St. Sebastian's hosted its Alumni Dinner on Thursday, October 24. During the event, Chris Galligan '69 was honored with this year's Alumni Service Award and Bob Souza, former head coach of the varsity football team, was honored for his 41 seasons of devotion to the football program.
Chris has always helped organize the Class of 1969's reunions over the years, been a loyal Arrow and then assumed a leadership role on the 50th Reunion Committee last year. He led the Class to 63% participation, and spearheaded a Class Gift in excess of $100,000.
Headmaster Bill Burke introduced Chris as a member of the 1967 undefeated football team and the starting goalie on the 1968-69 hockey team. He praised Chris and his wife, Andi, for their upbeat, happy, and positive nature. He mentioned their great sense of faith and honor, and how they always give freely and fully of themselves – much to the great benefit and delight of their School.
After Chris said a few words, his brother, John '65, asked to take the podium where he expressed his gratitude to St. Sebastian's and selflessly announced a major gift to the School on behalf of the Galligan family. This unexpected surprise was followed by a huge round of applause and a very excited thank you from Headmaster Burke.
Following dinner, it was Coach Souza's turn to be in the spotlight. Alumni fathers John Fiore '79 and Joe Lawler '81 presented a football helmet clock to Bob. A video containing old photos, game footage and interviews with Matt Noone '81, P'19, '22, Connor Strachan '14, and Joe Hulbig '92. They all spoke to their experiences playing under Coach Souza.
George Tahan, director of athletics for Belmont Hill School, and a great friend of Bob's, kicked off the speaking portion of the event by presenting Bob with an ISL recognition plaque. Speakers presented meaningful moments from their past highlighting Bob's coaching greatness. Other speakers included Brian Strachan P'11, '14, a father of two former players, alumnus Sedale Threatt, Jr. '03, and Bob's son, Mike Souza '96. Bob then spoke about his 41 seasons as the varsity football head coach, sharing many memories, and Headmaster Burke closed out the night. In his speech, he said about Bob: "And there he was last fall in the gathering darkness after his last game, ignoring the noise and speaking from his heart to his boys of the day and to his boys of yesterday, to his boys who love him, to his boys who would run through a wall for him, to his boys who will never forget the lessons they learned from him. How do you thank a man for 41 years of all of that?"