Hall of Fame: Walter O'Grady

Walter_OGradyWalter O’Grady, who graduated from Loras College in 1965 and earned a master’s degree from Northern Illinois University in 1967, was hired by Br. Pius Xavier, the first principal of Marist High School.  Walter was hired in 1967 to teach English and coach baseball.

He taught at Marist until he was drafted to serve a two year stint in the Army, but after his service, Walter returned to Marist, where he stayed until 1975.  Even after he left Marist, he maintained friendships with many former students.  He also reconnected with Marist when his son John attended Marist, and graduated in 1989.  Over the past 20 years, Walter has attended many Marist events.

“Generally, when I was at Marist just out of college, there was a real comradery of teachers,” Walter said.  The second thing is that the connection at Marist was not brick and mortar.  The connection with the brothers and teachers and students was more than that.”

“I enjoyed being at Marist, and I still enjoy going to Marist things.  I go to a game and I see students play and I know I taught their fathers.  Some of my students are friends of mine today.  I taught Deacon Andy Neu and Dean of Students Don Pirkle.”

Today, Walter is retired, not only from Marist but from a job he held with the City of Chicago.  For the past four years, however, Walter has mentored Marist students.  He is very fond of Marist, and believes that the school holds the same high standards for students as it did when he was a teacher.   He looks forward to many more years of involvement with Marist.

“It’s commitment.  At Marist, students are more than a number.  People really care about you as a student and the people at Marist will help students succeed and will help them get close to the Lord.”