Being given a writing assignment certainly brings me back to my high school years. I procrastinated then, and I have done the same thing again with this current assignment. Fortunately, since graduating from Xavier, I did not procrastinate about everything.
After graduating Xavier, I attended Georgetown University where I didn't spend as much time as I should have in the classroom. The academics taught at Xavier more than prepared me for college curriculum, and I was able to graduate in 1970 having been accepted in Boston College Law School. I attended law school at the urging of my father who felt it would be a good career path for me. I realized fairly soon that the law and I were not a good match. I struggled along and finally decided to withdraw in the middle of my second year after which I moved back to Chelmsford and worked in the family business.
Some of the most important events in my life occurred in 1975: some happy, others quite sad. I had met a wonderful woman, Peggy, to whom I proposed in 1974 and we married in January 1975. Later that year I decided to return to the academic world and I enrolled at Northeastern University in the MBA program. In November, my sister and only sibling passed away unexpectedly, leaving a husband and two small boys. The year ended with my father dying suddenly on December 31st. The next day, January 1, 1976, my wife gave birth to our first child, Elizabeth Ann. It was truly sad that my father was never able to see his first granddaughter nor our two other daughters. He was buried the day after Libby was born.
Over the next couple of years Peggy and I managed and then purchased the family businesses from my father's former partners and his estate. We sold the masonry supply business in 1982 and continued to operate the skilled nursing facility for the next three years. As a significant part of revenue in that business came from governmental agencies, we realized that it was becoming increasingly more difficult for small players to survive in that industry. Consequently, we sold the facility in 1985.
My wife continued on in health care while I spent most of my time involved in real estate development. I had begun to develop small residential projects while still managing the nursing home with my wife. Working with various partners, whom I had met while managing the masonry supply business, I developed larger subdivisions in Southern NH and Northern Massachusetts as well as a couple of strip malls and office buildings. I have been involved in various projects from that point on until the present time where I am finishing up a 34 unit over 55 project in Plaistow, NH. My wife retired from health care a year ago.
Our three daughters are all grown and as you can see from the picture above, we are blessed with five grandchildren ranging in age from 3 yrs to 17 yrs. Our oldest daughter, Libby, is a mother with two teenage sons and is a high school math teacher locally who just received her doctorate in education this year. Our middle daughter is a practicing attorney and is a partner in a NYC law firm specializing in private equity. She is the proud mother of a three year old son (she is holding him in the picture above.) Our youngest is a stay at home mom, married to a professional hockey player and the mother of a three year old son and a six year old daughter.
With both my wife and I finally winding down our careers, we spent our first full winter in Florida. We are anticipating selling our home up north and slowly transitioning to retired life in the South.
42 Derby Lane
Tyngsboro, MA 01879
My post-Xavier saga is more short story than novel.
Commuting to Boston College while working at the post office got me a BA degree in English (thank you Fr. Moriarty, Fr. O’Brien, Mr. Pratt and Mr. Monahan) and a second lieutenant’s commission in the US Army through ROTC. I went on active duty right after graduation in 1970 and was stationed at Fort Lee, VA. I must have been very successful in that assignment because in less than a year my Uncle Sam awarded me an all-expenses paid trip to beautiful downtown Vietnam. I was a Combat Engineer platoon leader supporting the 101st Airborne Division.
Only a few short years after trying to catch bullets thrown by highly motivated intramural quarterbacks Peter Nolan and Mike Konior on the contest field at Xavier, I was trying to dodge bullets from highly motivated men in black pajamas in the contested fields of Phu Bai. I thank the Lord that I was a smaller target then than I am now, and that strong motivation does not guarantee sure marksmanship.
I got “back to the world” (thanks for the reminder, Paul Rossi) in ’72. Spent five years in the restaurant business (four under the Golden Arches) where I met my wife of now 41 years, Debbie, a beautiful blue-eyed Tennessean with physical patience, emotional endurance and spiritual forbearance. (You did just read that she has stayed married to me for 41 years, right?). Debbie and I have two daughters, who, thanks to the never-ending mercies of God, look like their mother.
A brief stay with Red Lobster got us moved to North Carolina and then to our real home: Georgia has not only been on my mind but firmly under my feet for 39 years. Why? It’s doctor recommended! Please see the bios from Drs. Brian Dowd and Andy Linial. Bostonian by birth, Georgian by the grace of God!
