Christian Brothers Academy will honor nine graduates of the school as Distinguished Alumni at a dinner on November 2 at the Double Tree Hotel on Carrier Circle.
This inaugural award recognizes CBA graduates who have made significant contributions to society; and whose accomplishments, affiliations and careers have honored the legacy of excellence at CBA. The Distinguished Alumni Award will be presented bi-annually alternating with the Lasallian Athletic Hall of Fame Award.
This year’s recipients are: Dr. Carl Baum ’58, Daniel Byrne ’70, Rev. Louis J. Canino, O.F.M. ’60, Robert Carsky ’73, Joseph Charles ’30, Steven R. Fedrizzi ’72, Rev. James Mathews ’54, Patrick Morelli ’62 and Gianfranco Zaccai ’65.
Dr. Carl Baum ’58 (Posthumously; Albuquerque, N.M.)
Dr. Carl Baum was the valedictorian of the Class of 1958. He received a B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees in electrical engineering from the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena.
Dr. Baum was stationed at the Air Force Research Laboratory. He directed Energy Directorate at Kirtland AFB, Albuquerque, N.M., from 1963-67 and from 1968-1971. From 1971-2005, he served as a civil servant with a position as Senior Scientist at the Air Force Research Laboratory. Dr. Baum was a distinguished and research professor at the University of New Mexico, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering from 2005-2010.
In addition to his world renowned skills as a scientist, teacher and mentor, Dr. Baum was a talented composer and writer. His works include “Sacred Music of Dr. Carl E. Baum” performed by the Symphony Orchestra of Albuquerque, Sonatas for Piano and compositions for String Quartets and Woodwind Quintets. Dr. Baum died on December 2, 2010 at the age of 71.
Daniel Byrne ’70 (Seattle, Wash.)
Daniel Byrne graduated in 1970. He earned a B.S. in mechanical engineering from Tufts University and a M.S. in mechanical engineering from Stanford University. At Stanford, he was a National Energy Science Foundation Fellow.
Byrne founded Byrne Specialty Gases, Inc. in 1984 to provide engineered gas solutions, market applications and world-class service to biotech companies, research and development firms, environmental and medical laboratories and electronics manufacturers. By 2005, BSG had become a nationally recognized leader in the life sciences and analytical laboratory fields generating more than $10 million in annual sales.
After selling Byrne Specialty Gases, Inc., Byrne has engaged in several adventurous entrepreneurial ventures including the commercialization of innovative and reliable temperature control and refrigeration systems. These systems are based upon Free Piston Stirling Cycle core technology. Powered by electricity or solar power, these systems are used to deliver vaccines to the developing world.
Rev. Louis J. Canino ’60 (Stoneville, N.C.)
Rev. Louis J. Canino graduated in 1960. He received a B.A. in philosophy from St. Bonaventure University with a B.A. in sacred theology from Catholic University of American. He was ordained a Franciscan priest on Sept. 1, 1969. Fr. Canino also received an M.A. in Pastoral Counseling from Boston State University and an M.A. in Formative Spirituality from Duquesne University.
Fr. Canino started his seminary training with the Franciscans in Calliccoon, N.Y. He served as pastor at St. Joseph Church in Wilkes-Barre, Pa, and as rector at St. Anthony Shrine in Boston. He founded St. Francis House in Boston, a day shelter and soup kitchen for the homeless in 1984 and served as one of the directors of the facility until 1989.
Fr. Canino has been involved as a director, chairperson and sponsor for various Peace and Justice Programs. He was the Director of the Franciscan Center in Greensboro, N.C. He sponsored and was Director of “An El Salvador Missionary Experience” and founded and directed the St. Francis Springs Prayer Center in Stoneville, N.C. in 2005.
Robert Carsky ’73 (Posthumously; Cotonou, Benin)
Dr. Robert Carsky graduated in 1973. He earned his B.A. from Colgate University and his PhD from Cornell. He joined the Peace Corps and taught in the Congo.
Dr. Carsky became a well-known agronomist working with the African Rice Center, WARDA, one of the fifteen CGIAR agricultural research Centers supported by the World Bank. Prior to working with the Africa Rice Center, Dr. Carsky spent fifteen years with the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA). Both institutes are based in West Africa, with mandates to reduce poverty in rural Africa by enhancing food production and nutrition on small African farms.
