A member of the Class of 2003, State Senator Tom Kennedy, who died on Sunday, loved Stonehill.
Only recently, Kennedy, who represented Brockton and surrounding communities, was on campus for an event in honor of his former professor, Richard Finnegan. That was Tom, a regular visitor to Stonehill, inevitably engaged and involved with our faculty and students.
Tom received his Stonehill degree later in life and he did so with a zest for knowledge and learning. He majored in history and, proud of his Irish heritage, was well-versed in the history, politics and culture of Ireland. He was equally proud of and devoted to his Catholic faith and had great respect for the work of the Congregation of Holy Cross.
As someone who valued education and the quest for social justice, he supported our educational and spiritual mission and was very much an active alumnus.
On three occasions, the College honored Tom. In 1998, the Martin Institute for Law and Society presented him with its Public Service Award and in 1997, he received the President’s Award for Excellence from his friend and then President Rev. Bartley MacPhaidin, C.S.C.
More recently, the College established a scholarship in Tom’s name, which will benefit a student from Brockton starting in 2016.
The College was and is proud of how he conducted himself as a public servant, always with dignity, compassion, honesty and a great affection for his hometown Brockton.
Of course, in the face of personal adversity, he exhibited stellar character and resilience. His example continues to inspire us.