WARREN, Mich. (May 10, 2019) – Family and friends of the late Gary Karas gathered Friday at De La Salle Collegiate to celebrate the memory of the 1969 alumnus who passed in October.
His classmate, Alan Rudziewicz, who handles the Karas Trust, presented De La Salle with a generous gift, in keeping with Karas’s wishes.
“Just as De La Salle impacted Gary’s life, this gift will impact the lives of our current students,” President John M. Knight said.
Rudziewicz said that Karas’s estate gave a sizeable donation to Children’s Hospital of Michigan.
“Gary was very fond of De La Salle,” Rudziewicz said. “He wanted to help the students of De La Salle, thought that he would best accomplish that by leaving the school a gift in his estate planning.”
The donation is also in the name of Karas’s late father, Alex, who served in the U.S. Army during World War II, in an infantry unit that traces its roots back to the U.S. Civil War. His father was very proud of his service.
“We appreciate all the work that Alan Rudziewicz did to make this gift happen,” said Greg Esler, De La Salle’s major gifts officer.
John Monigold, director emeritus of alumni relations, knew Karas as a high school freshman, and reconnected with him in later years.
“Gary loved De La Salle, and the De La Salle experience,” Monigold said.
Karas who was born in Hamtramck, worked as a logistics engineer with the U.S. Government. He worked at the TACOM location in Warren during his entire career, and received commendations for his work with the military.
Karas had three sisters who live out of state; he never married and had no children.
WARREN, Mich. (March 25, 2019) – De La Salle Collegiate’s 45th annual raffle was another huge success this month.
Students raised $190,005 in this year’s school raffle which begin in 1975. The final total was nearly 19 percent more than the original goal ($160,000) set for the 16-daylong raffle.
The $10,000 grand-prize winner was Justin Schaller, a 1995 graduate, who bought his winning ticket from freshman Max Chandzel.
Senior David Zeleney sold the $5,000 winning ticket to Renee Heimes of Harrison Township, and Evan and Aaron Kasuba, a junior and freshman, respectively, sold the $2,500 winning ticket to their mom, Fionna Kasuba.
The ultimate winners though are the students for which the raffle helps through the school’s tuition assistance program.
In February, each student received 10 books of five tickets each, addressed to their parents. The parents were asked to sell tickets at $5 each or books of 5 for $20. Each student’s goal was to sell and turn in $200 in sold tickets.
By meet the overall goal, students received three additional days off at Easter break, giving them a full two weeks of spring break.
DETROIT (Jan. 10, 2019) – On Tuesday, De La Salle Collegiate hosted a very successful beginning to its newest philanthropic group – the 1926 Society.
The 1926 Society is intended to recognize the year De La Salle was founded while challenging young alumni to show their commitment to The Collegiate with an annual gift of $19.26. Donations to the Lasallian Fund go to support scholarship assistance, technology, building needs, and faculty professional development.
This week’s inaugural event was held at the historic Detroit Athletic Club, where more than 72 percent of this year’s senior class accepted the breakfast invitation from De La Salle President John M. Knight.
“Your experience, unique as it is to you, is not that far removed from the young men who graduated from De La Salle Collegiate so many, many years ago,” Knight said. “Just as those early graduates benefited from the sacrifice and support of their families and the school’s benefactors, so, too, have you benefited from that same generous spirit. And just as those early graduates stepped up to support the school that gave them so much, it is now your turn to begin to think about giving back to a school that has given you so much.
“I hope you will take this morning’s opportunity to reflect on your blessings and to begin to think about all that De La Salle Collegiate has given to you, and what you can give in return.”
Aside from Knight’s address, the 136 seniors had the privilege of hearing two poignant messages from prominent alumni Tony Mattar ’50 and Mike Peplowski ’88.
Mattar said it’s not the amount of the gift, it’s the spirit and generosity the gift represents that counts.
“I am proud to boast that I have been a key member of this great (1950) class,” said Mattar, who graduated with such notables as Bill Fox, Don Slazinski, Bill Pulte, and J.P. McCarthy. “To this day, our surviving class members still remain connected and socially interactive, a credit to our heritage as graduates of De La Salle. The personal satisfaction I enjoy – not only from giving generously to our school, but also the time which I devoted as a member of the Board of Trustees and other committees – has enriched my life knowing that I have, in some small way, given of my talents, inspired by my love and devotion to De La Salle.”
Through steady gifts to the Lasallian Fund, young alumni can make a direct impact on their alma mater. De La Salle’s Lasallian Fund is a way of saying that a Lasallian, Catholic education made a positive difference in their lives.
