Brother Rich Celebrates 50th Anniversary at Marist Chicago
Through the main gym doors, students and teachers hear the loud sound of Sweet Caroline by Neil Diamond and see a man wearing a white hat. This man is Brother Richard Grenier, who is celebrating his 50th year at Marist Chicago.
Br. Rich graduated from Lourdes High School in Poughkeepsie, New York, and earned an undergraduate degree in economics from Merrimack College in North Andover, Massachusetts and a master’s degree in economics from the University of Notre Dame.
“I have worked in and been to many different places,” Br. Rich said. “I am very thankful for all the opportunities I have gotten and have continued to get.”
Br. Rich joined the Marist Brothers in 1965, going on to teach economics, history, religion, business, finance and accounting.
“The best thing about Marist is the environment,” Br. Rich said. “Anything I wanted to do,I got to do and I am so thankful for that.”
Br. Rich also has served as a coach for the cross country and track teams, assistant basketball coach, assistant football coach, director of the weight center for 10 years and even as the athletic director.
His service has not gone unrecognized. Br. Rich has been honored with both the Champagnat Educator Award and the Laetare Medal, the highest award given by Marist.
“I enjoy working in a place where there is a strong focus on helping others,” Br. Rich said. “One of the reasons Marist is so great is because we are always bringing in new people and new ideas, but we always stay true to our mission.”
Although he was one of the last brothers to live in the monastery, which is being remodeled into the new science wing, Br. Rich is happy that Marist is progressing forward into the 21st century.
“I want to see Marist be the best it can be,” Br. Rich said. “I am excited about the new science wing. Moving out of the monastery was hard, but I didn’t mind because it was for Marist.”
Teachers and staff members may come and go, but Br. Rich has stayed, and these days we can find him at the desk by the bookstore or walking the hallways. After 50 years, he has “seen it all,” but that does not stop him from wanting to come back each day.
“I love this place and it makes me happy just coming here every day,” Br. Rich said. “I plan on staying at least for another five years and, after that, I know I’m going to be happy as I think back over everything I have done here.”