Extra Credit: Robert Hurd, S.J.

In addition to being a priest, Robert Hurd, S.J., is a staff physician at the Veterans Administration Hospital in Cincinnati.  He has a medical degree from Creighton University, as well as a bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of San Francisco, a bachelor’s degree and doctorate in theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, and a licentiate from the Jesuit School of Theology at the University of California Berkeley. Today, he’s one of a rare breed—both doctor and Jesuit priest.

“Throughout the world, I’d say there are at least 40-50 Jesuit doctors.

“My title? I’m Father Doctor. I’m a Jesuit first. Anything I would do as a doctor would be in the context of Jesuit activities spirituality.

“I teach a course in endocrinology and two or sometimes three courses each semester in bioethics.

“I like teaching both. We touch on a lot of issues—health care reform, stem cell research and more.

“We try to balance the issues between science and Church teachings. We have to work with the students so they learn some principles that they can apply to different situations. One of Fr. Baumiller’s main mottos was that everybody should feel comfortable in gray areas. You can’t avoid them. When he was at Georgetown University, he founded the first prenatal diagnosis clinic for women and their husbands who were told in the middle of their pregnancy that they had a serious anomaly with the baby. And instead of sending them away where they would probably have an abortion, he worked in this gray area to counsel the people and give them all the information they needed and let them know what resources are available. So he was kind of a model for all of us. That’s our example of working within the Church’s principles in an ever-changing world.

“There are quite a few of my former students who are working at different hospitals around town and are on the ethics committees of the hospitals where they work. We interact all the time.

“The VA was recommended to me by the biology chair, Charles Grossman, who was working there at the time as director of the research department. There are a lot of students in the biology program who do their research projects there. So that fit very well.

“What do I do for fun? I like music. That’s my hobby. I play the guitar, piano and organ. When I was a medical student, we were not supposed to moonlight or work, but on Sunday mornings I figured I could do what I liked so I played organ and guitar at the parish church. I’m now the music director of a church in town, Holy Trinity in Kenwood.

“I also like to go to O’Connor Sports Center and exercise. I go early in the morning, around 6:00 a.m. I ride a bicycle and read my notes for that day’s class. I photocopy pages of the textbook so I can read the chapter of the day and refresh myself. If I don’t do it then, it’s not going to happen.

“I’m usually at the VA from 8:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m. On days I teach, I leave at 3:00 p.m. and then teach from 4:15 p.m.-6:45 p.m.

“I don’t sleep much.”

Profile: Ron Henlein

Ron Henlein

Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, 1979
Director of corporate and community partnerships for people working cooperatively
Cincinnati

Heart and Hammer | Ron Henlein is a handy guy around the house…anyone’s house. As a former district manager for big box retailers like Home Depot, he knows a hammer drill from a nail gun. Plus, with three decades of volunteering for People Working Cooperatively (PWC), a Cincinnati-based nonprofit providing home repair for low-income, elderly and disabled residents, under his tool belt, his heart has always been in the right place. So when faced with relocating or finding a new job, Henlein combined the best of two worlds.

Good Move | “1983 was the first year I volunteered for PWC. At the time I was working for Payless Cashway, one of the first national chains to embrace the D-I-Y retail model. Eventually I went over to Home Depot as a District Manager but then realized that God was calling me in a different direction. I took a position with PWC, to help the community’s most vulnerable homeowners remain safely in their homes.”

DIY Kind Of Guy | “My first volunteer assignment was helping an 88-year-old woman. Her front porch had rotted away to the point she was forced to balance on the support beams to get out of her house. I was amazed with the resilience that our clients live their lives. They don’t point at the sky or yell at their neighbors. But sometimes when very bad things happen, like the loss of a job or traumatic accident or illness, it can impact their ability to stay in their own home.”

PWC | “PWC has grown into a nationally recognized agency. There’s nothing else like it in the country with its ‘Whole House’ approach to critical repairs, modifications and weatherization. PWC helps people in dire need, who don’t have any other options for help. In my newly created position, one of my goals is to create partnerships with local and national companies, like Home Depot.”

AMDG | “Jesuit principles and values have effected me strongly,” he says, holding up a photo of his “AMDG” personalized license plate. He’s taken Jesuit principles to heart in his business life too, making it a practice to reread the book Heroic Leadership: Best Practices From a 450-Year-Old Company That Changed the World by Kevin Lowry. His favorite quote—“Heroic Leadership is a daily personal pursuit. Heroism is not just a response to a crisis but a consciously chosen approach to life; it is judged not by the scale of the opportunity but by the quality of the response to the opportunity at hand.”

