspicion that one day he’d do something to satisfy his hunger to serve. In fact, through most of high school, she hid the Maryknoll magazines that would come to their home, mostly because, he recalls, she knew he would be too tempted to 24



enter the seminary. The middle child of nine, Tom grew up the son of a doctor and a homemaker, and by his own account, he and his siblings lived a comfortable life. A maid did the laundry, and summers were spent in a residence in the Catskill Mountains, where, as a reprieve from life in Queens, they learned to ride horses, milk cows, and pitch hay. The event that lit the way for Tom’s next few steps took place one day at Xavier when a Maryknoll priest visited the school and spoke to a group of students. Service, adventure, even danger in foreign lands: life as a Maryknoll missioner was the one path that seemed illuminated before Tom. When a teacher at Xavier asked Tom whether he would ever consider becoming a Jesuit, Tom insisted on entering the Maryknoll seminary because, he said, there would be more

of a guarantee that he’d be assigned to a foreign mission. His dreams were almost shattered, however, when, after initially entering the Maryknoll seminary in Ossining, New York, he was drafted into the U.S. Army. World War II had just ended and, after a year working in a mess hall in Okinawa, Japan, he returned to New York to learn that his reentry into the order would be denied. With the help of an influential Maryknoll priest he had befriended, Tom reentered the seminary and in 1955, following his ordination, was sent to the center of a semi-rural parish in Mexico, an Indian village named Tihosuco. As pastor of rural missions, Fr. Lavelle served a ten-year old parish of about 10,000 people, a tenure that would last six years, including three years when he served as pastor. Immediately, Mexico seemed a place Fr. Lavelle was well-suited for.

Interviews taken throughout his service by the Maryknoll staff reflected the colorful culture he was immersed in. On a regular basis, priests traveled five or six hours away on horseback to remote corners of the countryside in order to mentor Catholics involved in religious instruction courses. Fr. Lavelle absorbed the Spanish language and, later learned to speak Maya. Unlike other priests he joined in Mexico who had problems adjusting to the local diet, Tom grew fond of the many native dishes, and learned to cook for himself using easily accessible ingredients. “When we first got down there, we would live like the natives and we’d go from the center of the parish and visit the towns around it,” Fr. Lavelle said. “You would stay in that village sometimes for a week and then go back to the center.” On his weekly or biweekly trips to the outskirts of the Yucatan Peninsula, Fr. Lavelle mentored parishioners that had been baptized but did not practice their religion. He also conducted catechism classes while organizing nightly prayer meetings and sermons. Mass schedules were adjusted to meet the needs of the parishioners, and instruction was given to the young and old alike. For four years, Tom served as pastor of a church in Peto, another town on the peninsula, where he further explored the problem of parishioners seldom attending Mass services. Midway through what would go on to be fifty years of service in Mexico, Fr. Lavelle realized he would have to come to terms with the fact that his work in Mexico was less harrowing than he had initially anticipated. By the time he had arrived in 1955, most of the resistance the early missioners experienced had dissipated. While there were governmental rules that imposed on public worship, fierce opposition to Catholicism was something Tom said he

never experienced directly. “My work did not resonate with my idea of self sacrifice,” he said.“I enjoyed it too much, getting to know the people. And my work down there always seemed to appeal to the part of me that wanted to get away, travel, and experience new things.” Fr. Lavelle’s more recent assignments put to use the devotion he showed toward young parishioners and schoolaged children who often traveled miles from small villages to attend school. In the late 1960s, Fr. Lavelle began work in Dzidzantun, near the northern tip of the Yucatan Peninsula, where Tom supervised a high school and a middle school. Working under Fr. Bill Hagin, Tom initiated the construction of a residence for female students who were frequently left unsupervised while staying with local families. In 1992, Fr. Lavelle was appointed the Superior of Maryknoll’s missions in Mexico, overseeing several different parishes that were each tailored toward the different needs of surrounding worshippers. As a humorous side note, after a photographer documenting the mission work in Mexico accompanied Tom and another man on a fishing boat one afternoon, his photograph appeared in one of the Maryknoll magazines his mother had once hidden from him as a teenager. Today, Fr. Lavelle sits in a wheelchair in St. Theresa’s Hall—just down the road from the large stone building formerly used as Maryknoll seminary—a rested look on his face and with straightforward, comfortable eyes. It’s November up in Ossining, New York, and the wheelchair is the reason he sits in this room. For several years after his retirement, aging into his late 70s, Tom had been living with a Mexican family he had grown particularly close to. When he lost the ability to walk, they continued