When it was Peplowski’s turn to talk to the seniors, the former basketball standout shared the passage The Man in the Arena from Theodore Roosevelt’s 1910 speech.
“Guys, the Man in the Arena has absolutely nothing to do with sports; it has to do with life, which you are about to embark on,” he said. “I imagine most of you will be freshmen in college. Most of you will belong to a campus organization, maybe a fraternity, you’ll make new friends, you’ll drift apart, and you’ll try to stay in touch. But while you do this what I would really like you to remember is just a couple easy things that comes from that famous speech. Every day you guys need to wake up with a purpose. What is your purpose in your day, in your life? You’re going to describe the what, the what that you’re going to do. Once you’ve figured out what the what is, ask yourself why. Why are you doing what you’re doing? Why am I here doing what I’m doing talking to you? I’m here because I care, because I was asked, and I’m honored to be here. Figure out your why, guys. The why is the most important thing. The why gets you out of bed. The why makes you take the next step. The why gets the deal done, day in and day out.”
The hope is that seniors each year will be motivated to step up and begin to take their turn at giving back to their school. All seniors who contribute their $19.26 this semester will receive a custom polo shirt and membership into the 1926 Society.
For more information about the 1926 Society, please contact Major Gifts Officer Greg Esler at firstname.lastname@example.org or 586-541-6254.
SHELBY TOWNSHIP, Mich. – Last week, Michigan Supreme Court Justice David Viviano ‘90 served as keynote speaker at the general membership meeting of the De La Salle Collegiate’s Pilot Bar Association at Da Francesco’s Ristorante and Bar.
Viviano spoke of his thoughts and vision for the new organization, the group’s Lasallian, Catholic heritage, and the importance of giving back.
“I kept hearing about the Warrior Bar Association and the Shamrock Bar Association, and I said enough’s enough,” Viviano said. “We need a Pilot Bar Association.”
Viviano noted that the “school has always meant a lot to my family, and we have always been very committed to the school. We are very grateful for the great education and life lessons learned there.”
The Viviano family has a long history with De La Salle. Antonio Viviano, David’s father, graduated in ‘53, David’s brother Joe is from the Class of ‘92, and David says his son Tony is ready for the Class of 2028. Numerous cousins are also graduates.
“I think all of us would agree De La Salle helped us chart a course for our lives,” Viviano said. “It gave us a firm foundation of faith and learning. It helped to mold us and sent us out into the world with a base of knowledge and with friendships that will last a lifetime. I am very grateful.”
Viviano noted the number of graduates who have achieved a measure of success as lawyers, partners and associates at law forms, prosecutors, judges, and even politicians.
“But we all have a bond,” he said. “We all owe a debt of gratitude. We are all connected to De La Salle.
“St. John Baptist de La Salle was not a lawyer. His life’s work was to educate the poor, and he formed the Brothers of the Christian Schools. All of us have benefitted from our education by the Christian Brothers and the dedicated lay teachers and staff at De La Salle. We owe it to Brother George and Brother Tom and Brother Joe and Brother Bob and Brother Pat and all the other Brothers who kept us on the right path to make this organization a priority and invest our time and energy.”
Viviano noted how the Pilot Bar Association will provide an opportunity to “pay it forward to future generations” in meaningful ways. He believes the group has multiple goals: “To encourage and mentor students who are thinking about a career in the law; to provide guidance and resources to graduates who decide to pursue a legal education; to give advice and career opportunities to alumni who are new lawyers; and to keep older alumni in better contact with each other and build stronger relationships.”
The meeting was attended by current and retired judges, legislators, practicing attorneys, and legal industry support personnel.
Viviano, along with Michigan State Representative Peter Lucido ‘77, presided over the business portion of the meeting. Those in attendance selected an initial Board of Directors, who will serve rotating terms.
Serving on the initial Board are Paul Addis ‘93, Michael Bartnik ‘73, James Biernat ‘87, Michael Cus ‘69, Joseph DeLave ‘80, and Timothy Orlando (past parent).
The group also discussed membership, its mission statement and bylaws, and upcoming events. The newly-formed board will be meeting and discussing these items for presentation to the group at a later date.
“Our focus is on the Lasallian mission of providing a human and Christian education to all children,” Lucido said.