Service Learning | For Henlein, Xavier is the foundation on which he built his career of service. “Christian leaders are called to a different level of leadership principles than other leaders. Teachings of the Jesuits can be woven into modern corporate culture. There is a life beyond business—people have a responsibility to help make the world a better place.”

Profile: Charles C. Wright

Charles “Charlie” C. Wright

Master of Business Administration, 1972
CEO of Wright Brothers Inc.; Chairman of Ohio Valley
Goodwill Industries
Cincinnati

Beer Bubbles | For the last 30 years, Wright has been at the helm of Wright Brothers Inc., which provides gas supply systems for applications in fabrication, leisure, nanoscience, cryogenics, research, product development, lasers, universities, pharmaceuticals, health care and, yes, beer.

The Other Brothers | “Wright Brothers was actually started by my dad and uncle, Charles and Morrow. People continually asked us if we were related to the Wright Brothers. We’re not. But when I got into the business, I incorporated the imagery of the original Wright Brothers. I admired their dedication to solve the mystery of heavier-than-air flight while still running a business. They were true innovators.”

A Tough Start | “When I was seven, I contracted polio and have limited use of my right arm and left leg. I was first admitted to Cincinnati General Hospital Ward H for polio cases since it was contagious and life threatening. I almost died that first night, then spent two weeks in an iron lung. After about a month I was transferred to the Cincinnati Convalescent Home, and then had five rounds of ‘corrective surgery’ at Cincinnati Children’s Hopsital. Because of all that, I’ve learned to live life by adapting to situations.”

Engineer to Entrepreneur | “My dad did not want me to go into the business. He told me to get an engineering degree and go to work for a big corporation. I started at the University of Cincinnati day school as an engineering major, got a job with General Mills then switched to the night college and graduated in 1970. I finished my MBA at Xavier in 1972. I used my first degree to get a job and the second degree to help the family business.”

Goodwill For All | “In early 2000, I was appointed by Gov. Taft to the State Use Committee to help provide jobs to folks with some sort of limitation or disability by purchasing their products or services, such as custodial services. After doing that, Joe Byrum, the CEO of Ohio Valley Goodwill Industries, recruited me to join the board of directors. I’ve been on the board for eight years and chairman for four. We’re part of the world’s largest, most successful network providing employment and training for people with disabilities and other barriers to employment. I just wanted to give back to folks I could help with some of the things I’ve learned in life.”

Take Everything | “Take anything to Goodwill, because if it’s not good enough for the store it gets recycled. So even clothing with a hole in it can be recycled as fiber. The whole Goodwill model is very environmentally friendly. If you donate something, it’s resold, reused or recycled­­—almost nothing goes into a landfill.”

Profile: Linda Young

Linda Young

Bachelor of Science in social work, 1989
Executive Director, Welcome House of Northern Kentucky
Covington, Ky.

Winning the Lottery | “I won the lottery a long time ago,” says Linda Young, referring to her childhood in Mason, Ohio. “My family didn’t have much money, but we loved and supported each other. I grew up in a little town where it was safe to just sleep out on your porch. I not only had two parents, but I had the whole community who raised me. Working for Welcome House, I realize just how much that means, how valuable that is. Not everybody has that support. And it’s not something you can buy.”

Family Matters | Young grew up the oldest of six siblings. And although her brother and sisters now live in different areas of the country, they remain a tight-knit family. On their 50th birthdays, the six of them (sans kids, spouses and friends) vacation together and act like they’re kids again.

The Crash | In 1981, Young’s husband was killed in a drunk-driving accident. After the accident, friends and family supported her and her two small children. And while she felt blessed to have a strong network of people who cared for her, she wondered what life was like for those who didn’t have the same resources that she had.

The Second Chance | When she decided to go back to school, Young chose to study social work instead of furthering her career in nursing. The social work program proved therapeutic for Young because her classes allowed her to ask the questions that she had been contemplating since her husband’s passing.

Welcome Back | After earning her bachelor’s degree, Young worked as Welcome House’s program coordinator until she went to Case Western Reserve for a master’s program in social work. Upon graduating, the Welcome House offered her the position of executive director. “I feel a responsibility to the community,” she says. “It makes sense to me that if you have a strong community, you take care of or work with people who have challenges and less privileges.”

