Richard F. Connolly, Jr. '61
Chances are Mount St. James did not recognize what great gifts were in store for the world when this joyful, smart, hard-working, golf-loving son of Woburn and Malden Catholic High School arrived on The Hill in the late 1950s.
The journey began with Dick Connolly lugging golf bags as a pre-teen caddy at Woburn Country Club, a nine-hole public course in a proud blue-collar town. He entered Holy Cross with help from the Francis Ouimet Fund, founded in 1949 to provide college scholarships to young people who advanced the sport of golf in Massachusetts.
A student of history at Holy Cross, Dick continued playing golf, forging great friendships, serving as a Big Brother, impressing all with his energy and zest for life. He went on to earn his MBA from Babson and entered the business world as a trainee at Ford.
He joined Merill Lynch in 1968, then it was on to Blythe, Eastman, Dillon in the early 1970s to run the fixed income desk. Blythe was bought by Paine Webber which eventually was bought by UBS, where Dick enjoyed a successful 34-year career. He was the top producing broker at UBS for better than 20 years.
Dick then joined Morgan Stanley, earning the firm's elite Chairman's Club recognition in only 10 months. Today, he oversees an estimated $3.7 billion in assets and is in the top 100 of Barron's annual ranking of stockbrokers. With a universe of 300,000, that puts Dick in the 99.96th percentile of financial advisers.
Meanwhile, Dick has spent decades raising millions and millions of dollars for scholarships, medical research, direct service, and operations at the organizations about which he cares most deeply. Dick doesn't just write checks. He rolls up his sleeves, works the phones, leads the charge, rallies support-and gets results. With Ann Marie-his partner in life and co-chair of many a fundraising gala-the Connollys have transformed the lives of countless people from all walks of life.
Because of the funds raised for the Boston Symphony Orchestra, city kids go to the Berkshires for a week to study at Tanglewood. Funds for Boston's Bridge Over Troubled Waters help high risk runaway and homeless youths. The list of beneficiaries is vast and varied: the Joey Fund for cystic fibrosis research, Inner City Catholic Schools scholarships, the Society of Jesus, Massachusetts Affordable Housing, Combined Jewish Philanthropies, Children's Hospital, Concord Museum, Tobey Hospital Golf Tournament, Catholic Charities, Holy Cross and so many other colleges, museums, and causes. And for the past two decades, Dick has become the Ouimet Scholarship Fund's biggest benefactor and fundraiser-providing access to college to countless students and giving back to the organization that gave him his start.
For his extraordinary professional achievement, for his great generosity and even greater spirit, and for being a man for and with others, the College of the Holy Cross presents to Richard F. Connolly the Sanctae Crucis Award.