On their 50th anniversary of graduation, members of the Class of 1973 bring us up to date.
John R. Foley
Following graduation from CC in 1973, I attended Oakland University, graduating in 1977 with a B.A. in English and political science. I received my JD from Detroit College of Law in 1980. I was employed as an associate attorney at a mid-sized firm for ten years. I was a sole practitioner for thirty years, concentrating in the areas of labor law, traumatic brain injury, and family law. I now enjoy a thriving mediation and arbitration practice.
I met Paula in law school and married in 1981. We have three sons, John Paul, ’02, Patrick ’03 and Andrew ‘10. We live in Northville, Michigan. JP, a former U.S. Navy Lieutenant Commander/JAG, is with the Federal Reserve in Washington, D.C. Patrick has been my law partner for the past ten years. Andrew, a R.N., graduates law school in 2024 with a JD/MBA.
Paula and I love to travel. We have enjoyed Iceland, Great Britain, the European Continent, the Baltic States, Russia and South America. All our sons are avid travelers.
My education and training at CC have been invaluable to the enjoyment of my family, my service to my fellow man, and my relationship with God. Our motto, “Teach me Goodness, Discipline and Knowledge,” has been a guiding beacon for me. My Catholic faith has remained strong all these many years. I am an active member at Our Lady of Good Counsel Parish in Plymouth, Michigan.
I appreciate the toughness and tenacity that Coach Rodriguez instilled in me. Being a trial attorney is like stepping onto the mat every day.
I ask that God bless the members of the Class of ’73 on this 50th Anniversary of our graduation. May God continue to guide and bless Catholic Central in the education and formation of young men.
After graduating from Catholic Central ‘73, I went on to UM-Dearborn for a B.S.E in electrical engineering followed by UM-Ann Arbor for a M.S.E in computer, information, control engineering.
I entered the working world at American Motors on Plymouth Road in Detroit, spending 3 years developing engineering software applications. This was followed by 37 years with General Motors, primarily at the Milford Proving Grounds. My career included software engineering and as an engineering group manager, followed by business roles including capital planning, procurement/contract management, and global facility planning. I was fortunate to embark on numerous global travel ventures to Europe, Asia, and South America. In parallel, I earned an MBA in Finance from UM-Ann Arbor. I retired from GM in 2019 and entered the real world.
Outside of work, I logged many miles as both an avid bicyclist and an avid runner, including a handful of marathons. And I enjoy my season tickets to UM football, Go Blue!
I have been a guitarist/musician for my entire life. During senior year, I was a member of the pep band, playing at home basketball game halftime shows and assemblies. That led to the 1970s rock band “The RITZ” with 4 other classmates from CC ’73 and ’75. We reunited in 2022 for a 47-year reunion performance; popular demand brings an encore performance April 30, 2023, now with all the original CC band members. I also played in recent years with Stoney & the Jagged Edge at many local venues.
I am fortunate to live in Novi, within walking distance of CC, allowing me to participate in alumni activities, plus I meet up with CC ’73 classmates who get together monthly to celebrate life. I thank Catholic Central for providing the foundation for everything that has followed in life.
Following graduation from CC in ‘73, I attended UM-Dearborn earning a B.S.A in accounting followed by an MBA in finance from UM-Ann Arbor. My wife of 45 years, Deborah, and I met at UM-Dearborn. We have two sons, Eric (UM-Ann Arbor alumnus) and Alexander (MSU alumnus). Our family grew in 2022 with the addition of our first grandchild.
My work experience includes accounting, IT, and finance at Arthur Andersen, General Motors, and Delphi. Work has taken my family to international assignments in China and Germany. I am currently back home in Michigan as CFO at Rapid Global Business Solutions.
I lettered in cross country and track, and wrestled at CC. I still enjoy runs on the Paint Creek Trail and at Stony Creek MetroPark. My wife and I are season ticket holders to both Michigan (Go Blue!) and MSU (Go Green Go White!) football, so our fall season is pretty busy.
I am fortunate to have made lasting friends at CC who share important events in my life. Those of us in the Detroit area get together every month to talk about sports, music, family, and old times. Thank you, CC, for bringing us together. We value our friendship and are grateful to have life-long friends who continue to play an important role in each other's lives.
Robert E. Sullivan, Jr.
