An Abundant Harvest From Grassroots Efforts
More than fifty years ago, in the early 1960's, I was enjoying a quiet morning, eating breakfast with my wife, Mary, on our farm just south of Canton. Taking a sip of coffee, I turned to look out the window and saw three men in full length black robes walking up the lane to my front door. Startled, I turned to Mary and said, "Mary, what did we do now?"
That was the day I first met Brother Thomas Farrell, Brother Robert Francoeur, and Brother Dacian Barrette. These wonderful men were coming to see me because at that time I was on the State Board of Education and they needed help securing the charter for a small college they were starting in North Canton.
Two years prior to our visit that day, the Brothers had obtained permission from Bishop Emmett Walsh to open a liberal arts college for men in the Canton area. It was to be affiliated with Catholic University of America. It was also the Bishop who gave the Brothers a gift of $350,000 towards construction of the new college on 50 acres of land in North Canton. At that time, plans were already underway for two initial buildings - an administration/instruction building and a faculty residence. They had little funding, but were rich in faith. And it was that conviction that persuaded me to sign the Charter officially designating Walsh College.
From that day until now, I have watched Walsh grow beyond our first expectations. It began as an idea explained to me by three Brothers visiting my home, more than fifty years ago, to what Walsh University has become today.
I'm proud to say I was there, literally, from the beginning.