On Saturday, March 21st, Molloy celebrated 50 years of SMILE. Over 250 guests representing past and current SMILE members, past and current faculty, Marist Brothers, living program founders, and the families of SMILE’s faithfully departed founders, gathered at Molloy for a truly impactful evening. “I meet with hundreds of prospective students and their parents each year, but because we have an enrollment of almost 1,600 students our size scares some parents,” said President Richard Karsten ’81 while welcoming the crowd. “My response is that we are a big school with a small school attitude, and I can say with one hundred percent confidence that no student gets lost at Molloy. It is because of programs like SMILE that no one gets lost. With such a great turnout today, it’s clear that SMILE has left its footprint on many of us.”
The evening included a reception and invited guests all around Molloy on a “SMILE Tour” showcasing the many locations the program has utilized over the past 50 years. The Cave was an obvious starting point, but other important rooms included 301, 302, and 206 (the frequent homes of present day SMILE Weekly). Also highlighted was the SMILE Museum; photos, items and articles representing five decades of success. Below you will find our online SMILE Museum, which will see ongoing additions as they become available. If you have SMILE content you would like to submit, whether it be an article, photo, or story, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.