(Compiled by Mark Zimmermann and Kelly Sankowski, adapted from articles in the Archdiocese of Washington’s 2018 Catholic Impact publication.)
• Washington Auxiliary Bishop Roy Campbell Jr. is a graduate of Sacred Heart School and Archbishop Carroll High School in Washington. Before entering the seminary, he had a 33-year career with the Bank of America, working his way up from teller to vice president and project manager. At Carroll – one of Washington’s first integrated schools – he formed lifelong friendships. “We all got along well,” he said.
• Msgr. John Enzler, the president of Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Washington, is a graduate of Our Lady of Lourdes School in Bethesda, Maryland, and St. John’s College High School in Washington. For many years he served as a beloved pastor at local parishes, now he sees his work as being a pastor for the region’s poor.
• Sister Mary Bader, a Daughter of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul and chief executive office of St. Ann’s Center for Children, Youth and Families in Hyattsville, Maryland – one of the region’s oldest and most respected child welfare agencies – is a graduate of Little Flower School in Bethesda and Georgetown Visitation Preparatory School in Washington.
• Katie Ledecky, a five-time Olympic gold medalist swimmer, graduated from Little Flower School (2011) and Stone Ridge School of the Sacred Heart (2015) in Bethesda. Ledecky says a prayer before every race, and before the 2016 Olympics said her Catholic school education has been an important part of her life. “I received an excellent, faith-filled education at both schools (Little Flower and Stone Ridge),” said Ledecky. “Having the opportunity to attend academically rigorous schools has facilitated my interest in the world and in serving others, and has enriched my life so that it is not solely focused on my swimming and athletics.”
• Muriel Bowser, the Democratic mayor of the District of Columbia, is a 1990 graduate of Elizabeth Seton High School in Bladensburg, Maryland. Larry Hogan, the Republican governor of Maryland, attended St. Ambrose School in Cheverly and DeMatha Catholic High School in Hyattsville, Maryland, and later graduated from Father Lopez Catholic High School in Daytona Beach, Florida, after moving there.
• Two graduates of Georgetown Preparatory School in North Bethesda, Maryland – Neil Gorsuch, class of 1985, and Brett Kavanaugh, class of 1983 – serve as associate justices on the United States Supreme Court.
• Jerome Powell, the Federal Reserve Board chairman, is a 1971 graduate of Georgetown Preparatory School.
• Jeff Kinney, the best-selling author of the “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” children’s book series, is a 1989 graduate of Bishop McNamara High School in Forestville, Maryland. During a visit to Bishop McNamara, Kinney said he got his start in cartooning and sharpened his writing skills there. “The teachers there had such an impact on my life,” he said, adding that the values he learned there “really helped shape me.”
• Kevin Plank, the founder and CEO of the sports apparel company Under Armour, is a 1990 graduate of St. John’s College High School in Washington and is a strong supporter of the athletic program at his alma mater. “St. John’s gave me the education I needed to succeed at the college level,” Plank said. “But more than that, my experience there provided me with a sense of confidence that has helped me lead my life. Going to St. John’s played an important role in my success as a businessman and a person.”
• Raul Fernandez, the vice chairman of Monumental Sports & Entertainment, a private partnership which owns the NBA’s Washington Wizards, the NHL’s Washington Capitals and the WNBA’s Washington Mystics, is a 1984 graduate of St. John’s College High School. He founded Proxicom, which became a leading global provider of e-commerce solutions for Fortune 500 companies.
• Noted Washington businessman and philanthropist Joseph Robert Jr., who died of cancer in 2011, was a 1970 graduate of St. John’s College High School and donated $1 million for a science wing there named in his honor. A champion for educational opportunities for poor children in the Washington area, Robert’s legacy lives on in Catholic Charities’ Cup of Joe program, also named in his honor, whereby volunteers pack nutritious breakfasts for the homeless.
• Soprano Harolyn Blackwell, who has performed at the Metropolitan Opera, is a graduate of Sacred Heart School in Washington. “I found my voice and my confidence at Sacred Heart,” she later said of her hometown parish and school.
• Space shuttle astronaut Colonel Benjamin Alvin Drew Jr. is a 1977 graduate of St. Anthony Catholic School and a 1981 graduate of Gonzaga College High School, both in Washington. During a visit to St. Anthony’s, Drew said teachers at the school fostered his interest in science and space by encouraging him to “learn anything you can learn” because “it is one thing that you can take with you anywhere you go.”
• Journalist Diana Sugg, who won a Pulitzer Prize for beat reporting at the Baltimore Sun in 2003, is a graduate of St. Jude School in Rockville, Maryland. She later said the foundation for her life and career in journalism was established at St. Jude’s School, where she learned “to work hard and be a good person… I was always good in English and writing, and that came from St. Jude’s.”
• Former Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael Steele, a 1977 graduate of Archbishop Carroll High School, is one of many public servants who attended Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Washington. The example of the Augustinian Fathers at Carroll who dedicated their lives to serving God and serving others “made a powerful impact on me. I wanted to give back,” said Steele, who is now a political analyst for MSNBC.
• Adrian Dantley, a member of the Basketball Hall of Fame, is a 1973 graduate of DeMatha Catholic High School in Hyattsville, where he starred for the Stags’ basketball team. His coach at DeMatha, Morgan Wootten, who is also in the Hall of Fame, said, “Adrian Dantley was the greatest player to ever wear the blue and white.” Dantley went on to be an All American player at Notre Dame and won a gold medal as part of the 1976 U.S. Olympic basketball team. He starred as a forward and guard in the National Basketball Association, spending most of his career playing for the Utah Jazz. He later credited his high school coach for being “a teacher, a mentor and a friend. He taught me the fundamentals of the game, respect for the game and the right way to play the game.”
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