Tom Gill ’01 grew up in Bay Village, Ohio, but traveled far from home to find himself and his vocation. Tom’s life began in a family deeply rooted in their Catholic identity and Jesuit education, with his father, Al Gill ’65, and brother, John ’97, both Saint Ignatius alumni.
Tom thrived at Saint Ignatius, where he was challenged and nurtured by faculty like Mr. Bill Kelley ’62, moderator for the Student Senate, an organization Tom was passionate about for all four years of high school. It was Kelley’s stories of being a Peace Corps volunteer in Chile that inspired Tom’s decision to study Spanish and eventually to choose his two great loves as college majors at Saint Louis University: Spanish and Theology, along with international studies.
Feeling drawn home to Cleveland, Tom recalls, “I wanted to be in a place that mattered to me. I love Cleveland, so it wasn’t a sacrifice, and my family is here.” After a role as Executive Fellow with the Cleveland Leadership Center, in 2010 he joined the staff of Urban Community School, serving primarily low-income children from Cleveland's west side and founded by the Ursuline Sisters. Hired initially as Development Director, Tom took on various roles before becoming President of UCS in 2017.
At age 35, Tom’s career is advancing, and he is happy to make an impact in Cleveland, but he still recalls the words of a Jesuit mentor: “He told me we live in a world built on upward mobility, but we follow someone who was all about downward mobility. That always stuck with me. I want to stay grounded in the Gospel mission and serve others well,” says Tom. “It’s all about vocation. This has worked well for me, but I’m no better than other classmates. This is where my gifts and talents lie. It is who I am. The Ignatian approach is essential to how we make decisions -- and how we live our personal and professional lives.”