This year’s Alumni Men of the Year and Alumni Hall of Fame Inductees share a common belief about Brother Rice. They all appreciate what Brother Rice has meant to them while they were students here, and as they pursued their different paths as grown men. Their graduation years span 38 years, and each has expressed appreciation for his Brother Rice education for unique reasons and in a variety of ways.
Bill Waddell ’60 had two sons, Willie ’07 and Dan ’08, graduate from Brother Rice and he has been supporting Brother Rice for over 20 years with increasing generosity, so much so that he continues to be among our leading alumni in providing Crusaders with exceptional opportunities. We eventually learned that Bill’s overall philanthropy extends to a wide variety of worthy causes throughout Southwest Chicagoland, where he is a leading volunteer and supporter.
Tom Dixon ’80 was only 27 years old when he first started recruiting and organizing foursomes for the annual Alumni Golf Outing, and his group of fellow alumni and other friends has grown to be the largest of the morning shot gun, as they annually arrange vacations to begin this summer weekend together. If we had only 100 more alumni like Tom, we would generate thousands in more attendance and hundreds of thousands in more financial support for Brother Rice.
Ed McGunn ’80, along with his wife Lori, is among the most actively and proactively supportive parents in Brother Rice history, with no signs of letting up, as he gives, gets, and shows up for today’s and tomorrow’s Crusaders at a level so all-encompassing, it will be challenging to adequately measure and appreciate. He and Lori were therefore named our first Couple of the Year at the 1st Be Exceptional Gala in February, so Ed is a no-brainer selection as a 2020 Man of the Year.
Patrick Elwood ’85 is being inducted into the Alumni Hall of Fame not only because of his service to Brother Rice as a former member of the Board of Directors and public promoter of his alma mater, but also because this award winning WGN-TV reporter has raised millions of dollars for pediatric cancer and thousands for REACT4Ryan in the wake of his nephew, Ryan’s suicide, to help first responders coping with PTSD. The youngest brother of Tom ’68, Mike ’74, and Bill ’78, Patrick is a champion of the underdog, who takes personally his response to the needs of others.
Kevin Badke ’98 is so appreciative of his Brother Rice Catholic High School experience, that as a prominent donor to Lifeguard, he has become a leading provider of that experience for others who otherwise would not be able to afford it. In fact, no one in Brother Rice history has provided a Brother Rice education to more students at such a young age, than has Kevin Badke.
We will have more to say about these exceptional alumni Crusaders at their induction into the Alumni Hall of Fame on Saturday, September 26 at private ceremony honoring these exceptional Crusaders. Not everyone can give what they have already given, but most of us can show our appreciation for them and for our own education by giving what we can give for today’s and tomorrow’s Crusaders.