I left the time-demanding restaurant management business in ’77 so I could spend time with Debbie and our Grits (Girls Raised in the South) while they were actually awake. I have been in one level or another of customer service management for several companies across a variety of industries including my present position as manager of consumer advocacy for a large background screening company.
Of course, like most of us, I do have some regrets, such as my Dad’s death just a few short days after his 57 birthday and my Mom’s passing in 2007. I also regret not staying in closer touch with most of you over the years. Other than a chance encounter with Bill Fifer at Elmwood Donuts in 1968, a brief phone conversation with Brian Dowd in 1991 and a 38-year delayed reconnection with Larry Corcoran, I have missed the opportunity to experience your wonderful successes in person.
But the boundary lines for me have fallen in pleasant places. I have been richly blessed, and for that I thank my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Looking forward to seeing the rest of the Scarlett Knights in Concord.
3557 Chinaberry Lane
Snellville, GA 30039
My Xavier experience paved the way for the next 50 years of my life – with hopefully many more to come. Over time, reflecting on my four years in high school, I realize Xaviers’ positive effect on my personal, family, professional and faith journey.
After Xavier I attended Westfield State College, now University, and majored in Education. During my junior year I realized a career path in Business was more suitable for me than Education. However, with a low draft number (19) and an aggressive draft board in Woburn, I received my degree in Education. I was fortunate to join the National Guard and spent 6 years as a Medic.
I met my wife Barbara at WSC and, in 1970, Fr. Moriarty officiated at our wedding. Our two sons, Jay and Jon, were born over the following few years. We now have four grandchildren. Barbara and I have lived in Westfield for the past 45 years. Who knew!!! We are fortunate that our sons and their families have also settled in Westfield. I have the opportunity to work with my sons on a daily basis in our family’s business – Specialty Bolt and Screw, Inc.
I began my professional career at Dun and Bradstreet as a financial analyst. Truth be known one of my first assignments was to organize a baseball team to represent the Company’s Western Mass office in a local baseball league. I also spent 5 years studying and analyzing data, trends and balance sheets. In the late 70’s I knew I needed to develop additional business related skills. I joined small local manufacturing company, and I became involved in sales, finance and production.
Family life became my highest priority and business became a challenge. I recognized that I needed to join a local company in order to coach and get involved with the Westfield community. I joined another local business – Specialty Bolt and Screw, Inc. (SBS) – with an ownership option. The business model then was strictly the distribution of fasteners. Today, 36 years later, SBS is an engineering, design and distributor of fasteners and C commodities to large OEM’s. I together with my two sons own the company and we currently have companies in Finland, Taiwan, Canada and Mexico(2). In the United States we are located in San Diego and headquarters located in Agawam, Massachusetts. SBS has ownership in 2 other companies – iPower Distribution Group and Global Supply Alliance.
I have enjoyed serving my industry on the National Fasteners Board of Directors and spent 4 years working with my colleagues and Senator John McCain in the passing of the Fastener Quality Act by Congress in 2001.
My involvement with Westfield State University has continued for many years. I have chaired the WSU Foundation and am currently serving my second term as a member and former chair of the Board of Trustees.
Faith has always been important to Barbara and me. We are charter members of a Catholic Business Group called Legatus and for the past 10 years have made many new and great friends through the organization.
But it is the simple things in life – family vacations, having breakfast every Saturday with my grandchildren, playing golf with Barbara at Ocean Edge Golf Course – that are my greatest joys. I am a very lucky guy to be able to share everyday with the ones I love the most.
61 Overlook Drive
Westfield, MA 01085
Adam’s story written by his widow Nancy McDevitt
Adam was raised in Maynard, Massachusetts. He married Nancy Woods in 1971 and moved to Milford, New Hampshire in 1974. We had two sons, Andrew and Christopher. Andrew married Amy Williams in 2016. Christopher married Melissa Savage in 2001, and they have four children: Katelyn, Connor, Maggie and Ben. Adam also served in the United States Army Reserve.
