Still celebrating our 25 years
Legatus founder Tom Monaghan reflects on our 25th anniversary and our magazine . . .
Sue Pear, a long-time friend who was involved in helping us start Legatus, recently found an old copy of the first Legatus newsletter and gave it to me. It was dated August 1987. As I skimmed through the newsletter, I found it both nostalgic and inspiring to see how we have grown from those early days to where we are now.
Frank Stella was the first president of the Michigan Chapter (subsequently renamed the Genesis Chapter). Coincidentally, he was also among the first members of the Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO). The other inaugural officers were Danny Dambro, vice-president; Angelo DiPoni, treasurer; Sister Francilene, CSSF, secretary; John Sennett, program chairman; and Tom Angott, membership chairman. I was actually very involved in helping the program chairman line up outstanding speakers — Mother Angelica, former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Roger Staubach and George Roche III, who was then president of Hillsdale College.
Bishop Kenneth Povish of the Diocese of Lansing, our first chaplain, is pictured on the cover of the newsletter. However, he stepped down after the first meeting because we brought in Michael Novak as our first speaker. Unbeknownst to me, Novak had co-authored a letter criticizing the U.S. bishops’ letter on the economy. So the bishop was obviously not happy with him as our choice to be the first speaker. As it turns out, Novak was not only our first-ever speaker for Legatus, but he later became the first trustee of Ave Maria University (AMU) and now teaches at AMU.
There was also a picture in the newsletter which had been taken on my boat, The Tigris II, with me and nine others who were attending a Legatus informational meeting. The newsletter will now be put in the Legatus archives as another piece of our history. Thank you all for everything you continue to do to spread the mission of Legatus, which is as relevant today as it was 25 years ago when this first newsletter was published.
Thomas Monaghan is Legatus’ founder and chairman. He is a member of Legatus’ Naples Chapter.