Various graduates in the legal profession have already been providing mentoring to students in the De La Salle Mock Trial Club. Ben Aloia ‘91 initially assisted the group, and now Kyle Kole ‘06 works closely with students. James Biernat ‘87, chief judge in Macomb County, has provided courtroom space for students to prepare for mock trial competition. Cases typically have to do with problems faced by teens, and usually involve teenagers as witnesses.
Any alumni who is a member of the bar, as well as current law school students, are encouraged to contact Alumni Relations Director Dennis Koch at email@example.com or 586-541-6221 to be added to the group’s mailing list.
WARREN, Mich. – With nearly 200 former students living in Illinois, representatives from De La Salle Collegiate are heading to the Windy City to meet with local alumni.
De La Salle President John M. Knight and Director of Alumni Relations Dennis Koch plan to host former Pilots to discuss the possible formation of the school’s first regional alumni group in downtown Chicago.
The meeting will take place at the Chicago Athletic Association (12 South Michigan Avenue) from 5-7 p.m. CT on Thursday, Sept 27.
More than 130 De La Salle alumni live in the Chicagoland area.
Many classmates try to stay connected with their alma mater through social media, The Collegiate magazine, and by listening to online broadcasts of school sporting events. A regional group would serve as a hub to regularly reach out to Chicagoland alums.
“We know there are numerous alumni who live in the area,” Koch said. “We, De La Salle, need to engage these alumni. We need to have formal meetings, social events, and act as a networking tool for all alumni – young and old – in the Chicago area.”
Many prominent universities and elite high schools throughout the country benefit from having regional alumni groups. These groups are designed to extend the reach of their schools by engaging alumni in formal meetings, social events, fundraisers, and networking.
De La Salle boosts an alumni base of more than 14,200 men with members living in 49 states, as well as the District of Columbia. Illinois ranks fourth with 192 former Pilots, behind Michigan, Florida and California.
“Our alumni association can draw strength from getting together on a regular basis,” Koch said. “It will help our network grow as our continued meetings will help develop long-lasting relationships between our alumni.
“We can also use this regional group as a community of support. How reassuring would it be for a parent or current student to know that as he attends college, gets an internship, or lands a job in the Chicago area, he has a network of Pilots that are there for him.”
For more information regarding the De La Salle Collegiate Alumni Association or its upcoming visit to Chicago, please contact Dennis Koch at 586-541-6221 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Welcome to the 2018-19 school year!
I hope and pray that this summer has given you time to relax and enjoy being with friends and family. All of us at DLS are excited about the new school year. A large part of our excitement is of course being able to partner with you in the formation of your sons. Another part of our excitement this year is due to the outstanding men and women who have joined our faculty, staff and administration over the past several weeks.
As with anything in life change is part of the life cycle of a school. Over the past few months we have said good bye to colleagues who have served our school well. As people leave, new people and even some familiar faces enter our community. I am very happy to welcome back alumnus Steve Laudicina,’10 as our Director of Enrollment Management and alumnus Nate Maus, ’99 as our Vice President of Operations and Director of our Tuition Assistance Program. Alumnus Joe Gerardi,’86, recently on our Theology faculty, has moved into a new role of Vice-President of Mission and Ministry. Past De La Salle Collegiate student and honorary alumnus, Bill Roose has come onboard to serve as our Vice President of Marketing and Communications. Alumnus Kevin Fitzhenry,’03, has transitioned from our admissions office into a new role as our Director of Digital Marketing. And last but not least we welcome back Brother Robert Deary. Brother Robert is an alumnus, a past faculty member and has now returned home to us.
In addition to welcoming home the alumni mentioned above I am happy to welcome to our community Mrs. Kathleen Fraylick as our Director of Campus Ministry and Mrs. Jo Marie Ragona as our Director of Christian Service. Longtime basketball coach and past parent Greg Esler has joined our Advancement office as a Major Gift Officer. And rounding out our list of colleagues new and or returning to our community are past faculty member James DeHaan and new faculty members Rebecca Cook and Jacob Creeden. We are a community that is richly blessed by the Brothers and men and women who serve our students each day. We are blessed too by your continued support of our Lasallian, Catholic mission. I know that as the new school year unfolds you will enjoy meeting our new colleagues. Thank you for all you continue to do for our community. Please know that my prayers and the prayers of our entire community remain with you and your loved ones.
St. John Baptist de La Salle, pray for us!
Live Jesus in our Hearts, forever!
John M. Knight
De La Salle Collegiate President John M. Knight is pleased to announce the appointment of Mr. Greg Esler as the school’s Major Gifts Officer. Mr. Esler will join the DLS Advancement Office staff full-time on September 1.