His career took many interesting changes as he and I seized on several unique opportunities. At first Adam worked for Digital Corporation, then Nashua Corporation, and eventually back to Digital. But the urge to have our own business lead to the creation of a new company, New England Small Bag. After several successful years we had an opportunity to purchase United Sensor from United Electric in 1995. We formed a joint partnership with my sister Kathleen and her husband Jack Algeo. In 2002 our sons Andrew and Christopher bought out Kathleen and Jack, so United Sensor is now a true family business.
Here is a brief history of United Sensor Corporation. United Sensor is an over 50 year old company originally started in the garage of its founder in Connecticut. In the middle 1960's United Sensor was purchased and moved to Massachusetts as a division of a much larger company called United Electric. United Sensor stayed as a part of United Electric until the middle 1990's when Jack Algeo, founder of New England Small Tube, and Adam Rakiey purchased the company from United Electric. United Sensor was then moved to its current location of Amherst New Hampshire and is now owned by Nancy McDevitt and her two sons, Andrew and Christopher Rakiey.
Adam passed away suddenly in 2007, just ten days shy of our 36th Anniversary. He was 59 years old. While Adam was successful in all his endeavors and businesses, he lived for his family. He had a passion for his children and every activity in which they were involved.
Adam, being the ever devoted parent, attended all games and practices for Andrew and Christopher. He coached Little League for both boys. When there wasn’t a coach for Andrew’s soccer team, Adam volunteered. Of course Adam had never played soccer, but that was not going to stop him. He started to study the game, read books, watch films, and set up drills for practice. His goal was not only to be a good coach and understand the game but to make sure all the players on the team learned the game and more importantly had fun. When Christopher started to play soccer, Adam became his coach as well. While in Middle School, Andrew joined the wrestling team, and again Adam rose to the challenge. Not knowing a lot about the sport, he began to study the moves and holds, watched films and went to wrestling matches so he could be there to support Andrew. While doing this he became great friends with one of the other dads, Paul Trombi, who had wrestled in high school and college. The pair were so dedicated that they would take any wrestler all over New England to attend free style tournaments.
For eleven summers Adam was involved with the Milford Keyes Swim Team. Adam had his favorite stopwatch and would time Andrew and Christopher. I still have his time-piece and use it to time our grand children. I used it for the first time on our grandson Ben this summer, and it made me cry for what Adam has missed.
Adam could not wait until his grand children got older. He was looking forward to being the same coach he had been for Andrew and Christopher, but it was not to be. So this is part of Adam's Legacy:
A 50-year reflection seems surreal to me in this moment as I type this on my Microsoft Surface Pro 3 in a hotel in Mumbai, India. Are you kidding me – it’s been 50 years! How the hell did that happen? Favorite Xavier memory – getting Fr. Moriarty to talk about anything but Latin . . . because as he shared, “our minds are like sieves” – when it came to understanding Latin.
OK – Graduate from Xavier – on to Marquette University, yes another 4 years of Jesuit molding in Milwaukee – Business School – Graduated in 1970 with a major in Marketing & (get-this) a minor in “Computer Science” – key-punch cards with holes swelled shut from spilled beer . . .
As fellow Grads – I too, seriously considered my military options. I finally considered whether my joining (or not joining) the military would add to a more peaceful world. I can still remember the following logic: if I were the last man alive in the world – there would still be conflict, arguing and fighting – because it was within me. So if I were to volunteer or be called-up – I wanted to consciously choose my path – I chose to be a US Marine Corps Officer. I was commissioned a 2nd Lt at graduation from Marquette. I also chose to be a Supply/Logistics Officer to put some of my business school learning to practice. While telling me I’d be going to Vietnam to clean-up, collect and account for all the equipment left behind – I ended up serving 4 years at El Toro, CA. I took advantage of completing my MBA from Pepperdine University while based at El Toro.
Although having every intention to return to my home in New England – I was offered a marketing position in a small start-up company in San Diego in 1974. This company was purchased by Eli Lilly a few years later and I thrived for 13 years as a district sales rep – covering Hawaii to Pasadena to Palm Springs; then as country manager of Canada (based in Toronto); then as International Area Director – Asia/Pacific (based in Tokyo, Japan) and traveling all of Asia/Pacific.
I dabbled with consulting and venture capital for 8 years before getting into Professional Coaching at the very beginning of the Professional Coaching Profession’s early years in 1996. I have been very involved in contributing to the establishment and professionalization of the coaching industry – via the International Coach Federation, the Association of Coach Training Organizations, and my own coach training company - Coach For Life. I am now personally coaching World-changing Visionaries. I continue to train and certify professional coaches in the USA and India.
