Saturday, September 16
Knights of the Round Table
Knights of the Round Table
Fr. Noonan Distinguished Alumnus
Coach Mike Fennell
Athletic Hall of Fame
Eldridge Moore, '85
Athletic Hall of Fame
Mike Spiegel, '65
Athletic Hall of Fame
Coach Al Vyverberg
Athletic Hall of Fame
Athletic Hall of Fame
Each year, the student body votes for a teacher they feel reflects the unique vision and character of the school by modeling for them the grad at grad traits of openness to growth, intellectual competence, faith, care and love for students, and a commitment to justice. This year's recipient, Andrew Boone, spent 19 years teaching, leading, directing, and inspiring hundreds of young men.
An English teacher, Mr. Boone showed his students how to build a love for writing and an appreciation for literature all while captivating them each day by his command of the classroom and ability to bring life and energy to the subject. Many students have said without hesitation that Mr. Boone was the best English teacher they had at McQuaid and even in college.
When not teaching English, he was always involved with the student productions, directing or overseeing countless shows throught the years. The complete "man for others," Mr. Boone led countless Emmaus and Kairos retreats during his 19 years, guiding students as they took part in some of the most meaningful high school days.
The 2016-17 academic year was the last for Mr. Boone as he retired to South Carolina following graduation. Along with the teacher-of-the-year recognition, he was named an honoray member of McQuaid Jesuit's Class of 2017 at commencement in June. A fitting tribute to a certain McQuaid legend.
As the mother of Catholic school children, Connie DiFelice, P ’19 was accustomed to being a room mom, helping with lunch duty and setting up student/teacher lunches. In 2014, when her son, Frankie, started in seventh grade at McQuaid, she wasn’t presented with the same opportunities. So, she set out to create a way for McQuaid moms to socialize with one another.
It didn’t take long for Connie to establish “Mothers for Others” (MFO), an opportunity for McQuaid moms to participate in monthly outings to local non-profit groups and charities. Due to the response and the need to communicate, Connie teamed up Lisa Courtney-Holmes, P ’17, and a graphic designer by trade, to help establish a website and improve communication.
In three years, Connie and Lisa have had a hand in scheduling and executing 23 activities for mothers, fathers, and their sons to participate in throughout our community at local charities including; St. Peter’s Kitchen, Saints Place, Foodlink, Alternatives for Battered Women, Sanctuary Village, Catholic Family Center, Children Awaiting Parents, ConKerr Cancer, Case for Smiles, REACH House, Oatka Cemetery, Life House, Mary’s Place, and Benincasa Hospice Home.
Connie and Lisa have single-handedly created a community for McQuaid parents to demonstrate their talents, meet other people, and advocate for McQuaid, all while highlighting McQuaid’s mission of being Men and Women for Others.
For more information on Mothers for Others, click here.
An All-American catcher at Le Moyne College, Mike Fennell was selected in the eleventh round of the 1982 draft by the New York Yankees. He worked his way through the Yankees farm system early on, but suffered a severe blow when forced to undergo surgery on his throwing shoulder before the 1985 season which would be his last as a player.
But his professional career wasn’t over. Impressed by Fennell’s study habits and knowledge of the game, Barry Foote, a former major league baseball player who was managing in the Yankees’ organization, asked him to be the bullpen coach for the Yankees’ International League affiliate in Columbus, Ohio. The following year, the Yankees themselves came calling and Fennell spent three summers in New York.
In 1990, Mike and his wife, Erin, returned to Rochester, where he took a job as a sporting goods sales rep. His calls occasionally took him to McQuaid, and when the school’s baseball coaching job opened, athletic director Tim Jordan recruited Fennell who became the program’s head coach in 1992.
In 11 seasons with the Knights, Fennell compiled a record of 203-41 record, captured two Section V titles (2001, 2002), was twice named Coach of the Year (1997, 1999), and saw his 2001 team nationally ranked by USA Today.
More than a coach, Fennell provided friendship, inspiration and guidance to the hundreds of young men who played for him. This rang true more than ever in November of 2000 when he was diagnosed with non-smokers lung cancer. Throughout an 18-month battle, Fennell continued to be a guiding force for the baseball program. As a sign of solidarity, his 2001 team shaved their heads at the beginning of the season in support of their coach. Fennell lost his battle in May 2002.
It is not often a high school student turns down a spot on varsity to stay on junior varsity but that is exactly what Eldridge “Eldee” Moore, ‘85 did before the 1982-83 McQuaid basketball season. When then McQuaid basketball coach Dan Panaggio offered him a chance to play varsity, Moore elected to spend his sophomore year on junior varsity to ensure himself playing time. While Panaggio thought Moore could have started on varsity that year, he later said the right decision probably was made.
During the 1983-84 season, the 6-foot-4 junior burst onto the varsity scene averaging 22 points and 12 rebounds while at the same time helping fill the void left by the graduation of All-American Tom Sheehey, ’83 and Matt Nesser, ’83. Moore was named team MVP as McQuaid finished the year 15-5. In addition, he was named first team All-Greater Rochester and first team City Catholic All-Star Team. He also was a member of the 1984 Empire State Games team.
