Brother Mike’s Reunion
September 16, 2010
For 40 years, Brother Mike's Coffeehouse has been a hub of social activity at Stonehill College.
Today's students are more apt to call it "Brother Mike's Night at The Hill," referring to its location at the on-campus restaurant complete with a pool table and flat screen televisions. On Brother Mike's nights, The Hill still serves food, but it's also a bar for upperclassmen.
To alumni from the 70s, 80s, and 90s it will always be the bar in the basement of O'Hara.
Like the "Cheers" of Stonehill, Brother Mike's was the place where students gathered to socialize, play foosball, and eat microwave pizza.
They loved it.
"Brother Mike's really helped make Stonehill a special place for a lot of people. It was a great place to get away and just relax," said Terry Driscoll '80, a former director of Brother Mike's.
"The foosball tournaments, I remember those well. We had a single table, but there was always a crowd around it," Driscoll said with a chuckle.
Driscoll, Anne Tommasi '80, as well as former directors Paul Bienkowski '81, Mike Herlihy '81, and Patty McCartan Prue '81 have spearheaded The Brother Mike's Reunion at The Hill, a get-together for former directors and staff of the bar, on Oct. 2, following the football game against the University of New Haven, from 4 to 7:30 p.m.
There will also be a Memorial Mass at 4 p.m. at the Chapel of Mary in memory of Stonehill alumni.
Over cocktails and hors d'oeuvres at The Hill, Prue and Driscoll will also announce the establishment of the Brother Mike's Scholarship-a fitting tribute to "Brother Mike" himself, now Rev. Mike Massaro, C.S.C. '76.
"In 1969, I was an assistant to the President of the College and Father Vic Caleri was Dean of Student Affairs. We had had some serious car accidents on the highways, and Fr. Caleri approached me and asked me if I would work with the students on renovating a game room in O'Hara Hall," recalled the Fr. Massaro, who now lives in a Holy Cross Parish Rectory in Vero Beach, Fla.
"The understanding was that, hopefully, if we had a place for students to drink, they'd stay on campus instead of getting into their cars and driving off somewhere," Fr. Massaro said. "When the parents found out, they were overjoyed. They knew their children would be drinking, but they knew that now they could drink in the hall,"
With a budget of $5,000, Fr. Massaro and a group of students purchased furniture and lumber, and began constructing a bar.
"I'm so pleased that it's still continuing, that students still have a place to go, a place to congregate, to have fun, that it's still going after all these years, 40 years now," Fr. Massaro said.
In fact, Brother Mike's Coffeehouse was so successful, that word spread to other colleges.
"Father Corr asked me if I would go to St. Joseph's College in Maine and help them build a pub as well.
"That was in 1971 that I went up there...Then Bridgewater heard of the success, and they wanted me to go there, and Father Corr said no we can't do that; it was taking too much time away from my work," he recalled with a laugh.
"I had a wonderful experience at Stonehill," said Fr. Massaro, 72. "I feel indebted to the college that we were able to create a relaxed place for students to hang out and let their hair down in between classes."
"Brother Mike's was such a big part of Stonehill for us," said Prue. "When you think of Brother Mike's, you think of fun times and friends."
"Working at Brother Mike's was the best job to have on campus," Prue said. "We got to meet so many different students... We had the radio station there, when I was there- it was the center of campus activity; it was the place to go, the center of it all."
One of Prue's fondest memories of Brother Mike's was working Parents' Weekend, because "everybody brought their parents to Brother Mike's."
Driscoll fondly recalled "Puerto Rican Raffle Night:"
"I remember one night when everybody brought a suitcase and a passport and we had a raffle. The winners were taken immediately to Logan Airport right from the bar, and they spent a weekend in Puerto Rico," he said.
"Everyone there was dressed and packed for a round-trip, all-expenses-paid weekend in Puerto Rico for two. Someone went and picked them up Sunday night, and brought them back to school."
Tickets to the Brother Mike's Reunion are $25 per person, children under the age of 10 will be admitted free of charge. For a list of registered attendees, click here. RSVP on Facebook. Register online at http://www.stonehill.edu/brothermikesreunion.xml.
For more information, contact Communications and Media Relations at 508-565-1321.