to care for him and offered to house him indefinitely. But when he received instruction to return to New York permanently, he once again put his trust in those that suggested the move and had guided him all along. Fr. Lavelle said he enjoys the community life of his later assignments residence, but he admits he would still be living in Mexico if he had the choice. His fifty years of service in Mexico stands as an accomplishment on its own, but his humble attitude about his selfless dedication is stunning. His return to Ossining has brought him full circle. And while he may not be in as lush an environment or as warm a climate, he is still surrounded by individuals—other retired priests—who share similar stories of service and sacrifice, and others who, like Tom, may have had the chance to see how their own dreams would play out.







ReuKNIGHTed is a section of the Alumnews that runs in each issue, telling the stories of Xavier graduates that have crossed paths with other graduates from their class, members of other years, or even members of Xavier’s administration. The ReuKNIGHTed section has run in many previous issues of the Alumnews, but is only successful with ample reader response. Contact Mike Benigno with your ReuKNIGHTed story either by email at, or by phone at 212-924-7900 x.1435.





Teamwork with Results!

Rodger Shay ’54

Brian Dugan ’54

About a week before Rodger Shay ’54 and his wife were set to travel to Cairo, Egypt, in September 2007, he got an email from Al Griffith ’54 that would spark an out-of-the-country encounter with another Xavier graduate! Al mentioned that he’d heard that Brian Dugan ’54 would also be in Cairo that month to complete a telecommunications project for the Egyptian government. Rodger and Brian grew up together in Brooklyn, and actually attended the same elementary school before Xavier, and college at Fordham University afterward. They hadn’t seen one another since an elementary school reunion in 2000. They exchanged emails, and arranged to meet for lunch at a restaurant on an island in the Nile River.“It was very nice coming together, and it started to shock me when he started to speak Arabic to our guide,” Shay said.“We had a very nice afternoon and were even able to get to Mass in the American section of Cairo.” Rodger said he enjoyed the chance to catch up on old times, and to reunite with one another before Brian had to head to Dublin a few days later. “It doesn’t surprise me, frankly,” Shay said.“With all the years of graduates, and all the people over the years that I’ve known from Xavier, I think the caliber of Xavier graduates puts them in positions of authority here and there. I’m not surprised when I see them in different places throughout the world.”

Class Notes

The Class of ’44 recently held their annual luncheon to celebrate sixty-seven years of friendship! The gathering was held at the Spring Lake Golf Club, in Spring Lake, New Jersey on September 28, 2007. Pictured here are Class of ’44 graduates (l.-r.) George Pavarini, Joe Dunn, Al Tattam, Jack McCrane, Joe Novak, S.J., Frank Dwyer, and Bernie Carlin.

1940 Robert Rice, S.J. is spending his 52nd year as a Jesuit in the Philippines and recently visited Xavier with John Walsh ’39 during a trip to the States. 1949 Edward V. Atnally is now practicing law in White Plains after 45 years in Downtown Manhattan. 1953 Leo Gafney published A Guide to the Our Father Today, a book containing informative reflections on the Lord’s Prayer. 1956 Anthony Borrello welcomed his first grandchild, Adrianna, in September 2006. Ludwig Deppisch published The White House Physician, a narrative about the physicians who have taken care of U.S. presidents throughout history. Ludwig has retired from his practice of pathology in Youngstown, Ohio and has relocated to Tucson, Arizona where he received a Masters degree in history from the University of Arizona. 1957 Joseph Juhasz has begun a phased retirement and would love to hear from some of his old classmates. George Wenz is headed for retirement after practicing law in Vermont for thirty-five years and would also love to hear from fellow classmates.

What a photo opportunity! The Class of ’49 held a “Reunion in the Swamp” on the weekend of September 7th through September 9th, and over a dozen ’49ers and their wives had a lovely weekend in Washington, North Carolina, the home of Tom O’Brien ’49. The graduates had a great dinner at the Washington Yacht and Country Club, followed by a pig roast the next day. Pictured here are Class of ’49 graduates (l.-r.) Bill O’Brien, Ken McGinity, Jim Breininger, Tom O’Brien, Gerry Nappy, Charlie Walsh, Bill Bolger, Chip Cipolla, Jack Madaras, Louie Lopez, Dick McCauley, Harold Cronin, Bill Clarke, Dick Potter, John Beglan.