Problem Solver | She considers herself a pragmatist and feels in her element when she finds creative solutions to real-world problems, like homelessness and poverty. “My work is about creating a model that’s affordable for people to be able to pay rent and take care of both themselves and their family. We can eradicate homelessness. There’s no reason why we shouldn’t.”

Real Hero | Dealing with such real-world issues on a day-to-day basis can be overwhelming. When it becomes too much, Young turns to a poster from writer Brian Andreas hanging on the wall of her office for a little reflection and inspiration: “Anyone can slay a dragon, but try waking up every morning and loving the world all over again. That’s what takes a real hero.”

Alumni Profile: Carl Bergman

Carl Bergman

Master of Business Administration, 1972
Board member, Cincinnati Habitat for Humanity
Cincinnati

Hammer Time | For Carl Bergman, giving checks to nonprofits was always easier than giving time. But after he retired from his job as a marketing executive at Ford Motor Co., he wanted to take a more hands-on approach to serving the community. So Bergman did what he knew: He wrote a check to Habitat for Humanity. On the bottom of that check, however, Bergman wrote a note asking how he could get involved. Someone from Habitat got in touch with him shortly thereafter, and in less than a month, Bergman was hammering nails instead of penning checks.

Most Valuable Volunteer | From 2010-2011, under Bergman’s term as board president, Cincinnati Habitat for Humanity opened two secondhand furniture and appliance stores in Southwest Ohio called ReStores. Bergman recently received recognition for his efforts by being named the Ohio Habitat for Humanity’s 2012 Volunteer of the Year.

Presidential Perks | After receiving his undergraduate degree from Miami University in 1968, Bergman worked for Proctor and Gamble in Michigan. Nine months later, he was drafted into the Army. “I was extremely lucky—99 percent of the people I knew were going to Vietnam. I wound up in the Presidential Ceremonial Unit at Ft. Meyer, Va. I rolled out the red carpet on the south lawn of the White House when visiting dignitaries came in. I got to see the Nixons, British Prime Minister Edward Heath and Indira Gandhi of India.”

Wanderlust | From eighth grade until his junior year of high school, Bergman lived in Germany with his family. He credits his time spent there for his love of travel as an adult. “When I was 16, my brother and I both had mopeds. One Easter break, we rode them on a 450-mile trip from Munich down to Austria and back. We were gone for like five days. I can’t imagine that happening today.” And although he didn’t pick up a second language while living in Europe, he still knows his way around. “I know enough German to order another beer.”

Getting Around | He later upgraded his moped to a motorcycle, which he drives all over the world with his wife, Julie. The two of them have toured in countries as far away as Australia and South Africa, and in places as close as their home states.

Samaritan Scuba Diver | When he’s not riding his motorcycle or volunteering, you might find him under the water. Bergman is an amateur scuba diver and underwater photographer. And for Bergman, the volunteering doesn’t cease on vacation. It travels with him. “One of the best things about visiting these very remote islands is when I get to hang out with the kids at the local schools. I bring balloons and school supplies to the kids. You’ve never seen kids so happy.”

Gallagher Gratitudes

“Observe the turtle,” Charlie Gallagher likes to say. “It can’t make any progress unless it sticks its neck out.”

Gallagher, a 1960 economics graduate, spent a lifetime sticking his neck out, taking risks and making progress. A lot of progress. After turning around a number of struggling industrial businesses, he created his own private equity firm and has managed more than 20 middle-market mergers, acquisitions and divestitures. He has saved companies and created jobs.

But perhaps nobody—or no place—has benefitted more from Gallagher’s expertise and leadership than Xavier. In December, Gallagher retired from the Board of Trustees after serving 20 years.

He is, of course, the namesake of the Gallagher Student Center, for which he contributed $9 million. He’s also the primary funder of the Conaton Learning Commons, which he chose to name in honor of former Board chairman and friend Michael Conaton.

Gallagher also sponsored a scholarship program called the Pacesetter Program in which he underwrote the education of inner-city students from his alma maters, St. Martin de Porres and Central Catholic High School in Toledo.

It is, he says, more satisfying to give your treasures away than it is to accumulate them.

“We are a better institution because of Charlie’s contributions,” says University President Michael Graham, S.J., “and we are extremely grateful for his commitment and generosity to Xavier.”

Honor Thy Father

Dinners at Roger Fortin’s home were always big family affairs. With six mouths to feed on a history professor’s salary, they weren’t always extravagant. But they were special. They were one of the few moments during the day when everyone came together from all their different directions and settled into a single place, together as one.

On occasion, the dinners were also celebratory. At various periods throughout his 40-year career at Xavier, the longtime history professor and former provost would be recognized for some outstanding achievement, and the observance of the feat turned dinner into a festival.

