BY JOE OLENICK
Lockport Union-Sun & Journal
Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — TOWN OF LOCKPORT –– DeSales Catholic School is looking for some outstanding alumni.
The school is creating a Distinguished Alumni Hall of Fame, as a way to annually recognize outstanding DeSales alumni, living or deceased, who have achieved distinction in their lives and careers after graduation. And the school is asking for nominations until April 30.
Nominees must be graduates of one of the Catholic schools affiliated with DeSales, such as DeSales High School, St. Joseph’s Academy, St. Mary’s School, St. Patrick’s School, St. John the Baptist School, Lockport Catholic School or the current DeSales Catholic School. Graduates will be eligible for selection 15 calendar years following their class’s graduation. Selection is based on the nominee’s achievements in a variety of areas, such as their career and professional life, civic and community involvement, personal and family accomplishments, as well as their embodiment of the Catholic values taught by the school’s patron, St. Francis de Sales.
Only a handful of Distinguished Alumni will be chosen, said Ellen Roth, director of marketing and admissions at DeSales.
”We’re going to have five this year, but then limit it to three in the future,” she said.
Alumni Hall of Fame co-chairman Mike Mullane, DeSales High School Class of 1974, said the list of potential inductees is a long one.
”We all have so many relatives, friends, and neighbors who have graduated from DeSales and gone on to achieve success in various walks of life. Occasionally our alumni receive great notoriety, but often they remain unheralded outside of their families or work places,” Mullane said. “I look forward to learning more about the accomplishments of these men and women as their names are submitted to the Hall of Fame for consideration.”
Each nominee’s credentials will be carefully evaluated by a volunteer selection committee. The seven person group includes DeSales alumni from several different decades, as well as current and former faculty members. The first group of individuals to be honored will be announced next summer and then recognized at the inaugural Distinguished Alumni Hall of Fame dinner on Oct. 10, 2013.
Honorees will be honored on a plaque in the school. They will also spend the day at DeSales meeting students and showing the kids that with hard work they can do anything, Roth said.
The Alumni Hall of Fame has already received a good response, with a few nominations already in.
“What we’re hearing is that this is long overdue,” Roth said.
The Hall of Fame dinner will help to fund tuition assistance grants at DeSales Catholic School, Roth said. As one of the largest regional elementary schools in the Diocese of Buffalo, DeSales offers aid to students with financial need, providing more than $60,000 in tuition assistance grants to dozens of local families each year. Requests for tuition assistance have increase in recent years and events such as the Distinguished Alumni Hall of Fame Induction dinner will provide additional financial support for students in need, Roth said.
Nomination forms are available online at www.desalescatholicschool.org or by contacting the school’s Advancement office at 433-6422, extension 407.TO NOMINATE • Nomination forms are available online at www.desalescatholicschool.org or by contacting the school's Advancement office at 433-6422, extension 407 Contact reporter Joe Olenick at 439-9222, ext. 6241.