1958 Norman J. Dauerer is enjoying retirement after thirty-six years with IBM and looks forward to his 50th reunion in May. 1961 William Borst has written a play called “The Memory of an Ol’ Brownie Fan.” 1965 John Robinson owns a commercial real estate firm, Americal Inc., and is involved in many civic organizations in the Jersey shore area.




Class Notes

1966 James F. Nagle published 1948—The Crossroad Year, a book exploring how the year 1948 and the struggle between Western democracy and Eastern absolutism changed the history of America. 1972 John Toolan, Brigadier General in the Marine Corps, has been assigned to the Office under the Secretary of Defense for Policy. Russell Warren is serving his 11th year as Dean of Students at Prospect High School in San Jose, California. 1973 Richard Krajewski and his wife, Liane, are in the process of founding a facility for autistic adults called Douglas Acres. They also plan on starting two online journals, the National Civics magazine (political) and the Pocono Armchair Review (literary), and would welcome articles from Xavier alumni. Bruce Caulfield and his wife Cathy welcomed home their baby girl, Mary Catharine, from Guatemala, in July and are awaiting their son, Brian, in the near future. 1975 Manuel Romero recently received the 2007 Community Achievement Award for his efforts to promote diversity and understanding in the Hispanic community. Manuel was also appointed to the Board of Directors of the Brooklyn Public Library. 1976 Mike Riggin has relocated to Dallas, Texas where he serves as Senior Vice President and Market President at the Highlands Bank of Dallas 1977 Jose A. Aquino works for the law firm of Thelen Reid Brown Raysman & Steiner LLP, specializing in commercial litigation, construction law and public contracts law. He is proud to announce that his son, Jose, Jr., is a graduate of Xavier’s class of 2007.




1978 Fr. David Bertolotti works as a Catholic chaplain at Woodhull Hospital, in Brooklyn, and resides at All Saints/ Our Lady of Montserrate Parish. Vincent Keogh is the president and owner of the Metropolitan Investigative Group, a firm specializing in investigative services over the past fifteen years. 1982 Dennis Healy is retired as a detective from the NYPD Emergency Service Unit and is the cofounder of The Invictus Resource Group, a company that provides instruction and support in the field of domestic preparedness. 1983 Jim McEleney is the Managing Director for the Bank of New York Mellon Wealth Management’s Family Office, in London. 1984 Bill Kelly is a partner in the law firm of McCarthy & Kelly LLP, specializing in personal injury cases. 1985 Gerard Onorato is a Senior Consultant for Verizon Business Services. 1988 Pascal St. Gerard sends his regards to all of his fellow classmates. Patrick J. Steffens works as a lieutenant in the NYPD and recently enrolled his son, Patrick, into the class of 2011. Matt Febles completed his 5th NYC Marathon in a time of 3:09:46, which qualifies him for the 2008 Boston Marathon. Matt also coaches track & field and cross country at Fordham Prep and helps operate a Jesuit and CHSAA Alumni running club. Those interested in joining can reach him at Frank Arlia is happily married with two children and works for Credit Suisse as a Mortgage Sales Assistant.

1989 George Brennan writes:“My second published book, Bats, Brats, and Stats was released on Christmas 2007. In August 2007, I released the first original CD of music I wrote and recorded. My Day is available at Finally, on September 12, 2007 my wife Katie gave birth to two— our first children, twins Connor Jack Brennan and Caroline Grace Brennan”.

1991 Anthony Freire operates a real estate sales and consulting firm called Portrait Realty, in Manhattan. 1992 Christian G. Meany manages his own graphic design business called Krona Design. 1993 Evan Barnes works as a freelance photographer for the New York Post Sports Photography Department and writes for other newspapers in the New York City area. Dan Castle and his wife, Marissa, are expecting triplets in May of 2008. 1994 John Georges is pursuing his second Masters Degree in Higher Education Administration and a graduate certificate in marketing at Baruch College. Marc Palladino is a real estate attorney at Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft, in Manhattan.

