By Paul McMullen
UPDATED 10:30 a.m. Sept. 9, 2014: Class valedictorians, opera singers, teachers.
They were all “Cub’s Kids.”
Having gone from being a child of the Great Depression to president of a Baltimore investment giant, Curran W. “Cub” Harvey was determined to share his blessings with succeeding generations.
Harvey, who died in December 2013 at age 84, was the posthumous recipient of the inaugural St. Thomas Aquinas Partners in Excellence Award Sept. 3, during an Archdiocese of Baltimore Back-to-School breakfast at the Marriott Waterfront.
The award recognizes supporters of Partners in Excellence (PIE). Created by Cardinal William H. Keeler in the 1990s, PIE has provided more than 24,000 Catholic school scholarships for disadvantaged youths, totaling more than $26 million, according to the archdiocese.
“You make an amazing difference in the lives of so many,” Archbishop William E. Lori told donors.
Harvey alone funded some 3,000 of those scholarships, many at Father Charles Hall School, where he was most impressed by a staff that included Kathleen Filippelli, now the principal of Holy Angels Catholic School.
Curran W. “Cub” Harvey
“I had the pleasure of meeting him in 1998, he came for our first official Partners in Excellence tour,” Filippelli said. “Cub was invested from the start. He drilled me afterward. He wanted to know about the students’ backgrounds, he wanted to know the average years of service among our faculty.
“He knew, almost instinctively, that there were miracles happening in those classrooms. He knew that (a Catholic school) was a peaceful place in their (students’) otherwise not so peaceful world.”
When Father Charles Hall School closed in 2010 and Filippelli opened the new Holy Angels, Harvey’s support followed. In addition to funding tuition for many of Filippelli’s students, Harvey and his family provided for two in-house programs during the 2013-14 school year from the Irvine Nature Center in Owings Mills.
The Sept. 3 breakfast included the announcement of a gift of $50,000 for a PIE endowment from T. Rowe Price Associates, where Harvey served as president and CEO.
Breakfast attendees included Harvey’s widow, Jody, his son, Whit, and a daughter, Maggie Harvey Swift. Another daughter, Charlotte Bruce Harvey, said that her father viewed PIE as a solid investment.
“He sensed that Father Charles Hall School was doing remarkable work with kids, who were getting a first-rate education,” Harvey said from her home in Rhode Island Aug. 28. “He was able to recognize what they did. Dad invested in people, as a businessman, and Kathleen Filippelli was the kind of person he gravitated to.
“He took enormous pleasure and pride in his own grandchildren, but he especially treasured the photos of ‘Cub’s Kids.’ He was so proud of them.”
One of Filippelli’s former students, Eric Greene, spoke at the breakfast. A renowned opera baritone who has performed in Italy and is fluent in three languages, he talked about the relief of finally feeling “safe at school,” but also by being challenged by religious sisters and administrators, first at Father Charles Hall, then at Rosa Parks Catholic Middle School.
“Learning is a self-imposed responsibility,” Greene said, echoing one of the sayings he learned in Catholic school that continue to inspire.
In addition to Holy Angels, PIE scholarships are focused at three other community (K-8) schools in Baltimore: Archbishop Borders School, Cardinal Shehan School and Ss. James & John School; and two high schools, Archbishop Curley High School and Seton Keough High School.