The first thing that Paul Laughlin, class of 1971, does each day is read a prayer written as a wedding gift to Paul and his wife of 30 years, Michelle, by his mentor, Brother Paul Stokes.
The prayer was accompanied by a Penal Cross from Ireland, and the note to Paul and Michelle said: "Though the name of this gift has obviously nothing to do with your marriage, I do hope that the spirit of the people it represents is the spirit of your life together, a spirit of courage in adversity, a spirit of laughter through tears, a spirit of hope when the clouds are dark, a spirit of faith when there seems no reason to believe, in other words may you be blessed with the great Celtic mainstay--love for each other and a sense of humor!--Love, Brother Paul.”
Brother Paul reverently presented the readings at Paul and Michelle’s wedding at Holy Name Cathedral and died less two months late. Paul said Br. Paul’s spirit and humor is recalled every day.
Paul chose Marist High school, because he watched is brother Dan, ’68, enjoy the experience of attending a new high school led by the dynamic Marist Brothers. Paul’s younger brother Vince, ’78, and his brother-in-law Marty Wirtz, ’72, also graduated from Marist
“It was an easy decision to attend Marist, and I’m forever grateful for the life changing opportunity.”
Paul’s parents were also part of the Marist family. His mother Mary Ellen served as the Mother’s Club president, and his parents had life-long friendships with the Marist Brothers, including a special bond with Br. Paul Forges.
Paul actually hitchhiked to school every morning along 115th Street, and said it was a great way to meet other Marist students along the way.
After graduating from Marist, Paul spent seven years at the University of Notre Dame, earning a finance degree in ’75, and a law degree in ’78. Paul said that during his undergrad years at Notre Dame, Marist had more students there than any other high school.
Paul and Michelle have three children, all of whom graduated from Loyola Academy, and the University of Notre Dame.
Today, Paul is a managing director at Andersen Tax, and he has also served on the the Board of Trustees at Loyola Academy, Holy Cross College, and the Music Institute of Chicago.
Paul and Michelle have chaired the Ramble, Loyola's annual scholarship fundraiser, and Michelle continues to be very involved at Misericordia, a home for the developmentally disabled. She has served as the President of the Woman's Board, Chairperson of the Annual Ball (Misericordia's major fundraising event) and chair of the Annual Appeal.
Paul and Michelle have funded a Notre Dame endowment allowing Catholic minority students to attend the Notre Dame Summer Scholars program, which involves two weeks of academic and social experiences for high school students during the summer after their junior year.
“A highlight of each year is reading the letters which the scholarship students send regarding their Summer Experience opportunity,” Paul said.
“Marist provided an invaluable foundation in faith and academics ---thank you, Marist!”