Following CC graduation, while in college, I served along with Dave Kizyma ’73 as a volunteer coach of Varsity Ski for two years until a permanent coach was hired. I attended the University of Michigan and graduated from Monteith College, part of Wayne State University, with a B.A. in political science and a B.A. in sociology. I returned to U of M, to the College of Architecture and Urban Planning, for two years to obtain my master’s degree in urban planning. I then attended the University of Detroit School of Law to obtain my law degree. While in law school, I was appointed by the city council to be a planning commissioner for the City of Detroit, served as a law clerk for the U.S. Attorney’s Office, and was Managing Editor of the State Bar of Michigan Corporation, Finance and Business Law Journal.
I became licensed to practice law in Michigan (1984), the District of Columbia (1985), and in various federal courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court. I practiced as a litigation attorney for 23 years, as a partner with the Detroit law firm of Sullivan, Ward & Bone (founded by my father in 1951). I am a nationally certified city planner (AICP) and served as an adjunct professor of history at Macomb College.
I have been a litigator in Michigan courts, representing businesses, professionals and municipalities, specializing in professional liability defense (including architectural, engineering, and medical), construction, real estate, municipal liability, zoning and city planning, premises liability, product liability, environmental, automobile, and more.
I currently serve as General Counsel at the International Institute of Metropolitan Detroit (a non-profit founded in 1919, which provides immigration services in cooperation with the federal government). In that capacity, I recently served as President of Hamtramck United Social Services.
After graduating from CC, I attended the University of Michigan earning a B.S. in electrical engineering. Since then, I have worked at General Motors (5 years) and Intel (34 years). In 1989, I married the love of my life, Bernadette. We adopted our daughter, Kamila, from Poland in 2002. We have been married for 34 years.
At GM, my projects included a variety of responsibilities such as assuring compliance for test track driver schedules, railroad car shipping simulation, designing electronic engine controls, and vehicle communication systems. This experience led to my career at Intel as a technical liaison for the automotive division, working on the Ford EEC4 engine control system, anti-lock braking, ride control, and custom microchips. I also met with Nissan in Japan for their automotive electronic design needs.
After 10 years in Automotive, I worked with a variety of companies (Dow Chemical, P&G, Kroger) and some Michigan government entities, developing computing standards. Additionally, I worked with Michigan educational organizations. At Northern Michigan University my team developed a wireless communications program, WiMAX, to help students in remote areas gain access to the Internet. In 2011, President Obama participated in a video conference from
NMU to schools in Big Bay and Negaunee showcasing WiMAX. In 2014, I was selected to participate in an Intel sponsored Education Service Program in San Miguel, Mexico. Our team gave computers to middle schools that did not have them and trained teachers on responsible usage. In retirement, I volunteer as board member/instructor for SquareOne Education,
a STEM organization for Autonomous Vehicle and Underwater Robotic training camp competitions. I am a parish council member and men’s faith formation facilitator at St. Mary Magdalen Church, Brighton. I will always value the Catholic education & brotherhood I received at CC. It has served me well.
In the fall of 1973, I attended Michigan State University, graduating in spring 1978 with a B.A. in communications from the School of Journalism. After several years of various jobs unrelated to my degree, I refocused and studied electronic engineering technology, putting me onto a career path in computers and technology. My efforts led me in 1990 to Ford Aerospace and, in 1995, I took advantage of an opportunity to learn quality systems, as the offices in Dearborn were pursuing accreditation to ISO9001.
For the next 20 years I worked as a quality engineer and internal auditor for several automotive suppliers of electrical switches and electronic components, even acquiring ASQ CQE certification. I was able to apply my writing skills in developing concise procedures, work instructions, audit results, corrective action reports and communications with both customers and suppliers.
During that time my wife, Lorie, and I owned the successful card and gift shop Salutations in Northville from 1993 to 2004. She managed the day-to-day activities, while I was tasked with changing all the burnt-out light bulbs.
In 2013 my career in quality relocated us to Huntsville, Alabama where I was Quality Manager for EFI, an automotive supplier of electronic sensors. In 2016, I took a position as Product Quality Engineer for Vertiv Corporation responsible for the quality aspects from design to production of automatic switching products for data servers. In 2021, I took the leap into retirement and began a new chapter in life.
Over the years, I have reflected on my time at Catholic Central and the spirit it planted in me along with the lasting friendship with fellow students, staff and faculty. I’ve been blessed with the strong faith instilled in me by my parents and my experience at CC.
These submissions first appeared in the Fall 2023 issue of the Aluminator.