Along the way:
Peter J. Reding, MBA, MCC
525 Emory Oak Street
Ocoee, FL 34761
One outstanding memory of my time at Xavier is the day Terry Culhane and I skipped school and went to Boston to take part in a civil rights march with Dr. Martin Luther King. Afterwards we snuck onto the construction site of the Prudential Center and climbed up to the top floor. There were no windows and it was mighty windy – it’s amazing we didn’t get blown off.
At Boston College I majored in Chemistry, then Philosophy, then German Lit., graduating with a degree in English. I spent my junior year at the U. of Munich – a transformative year for me. I also spent a lot of time at Harvard with Richard Downing and Mike Nagy, between going to folk clubs and protesting the war in Vietnam.
In my senior year I discovered the international Camphill Movement – schools and village communities with developmentally disabled adults. The following year I got married and we went to visit Camphill in Europe, settling in Ireland for a year. Returning stateside, we started the first group home in Ohio, then to Martha’s Vineyard to grow grapes, then to a new Camphill Village community on a biodynamic farm in Pennsylvania. I lived there 16 years, where my three children grew up. I started there as a gardener, but as the Village grew I got increasingly pulled into office work, eventually becoming Treasurer.
I continued my antiwar activism, connecting with Frs. Berrigan and others (I’m surprised I didn’t run into Shawn Donovan then), and after the war ended we took in two 14-year old boys, Vietnamese foster children, “boat refugees”. The parents of one boy sent out his older sister and two younger brothers, who through an incredible series of events found their way to us. Thus we became a family with eight children.
Tragedy hit me in 1987 in the form of a divorce. I spent two years in a Camphill community in Minnesota, then returned to Pennsylvania to be closer to my children. I met Annalee (a Waldorf teacher) there, and when the two older Vietnamese boys went to college and my other children moved to Boston with their remarried mother, Annalee and I married in 1990 and took a sabbatical year in England. I took a Speech and Drama course at Emerson College in Sussex, and we then moved to western Mass. (Berkshire County) where we have lived happily if penniless ever since (we have both worked for nonprofit organizations most of our lives).
My love of folk and progressive music, and my activism persists. I’m proud to have been one of 1200 people arrested at the White House protesting the Keystone Pipeline, which brought attention to this climate threat and eventually resulted in its cancellation.
I have been a certified professional fundraiser for over 20 years, working for mental health, community land trusts, sustainable agriculture, urban violence prevention and education. I’m currently the Director of Development at Primrose Hill School in Rhinebeck, NY, where my son is the farmer and his fiancée is kindergarten teacher. He will be married in June, and my daughter (also a teacher) will marry in August. My eldest son is in California, founder of biodynamic Malibu Compost company. I have 5 grandchildren so far.
P.O. Box 204
Great Barrington, MA 01230
Not being known for my academic prowess, I dropped out of Merrimack College after my first semester. This was against the advice of the Dean of Admissions, who feared I would be drafted and go right to Viet Nam; I told him I wasn't concerned because I was joining the Air Force anyway. He proceeded to tell me I'd do well in life, "because I was tall". (All the more reason for me to leave!) Anyway, The US Air Force was nice enough to give me a four year scholarship, all expenses paid, and all I had to do was give them my freedom. I served my four years, mostly overseas in Japan and Thailand as a morse code intercept operator with a top secret clearance. It was a great experience for a young man during turbulent times in our Country, and I don't regret serving. It is my opinion that all Americans should serve their Country in some capacity for at least one year...
When I "got out" in 1971, (I actually left my uniform in the Powell Hotel in S.F. because men in uniform were looked down upon back then), I came home to a Country I didn't recognize anymore, but I was back in "the world" and that's all that mattered. After taking some time to adjust to the new way of life in America, I decided to take a cross country journey with our former classmate Jed Healy. It was to be our own version of Kerouac's On the Road, and it was quite a trip. We took about two months and traversed the countryside, seeing friends along the way, including Jed's girl friend in NYC, Dan Ryan in Virginia Beach, and some of my buddies from the service. We camped at National Parks, stayed with friends, drank a lot of beer, and witnessed the majestic beauty of this great Country of ours from east to west. We even "got our kicks on RT. 66". I'm thankful to have been able to spend that quality time with my friend Jed before his illness took over his mind; Jed was a kind, fun-loving and gentle soul who didn't deserve the torment he had to endure. I still miss him.
