John Lombard, Marist class of ’71, found Marist to be a very welcoming place, and refers to the “tremendous” education he received.
While he attended Marist, John was an Illinois State Scholar, a member of the National Honor Society, played basketball for four years (and was on the first team to win a regional basketball championship in Marist history), and ran cross country for one year. He also played intramurals with his homeroom team.
After graduating third in his Marist class, he went on to the University of Notre Dame, and after graduation he worked as a CPA for a “Big Eight” accounting firm. In 1978, he joined The Lombard Company, a family owned business that is involved in the general contracting, architectural precast and real estate industries.
John also met and married Janet, a Mother McAuley graduate, and the two have been together for 37 years. They have five children, and five grandchildren. Their daughters, Jennifer and Jackie, attended Mother McAuley, and graduated in ’99 and ’01 respectively. His sons all attended Marist: Jeff ‘05, Jim ’06 and Joe ’08. The family connection does not stop there. John also has two brothers who also attended Marist. (Mike ’72 and Dan ’77).
“I had a very enjoyable and positive experience at Marist,” John said. “I valued the friendships I developed with my classmates and teammates. The Marist faculty and basketball coaching staff were very supportive.”
John served on the Marist School Board and Finance Committee for six years. He is also supportive of Marist’s efforts to build its Endowment Fund, which provides financial assistance to students who would like to attend Marist, but need financial support to do so.
“I am also very impressed with Marist’s Senior Service program which each of my sons participated in. This program gives students the opportunity to work with and support people with physical and/or mental disabilities.”
John served on the school board at St. Alexander, his home parish in Palos Heights, with five of those years as president. He also co-chaired two Las Vegas Night fund raisers for the school and served on the All Class Reunion Committee. In addition, he coached basketball for 17 years at St. Alexander, and served on the Athletic Board as well.
That’s not all! John also served on the Mother McAuley Development Council, St. Francis Healthcare Foundation Board, Alsip Industrial Association, Alsip Economic Development Committee and Builders Association Finance Committee. He also coached basketball in Palos Park and Palos Heights Park Districts and was an assistant coach in Palos Youth Baseball. In 2005, he was awarded Sertoma Centre’s Community Leadership Award.
“I am very supportive of Catholic education. I was very fortunate and am thankful to this day, that back in 1959 my parents made the decision to send me to a Catholic grade school. Based on the experience I had with Catholic education and the quality faith based education I received, I had very strong feelings about sending my children to Catholic Schools. Fortunately, my wife, Janet, felt the same way, and each of our five children attended Catholic grade school and high schools.
“Many families make sacrifices to send their children to a Catholic School. The Lombard Family has established scholarship funds at both Marist High School and Mother McAuley High School to provide financial assistance to students who would like to attend those two schools.”