Class Notes


1995 Christopher J. Geissler was promoted to Assistant Principal at Fairfield Woods Middle School in Fairfield, Connecticut. Ryan Quinn moved to Philadelphia after being promoted to External Wholesaler for the Retirement Division of MFS Investment Management. Ryan is also happy to report his marriage to Katie Jacobsen, a fellow 2001 Boston College graduate, in July of 2006. Eric Eschenauer received his MBA from the Fordham University Graduate School of Business Administration in May 2007.


1997 John Murillo is an account executive at International Bond & Marine in Hoboken, New Jersey. 2000 Jamie Mannina serves an aide to Hillary Clinton in her New York City Senate office. 2003 Peter Faherty attends Albany Law School and plays for the school’s rugby team. 2004 Jonathan DePierro, a member of the Dean’s List at Fordham University, is majoring in psychology and working at the Institute of Basic Research. 2005 Jacob Fountain is completing a semester of his junior year of college at the Royal Holloway University of London as one of 13 cadets chosen to participate in a program sponsored by the history department at the Citadel.

An award-winning documentary film maker, St. Clair Bourne ’60 died December 15, 2007. Bourne began his career in American public television in 1971, producing films for the TV series “Black Journal,” before establishing his own production company, Chamba Mediaworks. His work gradually extended toward educational films, network TV and political films centering on the experiences unique to African-Americans worldwide. In “Let the Church Say Amen!,” (1974), at the request of a group of ministers, Bourne produced a feature that documented the African-American religious experience, signaling a break from traditional television journalism that would continue throughout the rest of his career.“The Black and the Green” (1983), followed a tour in which AfricanAmerican activists met the IRA in Northern Ireland, and Bourne achieved a level of success as a filmmaker. Bourne went on to produce or direct over 45 films for HBO, PBS, NBC, CBS, BBC, Sundance Channel and National Geographic, including documentaries that profiled the historian and Pan-African activist, John Henrik Clarke, the legendary black poet and writer, Langston Hughes, and the African-American actor/activist Paul Robeson, among others. His 2000 HBO documentary on the photojournalist/filmmaker Gordon Parks earned him three Emmy nominations. In a recent online message board, a friend and former publicist of recognized Bourne’s kindness, and his sense of truth, balance and perspective and acknowledged his many eye-opening films that educated so many viewers during his 36-year career.

2007 Michael Chiaia has completed Cadet Basic Training at the U.S. Military Academy and was accepted into the Corp of Cadets during the Acceptance Parade on August 18, 2007.




Mileposts DEATHS Alumni


John P. O’Keefe ’29, June 12, 2004 Francis J. McCormick ’32, July 4, 2007 James W. Barrett ’34, June 11, 2007 James J. Rogers ’36, February 6, 2007 Christopher Karb ’40, May 26, 2007 James F. Skane ’42, October 20, 2006 John M. McCoy ’43, March 17, 2007 Joseph L. McElroy ’46, August 15, 2007 Donald P. Pascale ’46, May 4, 2007 John H. King ’47, April 22, 2007 Robert B. Beusse ’48, August 14, 2007 Victor J. Gioscia ’48, August 5, 2007 Richard J. Farrelly ’49, March 25, 2007 Joseph G. Fink ’49, November 1, 2007 Robert F. McGiff ’50, July 31, 2007 Joseph J. Clark ’52, July 23, 2007 Charles P. Murray ’52, January 10, 2007 Edward L. Burke ’53, September 6, 2007 Samuel A. Carrello ’54, May 1, 2007 Michael R. Aylward ’55, April 4, 2007 John L. Doyle ’55, February 20, 2007 John M. Armentano ’57, April 18, 2007 Stephen J. Spiro ’57, October 23, 2007 Michael T. Balsamo ’59, July 10, 2007 Joseph P. Marro ’61, February 5, 2006 Leonard S. Leaman ’64, June 26, 2007 Edward S. Kulesza ’70, September 25, 2007 John W. Reilly ’73, July 17, 2007 Robert J. Cacace ’79, October 10, 2007 Donald L. Magnetti ’57, February 2, 2008

Patrick Akande, father of Segun ’03, July 5, 2007 Angela Balaschak-Ferrer, mother of Evan Ferrer ’10, July 9, 2007 Amy Cioffi, mother of Frank ’71, April 17, 2007 Duncan W. Clark, father of Duncan Clark ’71, August 5, 2007 Regina M. Dassaro, mother of Thomas ’09, October 29, 2007 Donald J. Dillon, father of Sean ’79, Scott ’82 and Donald ’82, January 7, 2007 Antonio Fabila, father of Edward ’87, May 12, 2007 Rosemary Gorman, mother of Vincent ’67, Neil ’69, Denis ’71, and Padraic ’79, June 23, 2007


