Br. Hank Hammer, fms, President of Marist High School, presented Bill Frost '71 with the Laetare Award at the President's Council dinner on Wednesday, October 7, at Midlothian Country Club. The Laetare Award is the highest honor awarded by Marist to someone who has embodied the Marist spirit and dedicated himself or herself to the Marist community.
About this year's recipient...
Bill Frost didn’t have to travel far to find his way to Marist. A Mt. Greenwood native and St. Christina graduate, he followed several of his grade school friends to 115th Street in the fall of 1967. But that short distance would become a permanent and meaningful part of his life’s journey.
While at Marist, Bill played football, and was a member of student council and the Sentinel newspaper staff. “I developed a much greater understanding and appreciation of the commitment of the Marist Brothers to the principles of Champagnat in educating and caring for Marist students,” Bill says of his high school experience. “I was also struck by how that commitment was embodied in the faculty and staff at the school. It is a great environment that I still enjoy every time I’m at the school.”
From Marist, Bill went on to graduate from the University of Notre Dame, and then received a master’s degree from DePaul University. While working as an accountant with KPMG, a client—Griffith Laboratories, offered Bill a position and he accepted. That was in 1979, and since then, Bill has worked for Griffith in a number of management roles in taxation and finance, leading to his current position of senior vice president. A major work-related accomplishment has been implementing the company’s global expansion into more than 20 countries around the world.
As his career grew, so did his family. Bill married his high school sweetheart and Mother McAuley grad, Cheryl, who he has known since grade school. They have three grown children—Kristen, Ryan ’05, and Matt ’09. “It was a very positive experience for me to see my sons educated at Marist and develop into young men that I’m proud of,” Bill said. “I think Marist provided them with a great foundation. As a parent, I felt very good about the Catholic identity, core values, and overall quality of education at Marist.”
Bill has also remained connected to Marist through his involvement with the school board, helping guide the school through significant financial and programmatic decisions. Despite the challenges that face Catholic education today, Bill believes that Marist will continue to be the leader in providing the premier Catholic secondary education in the area. “I am confident that Marist will continue to excel under the leadership of the Marist Brothers and with the active support of all its constituents, including an outstanding faculty, committed directors and staff, and parents who sacrifice so their children can know what it means to ‘be Marist’.”
Bill noted in his acceptance speech how grateful he was to his parents for their sacrifice in sending him to Marist, and how as a parent he now realizes how much effort and selflessness that took. He also said one of the things he was most proud of in terms of his work with Marist's school board was increasing the number of students who receive financial aid--now more than 30% of the student body.
Bill says he continues to be energized by his career, and doesn’t foresee retirement in the near future. He would like to travel more with Cheryl and explore countries they haven’t visited yet. And so, the short journey to Marist has opened doors to the world.