Mark A. Kadzielski '65 - The Honorable John V. Corrigan ’38 Distinguished Alumnus Award
Mark Kadzielski ’65 grew up on Cleveland’s west side where he attended Corpus Christi parish school. He remembers Saint Ignatius High School as a place where he was challenged in every way – emotionally, academically, and spiritually. “It made me the person I am today,” he says. “All these challenges created opportunities for me to succeed.”
He then graduated magna cum laude
from John Carroll University with a bachelor’s degree in history in three years. When Kadzielski left JCU, the Vietnam War was in full swing, and he was classified 1A for the draft. He joined ROTC at the University of Pennsylvania where he pursued a Ph.D. in American colonial history. Kadzielski was commissioned as 2nd lieutenant in the Army in 1970 but was deferred from active duty. Changing courses, he attended Penn Law School, earning his degree in 1976.
Kadzielski then headed to California where he passed the bar exam and joined a pioneering healthcare law firm when that legal specialty was in its infancy. “I was fortunate to be in the right place at the right time, in a growing practice area,” he says. Today, Mark is currently a partner with BakerHostetler, one of the nation’s largest law firms.
Kadzielski has been a longtime supporter of Jesuit education, serving as President of Alpha Sigma Nu, the Honor Society of Jesuit Colleges and Universities, and financially assisting Saint Ignatius, John Carroll, and the Jesuit schools his sons attended.
In 2006, he was the visionary behind the Saint Ignatius President’s Visiting Committee, “an advisory board to give back in non-monetary ways, by consulting and advising on special issues,” Kadzielski explains. He served as its first Chair for 11 years. The group now includes about 26 out-of-area alumni who act as board council to President Rev. Ray Guiao, S.J. ’82.
Mike McLaughlin ’85 – The Honorable John V. Corrigan ’38 Distinguished Alumnus Award
Mike McLaughlin ’85 remembers walking into Saint Ignatius and feeling there was something he wanted to live up to. He was a standout varsity soccer player and football kicker. He also grew in his faith and participated in the school’s first wilderness retreats. He recalls thinking he’d love to come back as a teacher, coach, or even a priest. Though he discerned the priesthood was not calling him, he did make good on the other two.
Since 1991, McLaughlin has served as a theology teacher, director of the Arrupe Neighborhood Partnership, Sophomore Service director, and head coach of a soccer team that’s won seven national titles and 11 state titles – so far.
His career began shortly after earning his theology degree from Quincy College, where he played Division I soccer. He stopped by to say hello to teachers and coaches who helped formed his faith and character, including Michael Pennock ’64, Greg Knittel ’67, Tom Healey ’77, and Jim Skerl ’74. The rest is history.
Over three decades, McLaughlin has inspired and challenged countless students and been changed in the process. “The theology department shaped me even more so as an adult. It’s an amazing place to be every day… but the highlight is the opportunity to walk with students during a formative period in life.”
Mike appreciates the school’s growing focus on the Jesuit ideal of cura personalis
. “Teaching is about connecting with others. That’s the most enjoyable part.” Having three sons with his wife Motria, Mike especially cherishes the privilege of being dad and soccer coach to Matthew ’20, Patrick ’23, and Marty ’25.
As director of Sophomore Service, Mike marvels at “this marriage of two great works – studying your faith and then going out to live it.” It’s what he coaches and teaches every day.
Jay Finch ’04 – Young Alumnus Award
Jay Finch ’04, credits all his achievements to the glory of God, with support from many people in the Body of Christ. Living in Washington, D.C., with his wife Andrea and three children, Jay is founder and CEO of Polydelta, a technology company providing artificial intelligence services to clients nationwide.
Jay earned a B.A. from Villanova University, an MPA from the Harvard Kennedy School, and an MS from the Stanford Graduate School of Business. He was recognized in Forbes Magazine’s 30 under 30 for law and policy and as a Rising Star by Federal Computer Week.
