Br. Hank Hammer, fms, President of Marist High School, presented Principal Larry Tucker ’79 and Br. Rick Carey ’76, former president of Marist, with the Laetare Medal at the President's Council dinner on Thursday, October 19, at Midlothian Country Club.
The Marist Laetare Medal, meaning “to rejoice,” is the highest and most prestigious award given to an associate of Marist High School. It is presented to individuals committed to their Catholic faith and who are supportive of Marist High School. They must be individuals who are role models within their community, are devoted to their profession, and are dedicated to excellence in education.
Tucker was recognized for his leadership during Marist’s transition to coeducation. The school accepted girls for the first time in 2002. Additionally, Tucker has illuminated a forward-thinking path in 21st century Catholic education. He has led a school-wide commitment to meaningful technology, including the 1:1 iPad program to expand the traditional classroom. He has spearheaded the effort to create leadership, research, and internship opportunities, and challenges teachers to provide authentic, real-world learning experiences for students so they are career and college-ready.
Tucker was humbled and grateful to receive the Laetare Medal. He credited the Brothers and teachers who helped him as a student and the colleagues he has worked with over the years. “They have made this so much more than a job—it’s been a vocation,” Tucker said.
Carey, too, was recognized for his management of the coed transition. Before returning to his alma mater in 1999, Carey oversaw the coed shift at another Marist school in Massachusetts. “Families on the South Side wanted options and legacy families voiced a desire to have all their children—not just their sons—experience Marist,” Carey explained. He spearheaded the comprehensive process to change to coeducation, ensuring that everything from the facility to co-curricular offerings to the boys already in the upper grades were ready to welcome and engage with the young women who enrolled. Additionally, he has served the Brothers across the country in administrative, teaching, and coaching roles. Carey was unable to attend the event as he is currently assigned to Rome, Italy for the Brothers. His mother, Rita, accepted the award on his behalf.
“The two men we honor tonight are among the builders of Marist Chicago,” Br. Hank Hammer said to about 120 alumni and donors of the school in attendance at the annual dinner. “We stand on their shoulders and we can count them alongside the very early Brothers who were pioneers in building the foundation of our community.”
This year’s recipients join 33 other esteemed Marist associates who have previously received this award. The president considers the advice of the school board of Marist High School in selecting recipients.
Celebrating more than 50 years of excellence, Marist High School in Chicago is a Catholic, coed high school, making Jesus Christ known and loved in the Marist Brothers' tradition, while preparing students for higher education and life.
PHOTO: Marist High School Principal Larry Tucker ’79 (center) is presented with the Laetare Medal, the school’s most prestigious award, by School Board Chair Brian Dolan ’75 (left) and President Br. Hank Hammer, fms (right) at a dinner on October 19.