Alumni Director Mat Grau ’68 Honored by MCJROTC for His 44 Years of Service
Mat Grau ’68, Jesuit’s alumni director who will retire this July, was saluted for his 44 years of selfless service to Jesuit High School by the MCJROTC at the organization’s annual Parade and Review. The parade is a time-honored ceremony of the Marine Corps. Present day parades in the Marine Corps and the MCJROTC are based on history and tradition.
In the midday ceremony held Tuesday, March 26, attended by his colleagues and witnessed by the entire student body, Grau was extolled for his commitment and dedication to not only the Jesuit alumni office, but also as a leader in his several other positions.
Mr. Grau, who came to Jesuit in 1975, was also lauded for displaying the utmost in dedication and professionalism, and for tirelessly working to further the school’s mission in each of his past positions. Grau taught English to all grade levels, including the Advanced Placement course. In addition to teaching English, Grau also served as the English Department Chair, moderated the Student Council, and coached both the cross country team and the pre-freshman baseball team. Grau became the Student Activities Director in 1983, the Admissions Director in 1995, and the Alumni Director in 2002. Of special note were his work as director of the Visiting Authors Program, which brought notable authors like Pat Conroy, Dana Gioia, and Robert McCammon to Jesuit; his efforts to increase the diversity of the student body by increasing enrollment of African-American students as well as commemorating the 50th anniversary of the integration of Jesuit; and his work to enhance the engagement of alumni with their school by establishing the Visiting Alumni Program and building leadership teams for each alumni class.
“Through these endeavors,” as stated in the Certificate of Commendation presented by Fr. Christopher Fronk, S.J., “Grau strove to expand the impact Jesuit has on its students outside the classroom and to help each student grow into the man God intends him to be. Dedicating his life to his alma mater and to the betterment of its students, Grau exemplifies what it means to be a Blue Jay and a Man For Others. His professionalism, dedication, leadership, and unceasing efforts to improve Jesuit make him an example for all to follow and are in keeping with the highest traditions of Jesuit High School.”
After Mr. Grau was recognized, he took to the podium to give his honoree address. He took the time to recognize ended his speech this way: “I’ve been so blessed to work with women and men who epitomize this call to help you first see and then use your talents to become the man God planned you to be. That is the essence of being a good teacher. Two of these teachers are with us and like me are retiring at the end of the school year and are also deserving of a commendation.” At this point, the alumni director pulled from under the podium two plaques he had specially made for his colleagues. “So I ask that Ms. Molly Roberts and LtCol Tim Huete join me at this podium to be recognized just as I have been recognized.” Once Ms. Roberts and LtCol Huete came forward, Grau read the commendations he had prepared for both of them. It was a surprise moment, and a great one at that.
The MCJROTC Drill Team and the MCJROTC Band closed the parade by marching and giving performances for the now three honorees and their audience.