Andrew Farrell, May 28, 2007 Ann and George Farrell ’82 Alexander Louis Gibson, May 4, 2007 Marie and Robert Gibson ’87 Jack Martin Gibson, May 4, 2007 Marie and Robert Gibson ’87 Andrew Thomas Israel, August 16, 2007 Teresa and Andrew Israel ’85 Olivia Claire Lanzi, June 26, 2007 Anne and Michael Lanzi ’93 Brady Nicholson Murray, November 6, 2007 Heather and Brian Murray ’91 Robert Felix O’Grady III, August 2, 2007 Nicole and Robert O’Grady Luca Nikolas Palladino, May 23, 2007 Olga and Marc Palladino ’94

Robert Hughes, father of Robert W. ’07 and Brennan ’09, May 4, 2007

Genevieve Purnell-Amaez, September 5, 2007 Leana Amaez and Brian Purnell ’96

Ellyn Iadarola, mother of Paul ’94, October 7, 2007

Leonardo Valentino Quacinella, February 1, 2007 Lisa and Wayne Quacinella ’83

Daniel J. Keane, son of Kenneth ’70, July 26, 2007 Margaret Keyes, wife of Alan ’46, May 20, 2007 Anita E. Marro, mother of Joseph ’61, May 1, 2006 John McLaughlin, father of Kevin J. McLaughlin ’74, June 5, 2007 Giuseppina Mogavero, mother of Sergio Mogavero, Xavier faculty member, May 27, 2007

WEDDINGS John N. Frank ’71 and Carolyn Calzavara, July 28, 2007 Brian Purnell ’96 and Leana Amaez, August 12, 2006 Michael J. Ramos ’86 and Kristi M. Schwindt, May 26, 2007 Michael T. Ryan ’90 and Mairin K. Dent, June 29, 2007

Bernard J. Rocco, father of Vincent ’63, July 21, 2007

George P. Sinnott ’97 and Jessica Connors, June 9, 2007

William J. Varrichio Sr., father of William J. Varrichio Jr. ’62, April 28, 2007

Allan Suarez ’88 and Evelyn Gonzalez, May 25, 2007


Eugene Sweeney ’85 and Carrie McDaniel, April 21, 2007

Dominick P. Mauriello, father of Thomas Mauriello, former Xavier administrator, June 21, 2007


Joseph Daniel DePierro, December 19, 2006 Kristen and James DePierro ’85

Christian Guster, son of Edward J. Guster III ’89, February 19, 2007

Henry Long, father-in-law of Margaret Gonzalez, Xavier faculty member, October 26, 2007


Thomas Hugh Brady, January 3, 2007 Michele and Gerard Brady ’91

Save the Date! Friday, November 21, 2008


Hall of Fame Dinner HONOREES

Amb. Vincent M. Battle ’58

Rev. Vincent M. Cooke, S.J. ’54

Rev. James Dineen, S.J. ’48

Constantine Katsoris ’49 Professor of Law at Fordham University. Nationally known expert in financial, tax and arbitration law with a distinguished list of publications.

Constantine Katsoris ’49

John C. Meditz ’66

PLACE PIER SIXTY at Chelsea Piers New York, NY 10011 TIME

Reception 6:00 - 7:00 pm Dinner 7:00 pm

Rodger D. Shay, Sr. ’54

Amb. Vincent M. Battle ’58 Worked for over 25 years in the Foreign Service, mainly in the Middle East. U.S. Ambassador to Lebanon from 2001 to 2004. Rev. Vincent M. Cooke, S.J. ’54 President of Canisius College since 1993. Recipient of numerous awards for civic and community service in the Buffalo, New York, area. Rev. James Dineen, S.J. ’48 Guidance counselor and teacher at Xavier from the mid-sixties to the mid-seventies. Faculty chaplain and retreat minister at St. Peter’s Prep.

John C. Meditz ’66 Co-founder and Vice Chairman of Horizon Asset Management. Trustee of Xavier High School and Fairfield University; works with many non-profit groups. Rodger D. Shay, Sr. ’54 Founder of Shay Assets Management, Inc and past Chairman of the Board of Merrill Lynch Money Market Securities, Inc. Former Xavier Trustee.