Dr. Carsky was tragically killed in 2004 during a civil war in Africa’s Ivory Coast, when a bomb struck the French school in Bouake’ while he was trying to find a safe place to wait out the uprisings plaguing that area.
Since Dr. Carsky’s death, CBA track teammates, classmates and friends have gathered annually to honor him with the Bob Carsky Run and raise funds toward the CBA scholarship established in his name.
Joseph Charles ’30 (Posthumously; Syracuse, N.Y.)
Joseph Charles graduated in 1930. He was a leader in the field of sports for over 50 years and instituted many youth programs including six-man football league, Biddy Basketball, Pee Wee Hockey, Optimist Youth Basketball and Pop Warner football. All of these programs are still active in the City of Syracuse and in Central New York.
In addition, Charles was one of the original inventors of Slow Pitch Softball in the country. He brought the game to Syracuse from the Chicago conventions. Slow Pitch was started in Syracuse with just four teams. Today, there are over 500 teams, both male and female that participate in softball leagues in Central New York. Charles died in 2002
Steven R. Fedrizzi ’72 (Syracuse, N.Y.)
After graduating in 1972, Steven R. Fedrizzi received his B.S. from Le Moyne College and his MBA from Syracuse University. Fedrizzi founded the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) in 1993. In April of 1994, he was appointed President & CEO. Under his leadership, the Council has tripled its membership, broadened its influence, and cemented its role as a leadership voice in the global environmental sustainability movement.
In 2009, Fedrizzi and the USGBC were recognized as visionaries in sustainability of the environment by the National Building Museum, which earned them an Honor Award. A founder of the World Green Building Council, Fedrizzi is now an active member of its board. He also serves on the board of the United Nations Environment Programme’s (UNEP) Sustainable Buildings and Climate Initiative.
Rev. James Mathews ’54 (Syracuse, N.Y.)
Rev. Jim Mathews graduated in 1954. He graduated from College of the Holy Cross and completed his seminary training at St. Bernard’s School of Theology and Ministry. He returned to Central New York and has served at seven churches throughout the Syracuse Diocese. Fr. Mathews worked mainly in suburban parishes, before being assigned pastor at St. Lucy’s Church in 1990.
Fr. Mathews advocates for the impoverished and marginalized in his neighborhood. He started a food pantry, a clothing shop and a free lunch program that feeds hundreds of neighborhood residents.
Fr. Mathews was the spark behind the Near Westside Initiative, which combines the power of art, technology and innovation with neighborhood values and culture to revitalize Syracuse’s Near Westside. The initiative, a multi-million dollar effort to revitalize one of the city’s poorest neighborhoods by teaming Syracuse University, dozens of nonprofits, corporations and government agencies with neighborhood residents, arose from discussions at St. Lucy’s organized by Mathews.
Patrick Morelli ’62 (Loudonville, N.Y.)
Patrick Morelli graduated in 1962. He received his undergraduate degree from Syracuse University and a M.A. in American Literature from Duke University.
Morelli is an internationally acclaimed artist and architectural designer. He specializes in sculpture (abstract and figurative); architectural design (enhancements of interior and exterior spaces, major memorials and monuments); and contemporary art exhibits entitled “Cutting Edges.”
His major public works of art include the ten-foot, bronze father-and-infant “BEHOLD” Monument to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr and “EAGLE ROCK SEPTEMBER 11TH MEMORIAL.” Morelli’s “Cutting Edges” art exhibits explore human psychology and sexuality, and American mass media. He has also created many interactive and performance exhibitions that are purely entertaining, intriguing, fanciful and humorous.
Gianfranco Zaccai ’65 (West Newton, Mass.)
Gianfranco Zaccai graduated in 1965. He received a degree in Industrial Design from Syracuse University and an Architectural Degree from the Center of Architecture in Boston.
Zaccai founded Continuum, an industrial design firm in Boston, in 1983. He invented the Swiffer system, the Compass system (hospital modular wall units to save space and keep rooms comfortable for patients), and OMNIPOD, the miniature insulin delivery system device for children. He worked with MIT to develop the $100 laptop, the NALA patient chair to assist disabled people in sitting and standing and the Reebok Pump.
Zaccai’s creative entrepreneurial spirit has impacted the world. His inventions make cleaning easier and more efficient and make sick children and patients more comfortable. He devotes a great deal of time and resources to the Italian School in Boston where his developmentally disabled daughter is a student.
For more information on the Distinguished Alumni Dinner, contact the CBA Development Office at 446-5960 (ext. 1140).