The 24th annual Brother Rice Career Day attracted 83 alumni, spanning 57 years of graduating classes, from 1960 to 2017.
Accolades for Career Day poured into the Alumni Office from teachers and students and participating alumni, including Ricky Olczyk ’88 who called it one of his favorite days of the year. Olczyk, whose law degree is from Cornell, once again flew in from Raleigh, NC, where he is the assistant general manager for the Carolina Hurricane NHL team, in order to spend the whole day speaking about his career path from Brother Rice to the NHL.
Rolls Royce Aerospace Design Engineer Ron Morovek ’11 drove in from Indianapolis the night before, in order to be with the 7:00 a.m. engineering class and then drive back to work. Like most if not all of the other alumni, Ron already looks forward to next year.
Alumni drove in from all over Chicagoland. Lawyers specializing in a variety of services, along with a variety of federal agents, accountants, first responders, tradesmen, presidents, CEO’s, entrepreneurs, franchisers, artists, scientists, college professors, architects, portfolio managers, IT specialists, engineers, teachers, pilots, real estate specialists, bankers, consultants, physicians, dentists, military servicemen, and more captivated at least two junior or senior classes, while also spending some time before and after their presentations with former teachers and fellow alumni.
“It is my favorite event of the year!” exclaimed Jim Casey ’70, vice president of alumni services at Brother Rice. “Every junior and many seniors learns about 10 or 12 different career paths from guys who sat in the same classrooms as recently as last year or as long ago as 58 years, and these same alumni enjoy breakfast or lunch with each other and with faculty and staff,” Casey added.
Southwest Airline Pilot and Coldwell Banker Agent Nick Caulfield ’78 sponsored the food and beverages and said he too is already looking forward to next year, after having been to 20+ previous Career Days.
Architect and Professor Michael Glynn ’77, slid a $20 bill in the vent of his old locker, along with his name tag and business card, encouraging the lucky student, whom Mike did not know, to pay it forward someday. The student replied with a grateful email that expressed to Mike that “it is great alumni like him that makes him proud to be a fellow Crusader.” Mike also stopped to take a picture of the courtyard brick that he and his brothers sponsored in memory of their dad.
At a faculty retreat two days later, Don Molenda expressed to colleagues that “our graduates like to come back because they learned when they went out into the world how much they miss Brother Rice, and how luck they were to be here.”
In his Vietnam class, Principal Jim Antos hosted Olczyk and Kevin Dodge ’08, a social worker and recent Peace Corps volunteer. Jim said, “They both addressed the issue of passion for what you do and for being advocates for those you serve. Ricky in the sports arena and Kevin in the role of social worker may be on opposite ends of the spectrum to some extent but hard work, pursuit of their respective goals and the willingness to learn from limitations and challenges were key in their presentations.”
Don Duffy ’83 (retired FBI) is currently teaching Theology to many juniors and he has participated in 20+ previous Career Days. Don said, “A common theme resonated among the speakers. It is also something I stress to the kids when I have given these presentations. It is important that the kids not only pay attention to the specific career, but how the speaker got there. The vast majority of the time the path is filled with detours, and that’s ok.”
Casey said that thanks to Jan Hickey and 24 years of experience with a welcoming and appreciative teaching staff, we have a well-organized system for hosting even more alumni next year. At the March 12th Alumni Association Board meeting, members voted unanimously to move the 2019 Career Day XXV to Friday, March 15. So mark it on your calendar now. Remember, rather than beware, the Ides of March.
Alumni are encouraged to get on the invitation list by sending an email to Jim at firstname.lastname@example.org or Jan at email@example.com . Do it now while you are thinking about it, and we promise you a memorable and worthwhile experience.
Enjoy the photo gallery of alumni in action at Career Day XXIV, March 7, 2018.