Tim Hegarty and his wife Mary, both grad-uates of Catholic schools, have been stead-fast supporters of CM’s mission as parents and now grandparents. In addition to an endowed scholarship and gifts to the CIAL, Tim and Mary pledged a $100,000 chal-lenge gift in May. They will match every dollar donated in support of financial aid at CM and other COVID-19 related expenses, up to $100,000 through June 30, 2020.
Q: You’ve remained involved in the CM community. Tell us a little about how your experiences as a student that created this bond with CM.
A: Thinking back, being a part of an all-boys school was kind of fun and gave you a sense of identity. School sports were a big deal at CM, but you had a choral society that performed at Symphony Hall, Friday night dances, and all those kinds of things. So, you just felt a bond with a big group of folks and that was just a great experience.
Q: Over the years, you and Mary have been generous with your time and financial resources. What inspires you to give back to CM?
A: Well, both of us benefited from Catholic schools and the nuns and brothers who were, really, religious volunteers. Mary went to Notre Dame Academy. We came from average families, not really affluent, so the lower tuitions at these schools provided tremendous opportunities. In hindsight, it was a bargain. But I think, reflecting on the situation today, the cost on average is pretty dramatic. The tuition burden is so different today than it was in the past. So, we just felt more folks needed to step up and make contributions because of the general financial need of these schools and their missions to create more diverse, inclusive populations.
Q: You are on the Sponsor Council and the CM Foundation board. What led you to become involved in these leadership organizations?
A: Mary and I live nearby the school so that’s been a plus to stay involved. And, just generally speaking, you sort responsibilities. So, it really became a Christian message that I thought was pretty impressive. And most recently with a grandson, there has been an emphasis on diversity and Brotherhood. I really like the mantra “character matters.” People that aren’t close by or following CM closely might not appreciate how it has evolved and continues to evolve. It’s really a special place.
Q: How has CM remained true to its mission?
A: Through my involvement, I visit the school frequently and participate in events including many with the students. You really do see the mission very clearly. It’s a very Christian message about inclusion. And you know, the Brotherhood is a part of it. So the culture has always been there and the core mission has been there, but I think it’s the way that it’s being practiced now that should make anybody associated with CM very proud.
Q: You’ve supported many initiatives at CM including scholarship programs. Why is this type of support especially important to you?
A: Well years ago, a CM friend and I felt that we could try to support one student a year and maybe inspire other people to do the same and that, over time, that would be a valuable thing for the school. [My classmate] Ken Foscaldo ’66 and I realized some people might not be able to support a single student by themselves, but certainly a class or a group of people can collectively support a student. So, we created the Class of ’66 Round Table. As the old saying goes, many hands make light work.
Q: Given the current situation, some might redirect their philanthropic support to other organizations, but you and Mary have made a significant gift to CM. What inspired you to make this gift?
A: We’re coming out of a very strange health and economic malaise. Just being practical about it, CM’s fundraising programs are conducted during the course of the year and they’re interrupted by this situation. It just seemed this might be the time that we have to try something different here to support the school during this time of disruption. That made us think this is a timely opportunity.
Q: You and Mary hope to inspire the CM community by proposing a challenge. What would make you consider this challenge a success?
A: Well, to be a success, I’d love to see broad-based participation. You know, it’s not just about jumbo gifts. For the people who can afford to do that — that’s terrific and they’re welcome to. But it’s very important from a community standpoint to see many people participate. Another sign of success would be for new people to get involved and stay involved going forward. I’ve been very lucky to get involved and it’s been rewarding for me personally, my wife, and family.
This interview has been edited for length and clarity.