Please join us as we celebrate our “Men for Others”


JOE GORSKI Vice President for Advancement




This issue of the Alumnews focuses on alumni who have been instrumental in “saving lives” through their work in the field of medicine. Dr. Joseph McGinn ’73 is a heart surgeon who has developed a less invasive procedure for bypass surgery by not stopping the patient’s heart; Dr.Michael LaQuaglia ’68 is a world-renown physician specializing in neuroblastoma and other forms of pediatric cancer; and the class of 1978’s Dr. Dominic Gadaleta’s gastric bypass surgery has helped many dangerously obese people begin new and much healthier lives and lifestyles. Whether it is doctors on the front lines or research scientists like Peter Oates ’65 working on a possible cure for diabetes, Xavier alumni are in the forefront of new medical procedures and medical research, and they are working to better the lives of all Americans. These men and so many other Xavier alumni who have chosen to practice medicine began their career journeys on 16th Street. They were recipients of a great college preparatory education, opportunities to develop all their talents and a need to serve mankind as “Men for Others.”They were all beneficiaries of the “living endowment” provided by members of the Society of Jesus who dedicated their lives to educating bright young men of promise and who, by their service, kept that education affordable to all. As that “living endowment” has decreased in numbers, the number of lay teachers has expanded exponentially and the resultant increase in salaries and benefits has led to significantly higher operation expenses. That makes it all the more necessary that alumni, parents and friends support the school financially to keep the opportunity of a Xavier education available to all who qualify for it. Yet occasional conversations with alumni, family and friends sometime reflect a bias toward “more important” charities such as medical research or colleges, etc. Obviously, we at Xavier believe that your charitable dollars will work much more productively here than elsewhere. Certainly, I am not denying the importance of medical research. Finding cures for heart disease, diabetes, AIDS, cancer and all the other ills that afflict mankind today and in the future is very important to the well-being of all who inhabit this planet. I also cannot argue with the importance of a college education which has also become increasingly costly. I would strongly suggest, however, that a generous gift to Xavier will pay an equal or greater dividend by assuring that the young men of intellectual promise educated here, among whom may be the doctor or researcher who finds the cure for a catastrophic disease or the diplomat/politician who brokers peace in a troubled world, continue to become men of action impelled to greatness as “Men for Others.”Your continued generosity to Xavier, whether through yearly gifts to the annual fund or to scholarship endowment and/or a deferred legacy gift to either, will ensure that the opportunity for a Xavier education remains available to all who will qualify, regardless of their current financial condition. I urge each of you to consider where your gift can make the greatest impact. A major gift or continuous annual gifts to Xavier provide the best opportunity to form, at an early and impactful stage of their lives, men of competence, conscience and compassion who will take their rightful place as leaders in every field of endeavor in this nation and the world. We cannot hope for more and we cannot afford to do less.


Explore your legacy.

& click on Planned Giving Advice.

Give Us the Gift You Always Intended Perhaps you have always said that once you are comfortable and secure, you would like to help those causes near and dear to your heart. Only you haven’t yet implemented your philanthropic plans. Are you one of these well-intentioned people? If so, here is the easiest way to turn your good intentions into action.

A Gift in Your Will You can make a charitable gift by including a bequest to Xavier High School directly in your will or revocable or irrevocable living trust. In doing so, you provide a pledge of future support for our mission. We can help you and your estate planning advisors develop a plan best suited to satisfy family and philanthropic goals. Please give us a call: Joseph Gorski 212.924.7900 Ext. 1539 Loual Puliafito 212.924.7900 Ext. 1611

Various Bequest Options There are many ways to make a bequest. You might discuss them with your attorney as you prepare to update your will.

A more detailed outline of the bequest options are outlined on the Xavier website. Please visit & click on Planned Giving Advice.

3rd Annual Xavier Alumni 3-on-3 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 Senior Breakfast June 10, 2008 Volunteer Reception June 17, 2008 Xavier Society and Loyola Associates Reception September 17, 2008 President’s Council Reception September 24, 2008 Maroon and Blue Day September 26, 2008

Alumnews Calendar

President’s Council Dinner October 2, 2008 Parent’s Phonathon October 20-23, 2008 Xavier High School Open House October 18, 2008

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