I had been dating my wife-to-be before my cross country excursion, and in May of '72, with Jed as my best man, Judi and I eloped in a JP's backyard in Framingham. Judi was an RN and I worked in the family construction business. We were blessed with a son and a daughter in '74 and '75, and had a blast watching them grow-up in the house we built in 1975 in Ashland, MA. It was a great community to raise a family and we established life long friends through schools, athletics, church, and civic responsibilities. It was a wonderful 40+ years of suburban life, but not without it's troubled times.
In 1984 I learned about the "suddenness of life" through the tragedy of my oldest brother's death in a car accident. Eight years later we were tested again by almost losing our son to spinal meningitis while he was a freshman at Babson College. These two events had a tremendous impact on my life and gave me a renewed perspective on my priorities: take nothing for granted and appreciate every day!
As for my career, it may not have been as glamorous as some of our fellow classmates, yet having my own small excavation business for thirty years was challenging, creative, and personally rewarding. I established a respected reputation in the industry and worked on some fantastic projects. I guess you could say I literally "left my mark" all around eastern Massachusetts...
As for our children, our son, Michael, has had a successful career thus far in the finance world and is currently the CFO of medical supply company in Stoughton, MA. He lives in Sudbury, MA with his lovely wife Jennifer and sons Nicholas and Peter. Our daughter, Erin, is a Director in the SPED program at Natick High and lives in Franklin, MA with her loving husband Ernie and sons Samuel and Matthew.
I have been blessed with a loving wife and family, loyal friends, and a faith that has helped me appreciate the simplicity of life and endure the hardships that come about when it's not so simple. I am now retired and enjoy playing golf, walks in the woods and on the beach, riding bikes, reading books, being with friends, and family get togethers. I am also a volunteer for a nonprofit organization that is renovating a 110 year old school which will be used as a arts and cultural center. But more importantly, these days I take immense pleasure in watching my four grandsons grow and mature into young men, (hopefully not too fast).
I will forever be thankful for the opportunity to have attended Xavier where young men learned more than just from books: they learned to use their minds and to shape their souls.
I am still shaping mine...
Paul M. Rossi
70 Siasconset Drive
Sagamore Beach, Ma. 02562
In 1968, during my Junior year at Boston College, I took the Naval Aviation exam and failed but passed the exam the following year and was accepted into the Aviation Officer Candidate Program.
I graduated from Boston College in 1970 with a B. S. in Marketing, after which I reported to NAS Pensacola, Florida for 16 weeks of indoctrination and basic training. In November of that year I was commissioned an Ensign, coincidently during the same ceremony as my lifelong good friend, Brian Murphy.
Brian and I spent the next year flight training in different squadrons but oddly enough we received our wings together on the same day in November, 1971. Along the way, Brian and I crossed paths with another classmate, Joe Belotti who was just ahead of us in the program. My years of active duty as an aircraft commander were spent in three squadrons, VAW-122, RVAW-120, VAW-125, and during my ten years of reserve duty with VAW-78.
I started my service flying from the aircraft carrier USS Independence on a 13 month cruise and was then assigned 'shore duty' as an E2B/C (Hawkeye) flight instructor and Landing Signal Officer (LSO) where as chance would have it, serving along with Brian Murphy. On my second sea tour, I flew off the USS John F. Kennedy.
I had various duties as a division officer but the most interesting was shore patrol officer during port calls in the Mediterranean; the most challenging assignment was to the Naval Safety Center investigating aircraft accidents.
After active duty in 1979 I was hired by FedEx and assigned as Second Officer on the Boeing 727. Simultaneously, I was recruited by the Navy Reserve to help establish fleet-wide E2C aircraft standardization.
During my reserve duty with VAW-78 I was promoted from Lieutenant to Commander. I served in various capacities including Division Officer, LSO, Department Head to 4 Divisions, Executive Officer and Commanding Officer and was deployed to Iceland, South America and a lengthy fatal E2 accident investigation. During the 1980's VAW-78 handled 70% of the Naval Drug Interdiction assignments as well as supporting the Cruise Missile Test Program. Concurrently, in my career with FedEx I made the progression to First Officer on the B-727 then later to the DC-10 wide body aircraft.
