Meet the new Alumni Executive Board as they share on what Catholic Central means to them.
Bryan Genrich '03 - President
Jimmy Burns '04 - Vice President
Judge David Law '87 - Treasurer
Tom Nugent '78 - Secretary
Dave Brauer '84 - Past President
1. How did you become interested in the Alumni Association Board of Directors?
BG: While I was in law school, I was talking with Mike Carrier ‘06 about wanting to be involved in the school and he suggested I look into the Alumni Board and that I reach out to Dante Cerroni ‘96 to inquire about openings. I wanted to join to be involved with the school moving forward and help in any way I could.
JB: I became interested in the Alumni Board through my time working alongside Dr. Robert Forte '69. He was someone I looked up to, and his involvement with the school made me want to do more.
DL: I became interested in the Alumni Board through conversations with school administration and updates I would read regarding the board in the Aluminator. Through the years, I’ve had an interest in reconnecting with CC in a more direct way than attending a sporting event or purchasing DRIVE tickets. I felt the Alumni Board was a good step in that direction. It’s a rewarding way to stay updated with CC and being able to give back to CC. My goal on the board is to provide a voice that strongly represents the interest of CC alumni by helping to provide opportunities and connections that foster alumni involvement with CC while keeping the focus of the board’s role in supporting the mission of Catholic Central High School.
TN: I was approached by Bob Barnes, Sr ‘56 asking if I'd be interested in lunch and to talk about the Alumni Association. At the time, I didn't know it existed, and it was not on my radar. I was flattered to be asked to be a member and thought I could help try to engage my classmates to "come back to CC".
DB: John Connor ‘84 “invited me.” I was looking for a way to be more involved and it seemed like a good fit.
2. What helps you stay connected to CC?
BG: Being on the Alumni Board has been great and introduced me to many Shamrocks of varying class years. I also try to attend several sports events every year and CC hockey alumni events.
JB: The lessons and values learned at CC and the relationships made during my time in school are what help me stay connected. Our family has a long history with CC, going back to my grandfather graduating in 1938, and we are grateful for all that the school has done for us.
DL: There are a number of avenues that help me stay connected to CC. The first is family. My father Tom ‘61, and my two uncles (Gerry ‘62 and Bob ‘65) and close family friend, Ed Farragher ‘62, all attended CC. They are the main reason I chose to attend CC, and the school is a usual topic of discussion when we all get together. Plus, we greatly enjoy attending CC events, such as a football or basketball game, or events such as the CC athletic department golf outing. It assists us in staying connected as family and friends. The Aluminator helps me stay updated and connected to CC as well; it is always full of useful information and highlights regarding what has taken place at CC and what is coming down the road. Also, I am blessed that my courthouse at the 52-1 District Court in Novi is so close to the school. I’ve had the unique opportunity to speak to classes at CC and had CC students observe court proceedings in my courtroom. I’ve even held actual court cases at CC for the students to observe. Being so close to CC opens up many opportunities to stay connected.
TN: Being able to mentor young student athletes. Camaraderie with alumni of various years. Being the father of an alum (Matt Nugent ‘11) who participated in many activities during his years.
DB: Updates regarding happenings at CC; events with my classmates, other alumni; visiting the school.
3. What has the “CC Experience” meant to you?
BG: The CC Experience to me, is the pride in the school and brotherhood you develop with your classmates and fellow alumni. The intangible aspect that CC has cultivated and offers that no other school can.
JB: The “CC Experience” means so much but is also difficult to put into words. The “Experience” involves going through one of the most formative times in a young man’s life with a brotherhood shared amongst classmates while constantly pushing each other to be better. The “CC Experience” is different for each of us but felt by all of us.
DL: Catholic Central and the “CC Experience” has meant the world to me. In addition to family, I truly believe CC provided the foundation for who I am and what I’ve been blessed to accomplish in life. We come to CC as young people, needing guidance. We leave CC having received that guidance, having matured, and ready to head into the world to hopefully have a positive impact.
TN: The CC experience became more evident when my Matt became a student. It took me back to the fall of ‘74 as a young student. As I followed my son and his activities, I saw how alumni of all ages were engaged in the spirit of CC.
DB: Provided an outstanding base for the rest of my life, both in my personal development and the bonds I formed with my classmates.
4. When I say “The CC Spirit”, what does that mean to you?
BG: CC Spirit is the deafening roar of the student section at sports events, the call and return from the student section to the other CC fans at a football game; its fans and alumni traveling hours to watch the Shamrocks take on our opponents.
JB: “The CC Spirit” to me was embodied by Fr. Donoher. The passion he had for teaching, sharing, and caring for others was so strong that you couldn’t help but recognize the CC Spirit in him!