Long associated with De La Salle as its Varsity Basketball Coach, Mr. Esler has also been the Director of Parks and Recreation for the City of St. Clair Shores for the past 23 years. In that position, he was responsible for a $5.3 million budget, and supervised 10 full-time and 226 part–time employees.
President John M. Knight said, “Greg is a man who is deeply committed to our Lasallian mission. For close to 30 years, both as a parent of two sons who attended De La Salle Collegiate and as a Hall of Fame basketball coach, Greg has worked tirelessly on behalf of our community. I am looking forward to working with Greg as we seek to raise funds to grow and strengthen our Lasallian mission.”
Mr. Esler also has raised thousands of dollars for the St. Clair Shores community, with a $250,000 donation from the late philanthropist, Mr. Fred Maloof, and over $350,000 for the Special Needs Program, and over $250,000 for the Activities Committee.
“First I want to thank President John Knight for giving me this opportunity,” said Mr. Esler. “I have always wanted the best for my family which is why I sent both my sons to De La Salle. It is my honor to now become a full time Pilot. I look forward to working with past, present, and future Pilots, in conjunction with the business community, continuing the traditions and educational foundations that help shape and secure our future as an academic powerhouse. Go Pilots!”
This past season, Mr. Esler led the Pilots to the State’s Final Four, and was voted the 2018 Class A Coach of the Year by the Basketball Coaches of Michigan Executive Board. He has compiled an enviable coaching record, with a 517-216 record.
Mr. Esler is married to Renee Esler, and is the father of the late Douglas, Robert (‘97), and Rhoda; he has two stepchildren Julia and Joseph, and four grandchildren. He earned a B.S. degree in Business Management through the University of Phoenix.
De La Salle Collegiate today announced it has appointed Bill Roose as Director of Marketing, effective June 1, 2018.
The appointment of Mr. Roose signals a new focus and commitment to branding management and publicity for De La Salle Collegiate, a Lasallian, Catholic college preparatory school serving metropolitan Detroit since 1926.
Mr. Roose will be the ultimate caretaker of the De La Salle Collegiate brand, the alignment of all communications, marketing, admissions, and advancement activities with the brand – and most importantly – with the public amplification and awareness of the brand and the school that the brand represents. He will report directly to President John M. Knight.
President John M. Knight stated that “We are blessed to be able to welcome Bill home to De La Salle Collegiate. Bill embodies the spirit of all that is good and true about a Lasallian education. Bill’s gifts and talents are many; he will help us to broaden and strengthen our Lasallian brand in the metropolitan Detroit market. I am looking forward to working with Bill in the years to come.”
Mr. Roose, who attended De La Salle from 1978-81, rejoins DLS from the Novi Community School District. As Communications/Public Relations Specialist, he reported directly to the district superintendent, and was responsible for all aspects of marketing, branding and media relations for 7,000 students and staff at nine different K-12 buildings.
“I’m extremely excited to return to De La Salle,” Mr. Roose said. “De La Salle has a rich history and tradition and I’m ready to do my best to promote the Pilots’ brand.”
Prior to his tenure with Novi Schools, Mr. Roose spent 10 years as Managing Editor and Senior Beat Writer of the Detroit Red Wings’ New Media and Publishing Department. He was responsible for the writing, publishing and marketing of eight books – including biographies on Gordie Howe, Ted Lindsay, Nicklas Lidstrom and Steve Yzerman – which accounted for more than $3 million in sales. For his efforts, Mr. Roose was named 2010 Olympia Entertainment Employee of the Year.
Mr. Roose has also been an associate athletic director for the Detroit Catholic High School League, and a sports writer for the Detroit Free Press.
A Detroit native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in sports management and communications from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. He is a member of the Oakland County School Public Relations Association (OCSPRA), Michigan Schools Public Relations Association (MSPRA) and National School Public Relations Association (NSPRA).
Mr. Roose lives in St. Clair Shores with his wife Lynn. Together the couple has two children, Delaney (15), and Carson (13), who will be a De La Salle freshman in the fall.
At the April 26, 2018, Christian Brothers’ Dinner, attendees will be able to purchase this special crew neck cashmere sweater. The cost is $175. Attendees may also order the sweater, with full payment, for later delivery.
This sweater is only available for purchase or order at the Dinner.
This year’s Dinner Honoree is Mr. Michael Jolly. Read more
For tickets to the Christian Brothers’ Dinner, purchase in the Pilot Hangar.
To register for the Silent Auction (winners need not be present), go to our Auction site.