Alumni & Friends
Five of the members from the Class of 1966 kicked off their 50th Class Reunion during the Class of 2016 Commencement Exercises in June. The group then celebrated after with a small reception. They are, from left, Mike O'Malley '66, Jim Maguire '66, Paul Healey '66, Philip Mothon '66, and Arthur Ford '66. Read more about them below.
Welcome back to Austin Prep! Our goal is to provide you with the tools to stay connected to Austin Preparatory School and to each other. Whether it has been one year or over 20 since you graduated, your Austin Journey continues and we want you to remain united with the school and your classmates, no matter where your journey may lead.
That time Austin Prep had its first 50th Reunion …
A lot has happened since 1966. Wars have been fought. Economies have changed. Cell phones are in the hands of the majority of Americans. In 1966, gas was $0.32 a gallon compared to the average $2.49 per gallon that Americans pay today to fill up their tanks.
In 1966, Austin Prep sent it’s very first graduating class of 18 young men out into the world. On June 4, 2016, Headmaster James Hickey, Ph.D., invited that class to the Class of 2016 commencement ceremonies to celebrate the momentous occasion of their 50th Reunion, Austin Prep’s very first ‑ the first and fiftieth graduating classes. Five of those 18 men attended, some coming back to campus for the first time since 1966. Art Ford, Paul Healy, Jim Maguire, Mike O’Malley, and Phil Mothon all started in the same place, but their individual Austin Journeys took them to very different places.
Jim Maguire and Mike O’Malley met their very first day at Austin Prep and have remained best friends for over fifty years, talking at least once a week by phone and visiting each other and their families. A few years after graduation, both Mike and Jim went to Vietnam, Mike as a member of the Army and Jim joining up with the Navy. Jim remembers that five or six members of their class went to Vietnam in 1969, though their paths never crossed. After returning from the war, Jim went to college and received a bachelor’s degree in Economics and a master’s degree in Public Management. He later went on to be an executive with the United States Postal Service, married his wife of 43 years, Barbara, and had one son.
Once Mike’s journey brought him back from Vietnam, he spent forty years working for the railroad, after receiving a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and a master’s in Public Management. “The railroad was great because there was a lot of night work so you could go to college full-time and work full-time simultaneously.” Mike also married his wife (they met because of Jim, as Jim tells it!) and they have four children, three grown and a 10-year-old they adopted - they now have eight grandchildren.
Phil Mothon’s journey took him to Boston University to pursue a degree in Math after he graduated from Austin Prep in 1966, and then on to receive a master’s degree in Management Science & Engineering from Worcester Polytechnic in 1977. He later went on to earn a second master’s degree in Systems Engineering from Johns Hopkins. His career path led him to several companies, but ultimately the MITRE Corporation, where he has been for many years, and leads an engineering group. He currently lives with his wife Susan in Salem, NH, and enjoys a wonderful relationship with his three daughters, his step-daughter and her family.
Art Ford’s path led to Merrimack College, where he received a bachelor’s in Accounting. After passing the CPA exam and receiving a master’s in Taxation from Bentley College, he opened his own CPA firm, Sullivan Bille PC, which he has owned for over thirty years. While his journey kept him local, Art has made a name for himself and his business in the Merrimack Valley and surrounding communities.
And then there are the paths that lead to Canada! After Paul Healy graduated from Austin Prep, he headed out to attend college at the University of California at Berkeley where he met and married his wife, Doreen, before heading back to the east where he completed his master’s degree and doctorate in Anthropology at Harvard. He taught for several years at Rutgers University, before moving to Ontario, Canada, where he began a forty year career at Trent University in the field of Anthropology, including time as the chair of the department. His writings and excavations have been well documented and published in scientific journals, books, and papers. He and Doreen have two children, and four grandchildren, with a fifth on the way! They still live in Canada, but travel to London to visit their daughter and grandkids frequently.
For the five men from the Class of 1966 that attended the reunion in June 2016, their journeys after Austin took them all over the country, and in some cases, all over the world. But, in speaking with them, their experience at Austin Prep was similar. They all remember the great education they received and being prepared to face the future and the outside world. “I still use the outlining concepts Fr. Smith taught us in History class,” says Phil. Jim credits Fr. Burnell’s speech class with helping him through his career: “He made you understand how you sound to other people - you were graded on the number of ah’s or um’s you used!”
When asked what’s the biggest change they see at Austin, the universal opinion was definitely the fact that the school is co-educational. While this is viewed as the biggest change, all agree it was the best move the school ever made. Art noted that a change he saw was that the school started small and seeing “what it is today,” is definitely a difference. The other difference is obviously the facilities themselves. With the addition of Meelia Hall (formerly known as the MultiPurpose Facility) in the early 2000s and new state-of-the-art athletic stadium in 2015, the landscape itself has changed dramatically from when the school first opened its doors.
June 4, 2016 was a special day for many reasons. For the Class of 2016, it marked the beginning of the next phase of their life journey. For the Class of 1966, it was the celebration of the last 50 years since they themselves wore their caps and gowns as the first graduating class of Austin Preparatory School. Since that first class, Austin has graduated thousands of students; their journeys have taken them to amazing places. The school has evolved, but the mission and values remain the same: veritas, unitas, and Caritas (truth, unity, and love) - these values remain true no matter what class you are part of!