Sunday morning’s Bishop Hendricken High School 19th Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony felt a bit like a high school reunion, as family, friends, classmates, teachers and coaches came together to honor the 11 individuals and two groups being honored.
The ceremony, which included morning Mass and a catered lunch after the main event, celebrated the newest inductees for their achievements in a variety of areas but every inductee had the same feeling; they were honored and humbled.
“I’m truly honored,” said Joseph Healey, Class of 1984, who received the Distinguished Alumnus Award. “I can’t say I have many things like this happen in my life.”
Healey lives in New York City, working on Wall Street as the senior managing director for HealthCor Management, a hedge fund handling more than $2.5 billion in assets. But growing up, Healey lived in a single-parent home in the Greenwood area of Warwick, watching his mom work hard to provide him with everything she could. He was able to attend Hendricken only due to the full scholarship he received from the Knights of Columbus.
“Someone took a chance on me back then,” said Healey. “And that gave me the opportunity to come here.”
Healey said he loved his time as a student at Hendricken, and he has stayed in touch with a number of classmates.
“I made lifelong friends because of Hendricken,” he said.
Following his graduation, Healey spent four years in the Army and then attended Boston University to study Biomedical Engineering; he says he always enjoyed math and science.
“I went to Wall Street in 1992 and I’ve been there ever since,” said Healey. He has a house in Narragansett and often visits Rhode Island in the summer.
But just because he lives in Manhattan doesn’t mean Healey has forgotten about his beloved Hawks. Philanthropy is a priority in his life, and Hendricken is his primary source of giving.
“The way I look at charity is I want to have a personal connection. This is where I grew up; this is where I went to high school,” said Healey.
So Healey created The Healey Scholars program, which provides a full scholarship to a young man who academically can succeed at Hendricken but for financial reasons cannot attend.
“I am the recipient of the very same scholarship I now provide,” said Healey in his remarks to the audience.
Healey explained that he started awarding scholarships 10 years ago, giving one four-year scholarship each year. But he enjoyed giving back so he increased to two, and now he awards four full scholarships each year. Currently, he is providing full tuition for 18 Hendricken students; tuition for the 2013-2014 school year was $12,750. Also, earlier this year, his all-time giving amount surpassed $1 million.
Healey says the hardest part of awarding scholarships is hearing their stories but having to eliminate deserving boys from the running. He hears a number of stories about immense hardship, including growing up in single-parent homes like he did, parents suffering from diseases, deceased parents and more.
During his brief remarks, Healey remembered his time at the school fondly, especially running freshman track for then-coach, now-Principal Jay Brennan. He says he hated it and came in last every time, but Brennan was always waiting at the finish line cheering him on.
“It feels good to be home,” said Healey.
A sense of being back home was among many of the inductees, especially when they accepted awards to the cheers and applause of former classmates, students and colleagues.
Dennis Mullen, the director of secondary education for Warwick Schools, was inducted into the Hall of Fame for his time as a social studies teacher and assistant principal of student affairs, receiving the Distinguished Faculty Award.
Mullen said any great accolade is due in part to those surrounding the individual, and the same was true for him. He thanked his family, friends and the Hendricken community for their support.
“I consider you friends, not colleagues,” said Mullen in his speech to the crowd.
Mullen first went to Hendricken as a teacher in 1980, spending a decade at the school until leaving to begin his 23-year career with Warwick Schools.
“It’s such a tremendous honor. This is such a special place,” said Mullen. “The sense of community, more so than at other schools across the country, has been enormous.”
When asked if he brings any of the concepts he learned at Hendricken to his position with secondary education, he answered “structure.”
“Kids like structure. Kids need organization,” said Mullen. “As long as an adult can show they genuinely care about them, about kids, they will be successful.”
Another face from Warwick Schools was inducted into the Athletic Hall of Fame, Warwick Veterans High School Principal Gerry Habershaw. Habershaw, who graduated from Hendricken in 1983, was part of five state championship teams during his high school career, an impressive number even by Hendricken standards. He played baseball, basketball and football as a Hawk.
Habershaw recalled being taken to area high school basketball and football games by his father growing up, but he can especially remember how his first Hendricken football game inspired him to want to be a Hawk.
“I saw it. I saw the reason I wanted to go to Bishop Hendricken. I saw those gold helmets,” joked Habershaw, an avid Notre Dame University fan.
Habershaw said it felt great to be inducted into the Athletic Hall of Fame, but he did not get there alone.
“I’m here because I played on five championship teams; I played with talented teammates,” he said.
He also added that he was representing the Class of ’83, which is the class to start Hendricken’s winning reputation with sports.
While he enjoyed his time as a Hendricken student, Habershaw credits the school with helping him earn a baseball scholarship to play at Providence College, where the two greatest things in his life happened to him: He met his wife, Beth, and discovered his love of teaching.
“If it wasn’t for this place, I don’t know what would have happened,” said Habershaw.
He also credited his coaches at Hendricken with being the greatest male influences in his life, after his father. They taught him lessons that he still puts into practice today as principal at Vets.
“Being able to motivate people. Getting people to work together. Being a leader,” said Habershaw.
Former Hendricken Coach Dave Kenney, affectionately known as “Silver Fox” by a number of former athletes, was also inducted into the Athletic Hall of Fame during Sunday’s event.
A Warwick resident, Kenney coached baseball, basketball, golf and soccer at Hendricken from 1970 until 1984. He eventually moved on to be the assistant basketball coach at Stonehill College to work with fellow Hall of Fame member, former Hendricken coach and dear friend Ray Pepin.
“My friend Ray Pepin brought me here [to Hendricken] to coach with him, and I cannot count the good things that have come from it,” said Kenney.
He joked that his memory is going, but Kenney still attends as many Hawk basketball and baseball games as possible. He also said he constantly has people coming up to him to talk about sports and his time at Hendricken.
“At least once a week, I meet someone who’s a Hawk,” he said.
With a Warwick and Warwick Beacon connection at Sunday’s induction ceremony, was former reporter Kim Kalunian. She was inducted as a member of the cast and crew of the 2007 production of the musical “All Shook Up.” The group of almost 70 students (only about 10 attended Sunday’s ceremony) performed and worked on the production that is considered the cornerstone of the arts program, increased participation in the program and built up the supportive audience that still attends productions today.
The other group inducted was the Holy Cross Brothers, whose members served as the first teachers and administrators at Hendricken until the early 1970s. They were awarded the Honorary Alumni Award.
Other individuals inducted into the Hall of Fame were Ted and Trish Garrahy, parents of three Hendricken students who have spent 16 years serving on parent councils and helping with events, and Roland Fiore, an alumni from the Class of 1979 who has helped supply both guidance and supplies for Hendricken capital projects over his 30-year career in real estate development, road construction, and sand and gravel operations. Fiore is also a director with the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation.
Finally, other members inducted into the Athletic Hall of Fame are Brian Crudden, a state championship wrestler and all-state honors football player from the Class of 1971; Joe Turilli, an all-state honors wrestler and track and field athlete from the Class of 2001; Paul Mangili, one of the top swimmers in school history from the Class of 1984; and Mike Creedon, one of the school’s first star basketball players from the Class of 1965.