DL: The CC Spirit is more than just a saying, it’s real. If you were blessed enough to wander the halls of Catholic Central, you feel that spirit the rest of your life. The CC Spirit colors what you do and how you do it in valiant Blue and peerless White! It calls us to support the mission of the school, help others around us and strive to be better men. The CC Spirit is a connection to something bigger than us, it’s a connection to the friends we made and the people we knew when we attended CC all those years ago. It’s also an enduring connection to the classes of students who followed us. We are one united body bonded by our love for the school and each other. That is why, when I became a District Court Judge, I held my investiture ceremony at Catholic Central. I felt it important to hopefully inspire CC students to go out and make a difference in the world, to leave it in a better place than they found it. The CC Spirit isn’t fleeting. It continually calls us to work to be the best we can be and to strive to make Mary, Alma Mater, proud of us.
TN: The Bonding of many people of all walks of life, ages, and involvement to make CC a part of more young men.
DB: CC Spirit = our Brotherhood. Regardless of differences, the common bond.
5. How do the Biblical virtues of Goodness, Discipline, and Knowledge that are the foundation stones of CC apply in your life?
BG: I think GDK applies to all aspects of my life, my family, my career, and my social interactions. Goodness through my treatment of others and inspiring others to practice Goodness. Discipline in my actions and holding myself responsible and accountable to live and walk in the Light. Knowledge with my intention to always learn and improve and be a better person for all those around me.
JB: GDK is a well rounded and comprehensive guide to a well-lived life. As a father of three young children, the biblical virtues will always be in the back of my mind as I try to provide a path for my kids to become the best version of themselves.
DL: I have found that the foundation I received at CC has helped me throughout my life. In every aspect of life, we would do well as men to incorporate GDK into what we do. There is not a decision related to school, family, employment, faith, or any other life decision that is not positively impacted or guided by invoking Goodness, Discipline, and Knowledge into the equation. I find those virtues particularly helpful with my job. As a District Court Judge at the 52-1 District Court in Novi, I can deal with hundreds of people a week and have to make countless decisions. Many of those decisions can impact the life of the person before me in a variety of ways. As much as those decisions are not easy at times, having the base of Goodness, Discipline and Knowledge to rely upon when making tough choices has been a blessing. I am convinced that those virtues have made me a better person and made me a better judge as well.
TN: I try to do my best to impart the values of GDK through my mentorship and coaching of CC student athletes.
DB: I think GDK is ingrained in a way that it naturally guides my actions.
6. Favorite CC memories?
BG: Walking down the glass hallway to the gym, covered floor-to-ceiling with Spirit signs during the DRIVE was always an amazing experience. Winning state championships in hockey and sharing that with not only my teammates, but all my CC brothers.
JB: I have so many fond memories from CC. From an athletic perspective, being a captain of the first golf state championship team in the school’s history (at that time) was something I will always remember and cherish. Especially because I grew up with a dad that played football for Coach Mach and wrestled for Coach Rod and appreciating the athletic achievements of so many great athletes and teams that had come before us at CC. Academically, I have fond memories of working through math problems with Fr. Menner and Fr. Ward and being pushed to do better by both. Fr. Ward once offered extra credit points on a math test to the entire class based on how many points Pete Pfeffer (my linemate) and I scored in a playoff hockey game… we combined for 6 points, and I remember him joking about it with the class as a mistake he wouldn’t make again.
DL: I have so many CC memories, I could write a book. I am sure every CC graduate could do the same. When I think of CC, I think of connection to family and friends. My father, Tom ’61 and Uncles Gerry ’62 and Bob ’65, as well as close family friend Ed Farragher ’62, all attended CC and are mainly responsible for my choice to attend CC even though I attended grade school directly next to Brother Rice. I looked up to them and saw at an early age how they lived life with an unbreakable connection to CC and their fellow classmates. I observed how they all incorporated Goodness, Discipline, and Knowledge into their daily lives. I think back to when I walked the halls of CC, I could feel their presence even though they had attended CC a couple of decades before I did. It feels like just yesterday that Father Donoher and Father Clemens were telling me stories about my father from when he attended CC years prior. Father Donoher would even describe where my father sat in his class and the color of the vest my father often wore. Father may have even shared a couple of stories about how he had to set my father straight when he was causing a little trouble… I’ll save those details for another day! As is often said, we at CC stand on the shoulders of those who came before us. I literally felt that every day I walked into the school. Not to mention, having the blessing of attending so many CC sporting events through the years with them, to play with them in every CC athletic department golf outing since I graduated college, to talk CC with them whenever we are together—those are lifetime memories forged around CC. In addition, I think back to my years as a student, highlighted by DRIVE assemblies with Father Donoher inspiring us to keep after the goal. Those were good days! I also have fond memories of freshman football, as well as the golf team my junior and senior years. More than the experience of participating in a sport, the lasting memories are the friendships that were made while at CC, many of those friendships continue to this day. The people you meet at and through CC are unlike any others you will meet anywhere else. In short, the people I met at and through CC are what I remember the most.
TN: My CC world has revolved around the CC hockey program. A couple things stand out: 17 seasons as an assistant coach with 12 state titles; pitching a shutout against BR my senior year; and maintaining friendships with former CC hockey players.