And those moments left their mark on the memories of the family. Or at least on Michael Fortin, the second oldest of the clan.

“Many of my young memories were of my father, working hard and on occasion being rewarded for going above and beyond,” he says. “That was a big deal. All of us remember those moments.”

The lasting memories were so strong, in fact, that Michael wanted to do something to recognize and honor his dad upon his retirement as Xavier’s provost last year. Something that would give other families the chance to experience those same moments. So the 1985 computer science graduate, who is now vice president in charge of the Windows operating system at Microsoft in Redmond, Wash., worked with Kerry Murphy from the University’s development office to find a way to help others recreate those suppertime celebrations. What they came up with is the Roger A. Fortin Award for Outstanding Teaching and Scholarship in the Humanities—an annual award that honors faculty members in the humanities.

The winner receives $10,000. Unlike other teaching awards, however, the money granted from the Fortin Award isn’t tied to conducting specific research or being applied to the classroom. It’s cash. No strings. No demands. No requirements. It’s available for use however the recipient desires—academics, a vacation in Australia, a special family dinner.

“Most of these people could make a living at anything, but they chose to dedicate their lives to teaching, to educating students,” says Michael. “That’s a special calling. They chose what actually matters. I remember my dad working tirelessly at it. So I didn’t like the idea of tying it to things like that puts limits on people.”

The award is focused on those who teach in the humanities—those fundamental programs that colleges were built upon—history, the classics, modern languages, English, philosophy. Theology was once seen as a capstone subject—what students learned after they knew it all. But in today’s era of specialization and make-as-much-money-as-you-can values, the humanities seem to have lost their emphasis among students. The well-roundedness that comes as a result of their learning has been flattened. And the ability to attract and retain professors in those areas has become increasingly difficult.

“I feel like the humanities can be overlooked and today’s world,” says Michael. “If this can attract or retain some of the faculty in the humanities, it’s well worth it.”

Each fall department chairs, faculty and student nominate candidates from the roughly 50 tenured faculty in the humanities programs, and a committee of four faculty members and one humanities student created by the dean of the College of Arts and Sciences selects the winner, which is announced at a public event in the spring. The award goes to a “teacher-scholar who—in the judgment of students and peers—is excellent to outstanding in her or his teaching and—in the judgment of the faculty—shows evidence of scholarship that is recognized and given positive evaluations by the scholarly community.”

It took nearly a year to create the endowment and hammer out many of the details—the nomination criteria, the selection process, the long-term process so it outlives those who are on campus now. And it wasn’t easy keeping it a secret.

“Dad was aware of that fact that we were working on something, but he wasn’t sure what,” says Michael. “He kept prying for information. When we finally told him, he was very excited and proud, but also very measured.”

Student Success

In the fall, the NCAA listed the top Division I athletic programs based on its Graduation Success Rate. Xavier’s 97-percent rate placed it 11th in the nation, with 14 of the University’s 18 teams posting a rate of 100 percent.

Top NCAA GSR Rankings

1) Dartmouth College 100%

2) Brown University 99%

3) Bucknell University 99%

4) University of Notre Dame 99%

5) Colgate University 98%

6) College of Holy Cross

7) Columbia University- Barnard College 98%

8) Duke University 98%

9)Havard University 98%

10) Yale University 98%

11) XavierUniversity 97%

Gone Fishin’

When Tyler Styons and Ian Goddard came to Xavier three years ago, they couldn’t find a club sports team that fit their interests. Hockey? No. Lacrosse? Nah. Rowing? Pass. So they got together and created their own—the Xavier Bass Fishing Club.

Seriously.

And they are doing very well, thank you. They’ve recruited eight others to the team and fish in about a half dozen tournaments a year. In fact, the pair just returned from the National Guard FLW College Fishing Northern Conference Championship on Philpott Lake in Martinsville, Va.—a trip that, well, wasn’t their most successful on many fronts.

Goddard’s 2000 Saturn broke down on a mountain road somewhere in the middle of the 423-mile drive, and he had to sell it for a couple hundred bucks and rent a car just to make it to the tournament. They missed practice and finished last, hooking just three fish in two days.

“Plus we don’t have a lot of experience fishing deep clear lakes,” says Goddard.

It’s hard to practice on campus since the only place with water deep enough to drop a line is the fountain along the Academic Mall, and that’s only two feet deep. So they must head out to local parks to practice. But that’s all part of the fun, he says