Watch: The 2015 Deo et Patriae event program: Rev. James P. Croghan, Mr. Peter Labbat '83 (5:04), Mr. Edward W. Conlon '83 (8:29), and remarks by Mr. John L. Connelly '56 P'90'99, recipient of the 2015 Deo et Patriae Award (17:16).
On November 3, John L. Connelly '56 P'90'99, longtime history teacher at Regis High School, was presented with the 2015 Deo et Patriae Award.
The Award is presented annually to a person who has served Regis and their community in a distinguished capacity during the course of his or her life. The Award is presented at the Deo et Patriae Reception, an annual fall gathering that recognizes supporters of Regis High School at the Order of the Owl level. Mr. Connelly is the 62nd recipient of the award.
(Pictured: John L. Connelly '56 P'90'99 addressing attendees at the 2015 Deo et Patriae reception after having received the 2015 Award.)
John Connelly's relationship with Regis High School began in the fall of 1952 when, as a freshman, he first arrived at 55 East 84th Street. After graduating in 1956, Mr. Connelly found himself back at Regis in the fall of 1961 as a first-year faculty member. He left during the 1963-1964 academic year for additional graduate studies, having already received his B.A. from Holy Cross College and his M.A. from Fordham University. He returned to the Regis faculty in September 1964.
Mr. Connelly's tenure on the faculty would endure for over half a century, making him the longest serving faculty member in the history of Regis High School. During his 52 years in the classroom, Mr. Connelly educated students from more than half of the graduating classes of Regis.
"For us, names like Fr. Duffy, Jackson, Kappes, Murphy, Weimann, Walsh and, yes, Connelly, are the stuff of legend at Regis," said Board Chair Peter Labbat '83 in his welcoming remarks.
"Consider Mr. Connelly's legacy: over a teaching career that spanned a remarkable 52 years, Mr. Connelly served as the quintessential role model of what a Regian should be: passionate, deeply generous, morally grounded, in constant pursuit of excellence."
"He'll always be Mr. Connelly to me. He'll always be the guy that I met as a kid, the guy with the funny ties and the sometimes funny jokes, who knew more than I could ever hope to learn," said Ed Conlon '83.
"I know what I got from him. My first encounters with Sophocles and Homer and Evelyn Waugh; a love of comedy and Catholicism, maybe even a fascination with the lesser known corners of Central and Eastern Europe. But when I visited him the other week I finally got what he got from us... Yeah he loved teaching.... but he told me that he was never not happy when he closed the classroom door and began the lesson."
Mr. Connelly in his own hand:
Read Mr. Connelly's handwritten speech for the 2015 Deo et Patriae reception
Rev. James P. Croghan, S.J., John L. Connelly '56 P'90'99, Peter Labbat '83, and Edward W. Conlon '83.
Susan and John L. Connelly '56 P'90'99 at the 2015 Deo et Patriae Reception
Displays highlighting Mr. Connelly's 52-year career at Regis (left) and the 2015 Deo et Patriae award (right).