Prior to his senior season, Moore was nominated for the McDonald’s High School All-American team, making him one of the top-100 players in the country. Again, he averaged more than 20 points per game including a career-high 44 against Marshall. He was named tournament MVP of the Bishop Ludden Holiday Classic which the Knights captured in December 1984. Moore repeated as team MVP as well as a first team All-Greater Rochester and first team City Catholic All-Star selection.
Moore went on to play at Niagara University and one season professionally in Holland where he led the team in scoring, averaging 23 points per game before an injury forced him into early retirement.
Considered by many to be the most gifted athlete in the class of 1965, Mike Spiegel had the ability to make an entire team better not only by his play but by his quiet leadership and confidence. The ultimate team player, Mike graduated with nine varsity letters; two in track, three in football, two in basketball, and two in baseball.
As a freshman member of the varsity track team, Mike set the school record in the long jump that stood for 30 years and also won the high jump at the Diocesan Track Championships.
As a sophomore, Mike earned a spot on the varsity football team, the only one in his class to do so. A three-year starter on both offense and defense, he ran like a gazelle out of the backfield and rarely missed a tackle in the secondary. As a junior, Mike was tied for second on the team in total yardage and third in scoring. As a senior, he averaged more than seven yards a carry.
From the gridiron to the hardwood, Mike earned two varsity letters in basketball, starting both seasons and helping the Knights capture the 1964 and ’65 Diocesan Championship. During the spring of his junior year, Mike opted for baseball instead of track, making plays all over the diamond.
He played football at Cornell where he also was a member of the Marine ROTC program.
In 1971, as a junior hockey player at Pittsford, Al Vyverberg scored the game-winning goal against McQuaid Jesuit, knocking the Knights out of the playoffs. The following year, Vyverberg notched two goals against the Knights enroute to Pittsford’s first school championship. Vyverberg, known better as “Al V,” went on to play college hockey at Rochester Institute of Technology, where he scored 139 career points.
Fast forward to 1984. Vyverberg was recommended by McQuaid Jesuit hockey program founder and current head coach Bob Pedersen to be his successor. It was a ringing endorsement from a local hockey legend, who won 203 Section V games, 160 with McQuaid Jesuit, and helped the Knights capture three Section V titles. The school heeded Pedersen's advice, naming Vyverberg its varsity hockey coach.
Thirty-three years later, Vyverberg’s coaching stint at McQuaid Jesuit has come to an end. In February of this year, “Al V” coached his final game for McQuaid Jesuit after announcing earlier in the year his intent to retire after the 2016-17 season. In 30 years over two stints, (Vyverberg stepped away for three years between 1998-2001 for personal reasons), Vyverberg filled his predecessor’s shoes nicely. He retires as Section V’s career leader in victories with 411. His teams appeared in 11 Section V finals, winning six titles. His 2005 and 2015 teams captured the school’s two hockey state championships.
It wasn’t just Vyverberg’s on-ice success that kept him coming back year after year. In an interview with the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle, Vyverberg revealed that he didn’t return to coaching at McQuaid to win championships – he knew that doesn’t happen very often. He came back, he says, because of the players he got to coach and be around.
A senior-laden team, the 1996-97 Basketball Knights were considered by many around town the team to beat in Section V. Early on, they played like it, jumping out to a 5-0 record. However, injuries took their toll as the team struggled throughout the rest of the regular season losing six of their last 11 games to finish 10-6.
The Knights entered Sectional play as the eight seed. They also entered the tournament healthy. Sparked by the return of point guard Kevin Haefner and dominate play of Austin Davis, coupled with the height, skill and leadership of seniors Chris Fox, Cade Lemcke and Dave Roehrig, McQuaid knocked off top-seed Spencerport in the quarterfinals and capped off the Sectional crown by defeating rival East in the finals.
They continued their march through the state tournament knocking off some of the best New York had to offer. In the end, these Knights came home with the school’s second state basketball title.
Team: Nicholas Bovenzi, '98, Austin Davis, '97, Chris Fox, '97, Kevin Haefner, '97, Shaun Huff, '97, Cade Lemcke, '97, Mark McGowan, '97, Matthew Nally, '98, Kevin O'Dell, '97, John Pegan, '97, Michael Rigoni, '98, Dave Roehrig, '97, Chris Shea, '98, Jonathan Witmer, '97, James Wright.
Head Coach: Joe Marchese, '68
Assistant Coaches: Jason McKinney, ‘91, Tom Stanton
Managers: Craig Fiduccia, '97, Sachin Mehta, '97, Ben Nally, '02, Adam Porcelli, '00
The Fr. Noonan Distinguished Alumnus Award, recognizes and honors the achievements of outstanding alumni. The McQuaid Alumni Association established the award in 1992 in honor of Richard P. Noonan, S.J., principal of McQuaid from 1966-67, and revered alumni director from 1969 until his retirement in 1995. He died a year later.
Established in 1992, the purpose of the award is to honor and provide a permanent tribute to those alumni who set and achieve exemplary standards for themselves personally and in his chosen profession.
