Strength of character and a resilient spirit are two enduring values embodied in a PC education. They are values not just evident in the classroom, however. The Friars men’s basketball team has displayed them for decades, most recently in this spring’s fifth consecutive appearance at the NCAA Big East Tournament. John Reid ’66 and Frank Richard ’70 both say it is the display of those values on the national stage, and the benefits that delivers for the college far beyond the basketball court, that inspired them to make planned gifts to support athletics at PC.
Frank and his wife, Kenna, have established a bequest to support the Mullaney Fund, which provides resources to recruit talented student-athletes, retain superb coaches and maintain modern facilities to help PC build nationally competitive teams. Frank says he made the gift because he feels the success of the men’s basketball team in particular has been instrumental in the growth and success of the college.
“I firmly believe the exposure the men’s basketball team brings, along with the great coach we have in Ed Cooley—who is an absolute ambassador for the college—will help PC continue to grow as an academic institution. Their success has brought an awful lot of acclaim to the school. I think that has a direct correlation to the support that’s given by alumni and the increased applications from highly qualified students who want to attend,” Frank says.
John and his wife, Susanne, established an endowed scholarship in 2015 for students from Rhode Island cities and towns, specifically Middletown, Portsmouth and Newport. Last October, John gave an additional unrestricted annuity gift to Athletics. John fondly recalls witnessing firsthand the work of PC’s famed basketball coach Joe Mullaney while he worked as an athletics assistant during his senior year. For John, too, it is the fine character he sees in the leadership of the college—from the College’s President, Father Shanley, to Associate Vice-President and Athletics Director Bob Driscoll, to Head Coach Ed Cooley and his men’s basketball team, and to Nate Leaman, the NCAA Championship Hockey coach—that prompted the gift.
“Father Shanley is a great, involved human being, a leader who inspires all those around him. This team of leaders is the face of PC, and I think this has a lot to do with the exceptional students who are attracted to the college. PC is an outstanding Catholic institution that ranks with the very best, and that’s what made me want to give,” John says.
Frank holds a B.A. in business administration from PC and is owner and president of Esten & Richard Agency, Inc., an insurance agency. He resides in Cumberland, Rhode Island, with his wife Kenna. John holds a B.A. in political science and is a retired vice president of sales for multiple national manufacturers of medical devices. He lives in Middletown, Rhode Island, with his wife Susanne.