The Crimson and Gold yearbook dedication doesn't typically happen until March, but it came as a surprise after Thursday's student body Mass, especially to this year's honoree – Chaminade President Bro. Thomas Cleary, S.M.
"My wish for you is that you find something in your life that makes you as happy as the work I have been blessed to do," Bro. Tom said after receiving the award. "You are what makes Chaminade the best school anywhere."
Editors moved up the dedication announcement by two months to ensure Bro. Tom was truly shocked.
Upon graduating from Chaminade in 1981, Bro. Tom entered the Marianist Community and professed his first vows two years later. After receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree from St. John's University and a master's degree from Hofstra University, he began serving the school as an English and religion teacher and guidance counselor. Bro. Tom was then appointed to leadership roles and has remained a school administrator for more than two decades. He remains a trusted source of spiritual and emotional direction for many of the school's 1,642 students. Every day, Bro. Tom also receives phone calls and emails from Chaminade parents and any number of the school's nearly 20,000 alumni who turn to him for support. As dean of students for 18 years, then as president since 2011, Bro. Tom is perhaps one of the most visible and familiar faces of the Chaminade Family.
A tremendous amount of growth has occurred on the Chaminade campus under Bro. Tom's leadership. A new athletic stadium and retreat center have been built in the last four years. Bro. Tom oversaw the implementation of Apple iPad technology in all classrooms and the issuance of tablets to each of Chaminade's students. A 16-terminal Bloomberg Business Center opened in 2015 to provide students with the opportunity to study financial market analytics. Bro. Tom is currently leading a team working to complete a first-of-its-kind space for a school on Long Island – a 34,000 square-foot Science, Technology, and Research Center. Slated to open in the spring, the science center will provide Chaminade students with a contemporary education in the burgeoning fields of scientific exploration.
Outside of school, Bro. Tom's leadership has extended into the Society of Mary, serving terms as director of the Chaminade Marianist Community and provincial superior of the Marianist Province of Meribah.