Growing up in Cleveland’s Glenville neighborhood, he transferred to Saint Ignatius as a sophomore, where he was sponsored by Boys Hope Girls Hope and received a full tuition scholarship. Initially, Jay struggled, but he focused on academics, determined to transform hardship into success. “It was then I developed the beginning of an adult relationship with the Lord. I started reflecting on everything being for the greater glory of God as I wrote A.M.D.G. on all my homework assignments.”
Jay excelled on the debate team coached by Joe Buzzelli Hon. '19, again turning challenges into perseverance at the state and national level.
“That transformational experience at Saint Ignatius, with rigorous academics, friction and challenges, failure and resilience, all in the context of my relationship with the Lord – that’s why I coasted through college and could achieve what I have professionally and in service to others.”
“I try to help public servants do their work well, to have an impact in creating opportunities and addressing economic issues. Like the early Church leaders who distributed provisions according to needs in the community, I feel called to serve this same way in a career at the intersection of finance, technology and government.”
Lee A. Bennett ’54 - Founders’ Award
The Bennett family legacy runs deep at Saint Ignatius High School, so there wasn’t any doubt where Lee was going to school after graduating from St. Angela Merici grade school in 1950. His father Albert Sr. attended Saint Ignatius in 1917, his brother Al graduated in 1945, and Neil graduated in 1949.
“The campus has evolved but the values remain the same,” says Bennett. “The importance of the Ignatian spirituality that is so evident in the academic and service programs available at the school prevails.”
Bennett worked part time while attending Saint Ignatius but still managed to participate in track and a few other activities. Fr. Kirby and Fr. Sullivan were two of the many Jesuits that left a strong impression on his character and faith formation.
The discipline that Bennett learned at Saint Ignatius extended to 4 years of ROTC training, degrees from John Carroll University and Bowling Green State University, and a U.S. Army Commission that ultimately led to an assignment in the HQ 83rd Infantry Division. Years later, Lee embarked on an industrial sales career which led to an opportunity to buy the business, at which point he started to volunteer at his Alma Mater.
Lee was first involved with the annual alumni phone-a-thons and 50th Reunion Committee. He joined the Alumni Executive Council where he was involved with the Spiritual Development Committee. “It was a way for me to stay connected to the school and my classmates. I felt a personal responsibility to give back to the school after graduation, and to show my gratitude in a small way for all the dedicated hours that the Jesuits and teachers had spent with me and my classmates.”
Mike Ginley ’77 – Founders’ Award
Mike Ginley ’77 grew up in North Olmsted as the oldest of seven children. His late father, Bill ’52, served on the alumni council for 55 years. “As soon as it was determined we were male children, we were destined for Saint Ignatius,” he says.
Ginley recently retired after a successful career that began in the college textbook publishing industry. Working for McGraw Hill and Houghton Mifflin, he lived and traveled throughout New England and on the West Coast. In his second career, he worked in executive recruiting for several small firms in the Cleveland area and founded his own MPG Executive Search business.
Ginley has volunteered as a CYO football coach at St. Raphael in Bay Village for more than 20 years, leading his junior high grade teams to five championships. “Coaching CYO kids has been so rewarding. I’ve made good connections with them and watched them grow up, some of them becoming coaches themselves.”
His passion for football began while playing on the freshman team at Saint Ignatius. He eventually made Varsity and played at Kenyon College while earning a bachelor’s degree in Economics.
“At Saint Ignatius, I had learned to develop discipline, to get the work done while managing school, sports, a long bus ride and then three hours of homework.” He remembers being inspired by his World History teacher Mr. Tom Pasko, Hon. '96 and English teacher Fr. Joseph McHugh, S.J.
Since November 2021 Ginley has faced a new reality as he fights pancreatic and liver cancer. He says, “My cancer is pretty well established. But the best advice I got was from my parish priest, who said, ‘Don’t let it define you. Be who you are, do what you do, and that’s the best way to stay healthy.’ He’s been right about that.”
Michael P. Ginley '77 passed away on Saturday, October 8, 2022. We ask that you please keep him and his family in your prayers. View obituary.
Members of our 1886 Society and 1886 Young Alumni Society are invited to join us on September 29 for our Leadership Reception. As part of the reception, we will honor our alumni award recipients.