ALUMNI ASSOCIATION HONORS THREE AT ITS ANNUAL COMMUNION BREAKFAST
Meehan ’65, Hauck H’17 and Dr. Cleary ’91 feted before a large crowd at SBP
March 27, 2017
The ties that bind many of us to St. Benedict’s usually involve a family member.
That was extremely evident at this year’s Communion Breakfast where the three honorees – Daniel Meehan ’65, Mary Hauck H’17 and Dr. James Cleary ’91 – each had someone who went to or knew of The Hive’s reputation before becoming part of the community.
Meehan, who was honored for Distinguished Service, and Hauck, the Honorary Aluma, are among a long list of family members with links to St. Benedict’s, while Dr. Cleary, who was lauded as the Distinguished Alumnus, was steered toward 520 by his mother, who worked in the shadows of the school.
All three were feted before a large crowd on Sunday in St. Benedict’s cafeteria following a Mass for the honorees in St. Mary’s Church.
“I’m humbled by the recognition I’m receiving today,” said Meehan, a retired partner at the Cohn Reznick accounting firm, during the event hosted by the Alumni Association. “Nothing I’ve done for St. Benedict’s Prep has been anything but a labor of love.”
There was never a question where Meehan would attend high school. His father, Joe Sr., and his dad’s brothers-in-law attended St. Benedict’s, as did his brother, Dan ’62. Meehan is the fourth member of the Class of ’65 to receive the Distinguished Service Award, joining Pat McCarthy, Bob DiQuollo and Chuck Schnabel.
He is also President of the New Jersey State Golf Association, which has been a staunch supporter of the golf team since its resurrection three years ago. He followed another alum, Frank O’Brien ‘61, as president of the NJSGA. Bill Frese, Class of ’66, was elected to succeed Meehan next year.
“Dan and members of the golf association helped us reignite our golf team,” said Fr. Edwin. “This has been a great gift to a lot of our students.”
(View more photos from the Alumni Association's Communion Breakfast)
Hauck, who has worn many hats in her dozen years at St. Benedict’s, follows a long legacy of family members who are alums. Her son, Evan, graduated in 2008, while her three brothers – Tom ’72, Jim ’75 and Mike ’79 – were all Gray Bees. Her father, Skip, was named an Honorary Alumnus in 1983.
“I am honored by the recognition and so pleased to be joining my son, brothers and my dad as a forever member of the St. Benedict’s Prep community,” said Hauck, the alumni and donor relations officer at The Hive. “I am being recognized today for what I give to the community, but it is what I receive in return that sustains me.”
Finally, it was Dr. Cleary’s mother, Mary, who was raised in Newark and worked at the telephone company behind 520 and always dreamed of sending her son to The Hive. Dr. Cleary enrolled in St. Benedict’s as a seventh-grader.
“What I didn’t understand at the time and fortunately what I have learned in the years since leaving Benedict’s is that academic excellence, athletic excellence is important, but there Is more to the meaning of St. Benedict’s,” said Dr. Cleary. “The greatness of St. Benedict’s is measured by its dedication to people of all races, all religions and all economic backgrounds. The greatness of St. Benedict’s is its incredible way of overcoming any socioeconomic barrier that gets in their students’ way.”
Following his six-year stint at The Hive, Dr. Cleary went to Rutgers before going to medical school at Albert Einstein in The Bronx. He then moved to Boston in 2003 to begin his residency and is now a medical oncologist at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.
“What I’m grateful for and what’s made an enormous impact in my life is really understanding the mission and being inspired by the Monks here for making me think about and trying to serve others,” he said. “I’m grateful to come back and say how proud I am to be part of the St. Benedict’s family.”