In my final years in the reserve I was assigned to the Admiral Staff of Air Atlantic as the reserve counterpart for the Logistic Response Center. In 1993, after the first Gulf War, Desert Storm, I retired as a Navy Captain and continued my career with FedEx having upgraded to Captain on the B-727. Unfortunately, those days also saw the end of my first marriage of which I was blessed with a son (recently retired F-18 fighter pilot, Navy Commander, Daniel K. Ryan, Jr.) and three beautiful daughters.
I've sat on both sides of the labor/management table having served several years as FedEx B-727 Chief Pilot and Test Pilot, then later as a founding father of the initial FedEx pilot’s union, FPA which later merged with ALPA.
In 1999 I started dating my future wife, Pat who was also a pilot with FedEx. As she was a First Officer on the DC-10 I found myself back in the classroom upgrading to Captain on the DC-10. We spent the next several years flying together – mostly in Europe, the Middle East and South America, as well as the US. We transitioned together to the newer Airbus aircraft and in 2007, after 28 years, I made my last flight with FedEx.
Our time is spent traveling in our motor coach home between summers in Marshfield, MA and winters in Lauderdale by the Sea, Florida where we volunteer during tax season for the AARP Tax Aide program and where I look forward to my volunteer work at the VA Clinic.
3032 E. Commercial Blvd #20
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33308
After Xavier, I attended Boston College and received a Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry. I went on to Tufts University where I obtained my Ph.D. in Chemistry. I have been married to Lynda Barrows Squillante for 42 years and we have a thirty four year old son, Michael.
In 1980 I joined Radiation Monitoring devices, Inc., (RMD), in Watertown as a Staff Scientist, became the Director of Research in 1983, and Vice President of Research in 1992. At that point I took over responsibility for RMD’s research which grew to an annual budget of over twenty million dollars and 100 professional staffers. Our research programs developed instrumentation for cancer diagnosis, scientific research, and industrial testing. I have been Principal Investigator and Program Manager on numerous programs funded by government agencies including NASA, NIH, NSF, DOE, DARPA, DTRA, HSARPA, DNDO, DHS, and DOD.
I have published over 200 technical papers and was an editor of a book published by Materials Research Society on new radiation detector materials. I am a co-author on several book chapters about materials science and detector technology. As a result of this work I have frequently been invited to speak at international conferences held throughout the United States and in Europe and have served as session chairman for several professional societies. In addition to my position at RMD, I am an Adjunct Professor of Physics at of the University of Massachusetts in Lowell.
For five years I served as the Chairman of the Small Business Technology Council (SBTC) in Washington DC, I submitted written testimony and testified in person before the Senate Small Business and & Entrepreneurial Committee, and participated in a Committee round table discussion on small business research. I was a founding member of the New England Innovation Alliance (NEIA), a coalition of small high technology companies in the Greater Boston area.
In 1991 I was elected to the Waltham City Council, as the first Republican to get elected in Waltham in 15 years. I served on the Council for 12 years. Presently I am a member of the Waltham Zoning Board of Appeals.
I served as the Waltham Republican City Committee Chairman for 10 years and am presently a Ward Chairman. My other civic activities included The Hardy Pond Association, Board Member of the Waltham Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Board of Directors of the Waltham Historical Society. I am currently a Board member of the Waltham Museum.
I still live in Waltham and own a summer home directly on the ocean in Marshfield, MA.
2 Leslie Road
Waltham, MA 02451
781-890-7377 home; 617-543-0804 cell
Upon graduating from Xavier I enrolled at St. Anselm’s College in Manchester, NH majoring in math. After 3 years I transferred to the University of Notre Dame to major in civil engineering, from where I graduated in 1971 with a B.S. in civil engineering. I worked as a consultant in Boston for several years before returning to academia. I attended Tufts University and received an MS in structural engineering in 1974. I returned to consulting for several more years before enrolling in the Ph.D. program at Lehigh University. I received my Ph.D. from Lehigh in structural engineering in 1982. Since then I have enjoyed a distinguished 34 year long (and counting) career in academia with stops at Oregon State University (1982-1984), Auburn University (1984-2000), the University of Florida (2000-2008), and the University of Houston (2008-present). The last 16 years of my career have been spent in academic administration.