A 1968 McQuaid Jesuit graduate, Dr. Thomas Herlehy has certainly lived out the Jesuit mission of setting the world on fire. With more than 30 years of senior management experience in leading teams to achieve successful results on USAID-funded and USDA-funded projects in cross-cultural environments, Tom is a true “man for others,” helping to ensure that all people from every walk of life can have food in their belly and money in their pocket.
A 1979 Fulbright Scholarship recipient, Tom received his Ph.D. in African History and Economics from Boston University, using the scholarship to fund his research in the UK and Kenya. He began his international development career in The Gambia working for the USAID Mission between 1985 and 1989. Following four years with the US Department of Agriculture, Tom was an Agricultural Development Officer with the US Agency for International Development (USAID) in Madagascar.
In 1996, Tom lived in the Ukraine, leading the design and implementation of more than 20 private sector partnerships between US agribusiness firms and Ukrainian partners.
From the Ukraine it was off to Egypt where he helped facilitate the establishment of the first private sector agribusiness association in Egypt under a $36 million food processing and export promotion project. Between 2003 and 2007 he led a $19 million USAID-funded project that connected more than 10,000 small land-holding farmers in Upper Egypt with high-value horticultural markets in the European Union.
Before joining Land O’Lakes in March 2009, Tom was the Chief of Part of the West Africa Trade Hub where he led a team of 20 professionals strengthening the ability of West African firms in 21 countries to produce and export cashews, shea butter, textiles and apparel, handicrafts and fish and sea food, utilizing the special provision of the US Africa Growth and Opportunities Act (AGOA).
In 2010, Tom designed and managed the implementation of a three-year pilot project in Kenya which was built on the successful corporate demonstration farm model known as Answer Plots® in the USA. The innovative JibuPlot® pilot project in Kenya facilitated the adoption of sound farm management technologies and new technologies by more than 2,400 smallholder farmers around three sites in the maize growing region of western and central Kenya.
Based on the success of that Kenya model, Land O’Lakes is using the Answer Plot® learning platform for projects in both Zambia (a USAID OFDA-funded fodder project) and in Malawi (a USDA-funded Food for Progress project). In Zambia, more than 15 Answer Plots® have been established working with and through private sector input suppliers. In Malawi, there are four YankhoPlot™ sites where sound farm management practices and new technology for both rice and cassava are being demonstrated to community farmers.
Today, Tom works as a private, independent consultant, solving agricultural development issues around the globe.
“What was special about Jerry was how he connected to people. Kids trusted him because he was interested in them and valued them.”
These words are from one of the countless tributes expressed on the occasion of Jerry Farrell’s death in 2003. He had served McQuaid Jesuit as Director of Guidance and Counseling for 15 years.
Students and faculty alike had a special fondness for Jerry. His office was welcoming and his presence conveyed caring and genuineness. He was a sensitive listener and his understated but astute manner was enlivened by a gentle wry humor that calmed anxiety or anger and encouraged an open, helping relationship.
Jerry Farrell lived cura personalis through all the many ways he worked with students in counseling. And, in areas of college guidance, Jerry’s familiarity with post-secondary institutions and programs and especially their admissions procedures and personnel gave him a wealth of knowledge for advising students on choices and options.
From his prior teaching experience Jerry had gained understanding of classroom dynamics and adolescent development. His pleasant approach and his interest in serving students, faculty, staff and parents were always directed by his faith and by his strong sense of social justice manifested in sensitivity to human needs through his involvement in neighborhood and parish. Jerry’s faith was clearly evident as he encountered and accepted several difficult challenges to his health. None of them diminished his cheerful and caring demeanor. He was a source of insight and practical wisdom.
Jesuit education has played an important role in the life of Peter Rodgers for more than 50 years. Rooted firmly in his parents’ desire for and commitment to a quality education for their children, Peter entered Canisius High School in 1967. Like so many young men who through the years have experienced the challenges of Latin, the companionship of friends, the deepening of faith, and the correction of Jug, Peter emerged prepared for success in college and in life. After his high school years, he continued his Jesuit education at Fordham University.
Peter’s relationship with Jesuit education began again when he and his wife, Pam, chose McQuaid Jesuit for their two sons, Stephen, ’98, and John, ’03. For more than a decade, Peter and Pam threw themselves into their sons’ experiences by supporting athletic events, homework sessions, Kairos retreats, and other social events, including BASH which they co-chaired in 1999.
In 2003, Peter joined the McQuaid Jesuit Board of Trustees and became its chair in 2010. His tenure on the board revealed steady leadership as the school went through the expansion of a sixth grade, renovation of the school cafeteria, and the transition of two presidents.
Peter’s latest, but probably not last, relationship with Jesuit education occurred when he was awarded a McQuaid Jesuit diploma and made an “Honorary Member” of the Class of 2016 at that class’ Commencement Exercises last year.
The value of a quality education was instilled in Peter Rodgers as a young man. For more than 50 years, through his own experience and by his commitment to his sons and their classmates, Peter has ensured the mission of Jesuit education has remained strong.