On Saturday, March 21, 2015, Molloy celebrated the 50th anniversary of its renowned SMILE program. Over 250 guests gathered at Molloy, including past and current SMILE members, past and current faculty, Marist Brothers, living program founders, and the families of SMILE’s faithfully departed founders. It was a memorable evening filled with many heartwarming stories and reunions. Many reminisced about the late Br. Leo Richard, the beloved founder of the program.
During a light reception, guests were encouraged to go on a “SMILE Tour” around Molloy. The tour showcased many locations where SMILE meetings have occurred over the past 50 years, including "The Cave" which was once home to Br. Leo's office and is now the office of SMILE moderator and Guidance Chair Mr. Chris Dougherty '91. The tour also included important rooms such as 301, 302, and 206 (frequent homes of present day SMILE Weekly meetings). Also highlighted on display was a SMILE Museum featuring photos, items and articles representing the programs five amazing decades. Below you will find our online SMILE Museum, which will see ongoing additions as they become available.
SMILE founder Br. Leo Richard helped countless students and alumni overcome challenges and realize their potential for over 25 years. One of Leo's most effective exercises were his walks. Leo would accompany students on long walks, talking things out with them at just the right pace. Whatever the problem at hand, Leo was always ready to walk and talk it out. These walks helped Leo relate better to his students, and often left said students with a profound new perspective. Leo's passing in 1995 left a hole in many hearts, but as the SMILE program continued, so too did Leo's tradition of "walking." Mr. Chris Dougherty '91, Chair of Molloy's Guidance Department and SMILE Program Director, decided to put a new spin on the school's annual Walkathon by adding an elective event: World Trade Center Walk. The WTC Walk, which takes place annually, passes several areas in Queens where Leo was known to walk and eventually ends at the World Trade Center in lower Manhattan. In October 2019, the Class of 2020 broke the all-time WTC Walk participation record with over 70 seniors walking the nearly 12 mile route!