Over the course of my career I have authored or co-authored more than 110 technical publications, including 70 refereed articles, 4 books, 4 book chapters, and 38 technical reports. I am the principal author of the internationally renowned textbook titled Structural Dynamics: Theory and Applications (Prentice Hall, 1999). I have served as principal investigator or co-principal investigator on over thirty research contracts and grants totaling more than $65 M, sponsored from a variety of federal and state funding agencies, as well as private industry. I am a six time U.S. Air Force research fellow, and have worked in residence at several Air Force Research Labs (AFRL’s), including Tyndall AFB and Eglin AFB. I have been engaged in research involving highly nonlinear numerical simulations of structures and materials subject to blast and impact loading, experimental research to assess the dynamic response characteristics of a variety of construction materials, and explosive tests of full-scale building structures.
Since 2008 I have served as the Elizabeth D. Rockwell Dean of the Cullen College of Engineering and Professor of Civil Engineering at the University of Houston. I am married and have a step-son, who is also a civil engineer.
35 Mosaic Point Place
The Woodlands, TX 77389
After Xavier, I earned a Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics summa cum laude from Boston College in 1970. I then entered a doctoral program in Applied Mathematics at Brown University, receiving a Master’s degree in 1971 and thereafter taking a two-year leave of absence to serve in the US Army at the behest of the draft board in West Concord.
My military service took place at the Pentagon in the Office of the Secretary of Defense where I worked on a small team that developed the economic and mathematical models used to create the compensation structure for the all-volunteer armed forces. In conjunction with this, I did thesis-worthy work in a branch of mathematics called numerical analysis.
A year after returning to Brown, I had completed all requirements for the doctoral degree except presenting and defending my thesis. I proposed a six-month timetable for getting those things completed, but the chairman of the department insisted that I stay on for three more years before granting my degree. The only reason he gave was that no one had ever been granted a Ph.D. in Applied Mathematics from Brown in fewer than five years! My enrolled time there would have been two and one-half years, although the elapsed time would have been more than four years.
Because I didn’t really need the degree for my desired career path, I decided not to subject myself to three more years of what is the modern academic equivalent of indentured servitude. Instead, I entered the workforce. I declined offers from the CIA and NSA in favor of a position in the Department of Defense in a top secret group that was responsible for strategic nuclear war gaming. The group’s modeling work supported the first Strategic Arms Limitation Talks in the 1970s.
While working in Washington, DC I had the opportunity to meet many senior military officers and public officials including Congressmen, Senators, and the President of the United States. However, the most important person whom I met was the woman who would become my wife – Claudia Duffy. We recently celebrated our 40th wedding anniversary. Claudia is a graduate of Emmanuel College and is originally from Rhode Island.
Upon getting married, we returned to Massachusetts where I began a thirty-one-year career in what is now called Information Technology (IT) at Digital Equipment Corp. and Intel. Along the way, we had two children. Our son is an electrical engineer at a satellite communications company in the San Diego area, and our daughter is a data scientist at a high-tech consulting company in greater Boston.
Over the years, Claudia and I have done a bit of foreign travel. One of our most interesting early experiences took place in 1984 when I was invited to give a talk at a mathematical conference in Beijing. Claudia and I took advantage of this opportunity to spend three weeks traveling in China. Back then China was a poor, third-world country that was in the initial stages of opening up to the rest of the world. We were among the vanguard of Westerners who were able to enter the Forbidden City, walk on the Great Wall, and see the excavated Terra Cotta Warriors. On another trip, we had the opportunity to travel in Eastern Europe while it was still part of the Soviet Union. That, too, was a sobering experience.
I retired from corporate life in 2007 and entered a second career as a private investor. I am now fully retired. Claudia and I divide our time between our long-time home in Hopkinton, MA and vacation property on Cape Cod and Block Island.
Throughout the years, I’ve been involved in numerous community activities, most notably serving twelve years on the Hopkinton School Committee. I stay active now as a member of the Board of Directors of the Neptune House on Block Island, and as President of its owners’ association. I’m also a long-time member and current Secretary of the Hopkinton Republican Town Committee.
17 Whalen Road
Hopkinton, MA 01748