Brother Richard Baker Gilman, C.S.C., age 74, died September 24, 2017 at Dujarie House, in Holy Cross Village at Notre Dame, IN. His visitation will be held on Monday, October 2, at St. Joseph Chapel, with viewing from 9:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m., on the grounds of Holy Cross College at Notre Dame, IN. The Mass of Resurrection will follow with interment afterward in St. Joseph’s Cemetery of the Village. Kaniewski Funeral Home is handling the arrangements.
He was born in Lakewood, Ohio, on July 18, 1943, the son of Robert and Alice (Healy) Gilman. He attended St. James Elementary School and St. Edward High School where he graduated magna cum laude in 1961. Brother Richard joined the Brothers a month after graduating. He went to Sacred Heart Juniorate in Watertown, WI, in June 1961 and received the habit of the Brothers on August 15, 1961 at St. Joseph’s Novitiate, Rolling Prairie, IN, and made his first profession of vows as a Holy Cross Brother on August 16, 1962. He traveled to Austin, TX, to begin his college studies at St. Edward’s University and graduated summa cum laude in 1965 earning a Bachelor’s of Science in physics and mathematics. He was awarded a National Science Fellowship grant to continue advanced study the next year at Harvard University, earning a Master’s of Science degree in Mathematics. Brother Richard went on to teach in Ghana for 5 years at St. Augustine’s College in Cape Coast and 3 years at St. John’s College in Sekondi.
Upon returning to the United States in 1974, he pursued studies at Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson Institute in bioinformatics and began teaching challenging math courses for 11 years at Archbishop Hoban High School in Akron, OH. While serving as principal of Archbishop Hoban High School in 1986 and then its president in 1991, he also studied administration at the University of Dayton. His scholarship and service culminated by earning a Ph.D. in Higher Educational Leadership in 1995.
He was selected in 1992 to be the new president of Holy Cross College at Notre Dame. He was quoted, “I was graced to be the president of Holy Cross College to lead it to achieve baccalaureate status.” There were expansions within the college’s academic and campus needs, a role he fulfilled with ingenuity and a creative vision. His ideal for leadership was to empower others through steady enlightenment to bring satisfaction and success.
A man of intellect and insight with a sound moral compass, Brother Richard was regularly called upon to serve on boards, the provincial council, general chapters and as an expert advisor and mentor. Along with his amazing mastery of facts and creative critical thinking, these gifts allowed him to accurately interpret the present and plan for a desired future in his role as president with ingenuity and creative vision. Brother Richard once said, “In the song ‘Getting to Know You’ from The King and I, we are told, “if you become a teacher, by your pupils you’ll be taught.” As an educator of minds and hearts, he lived this message for over 50 years and grew in grace and wisdom while assisting others to do the same.”
Timeline of Accomplishments at Holy Cross College:
||Brother Richard Gilman appointed president July 1.
||Plant expansion and renovation of Vincent Hall atrium, classrooms and offices. Library renovation and addition becomes the McKenna Library. Auditorium refurbished, bookstore enlarged, admissions office moved to the old chemistry class/lab, biology room.
||Student residency begins with James Hall. Office of Campus Ministry established.
||Student residency halls expand with Basil, James and West (Anselm) Halls.
||Lighted outdoor tennis, basketball, and sand volleyball courts added.
||South Hall apartments open. First student group travels to Ghana. Millennium Archway completed.
||Vincent Hall expansion adds classrooms, labs, faculty offices, and the “Max” student lounge.
||East Parking Lot is completed.
||Baccalaureate program begins with liberal arts degree. Global Perspective Experience expanded. Pulte Hall apartments open.
||South athletic fields completed. Circular drive and flagpoles highlight new entrance. Modular Units with the class rooms and faculty offices demolished.
||First baccalaureate program produces13 graduates. Mission Team founded with eight members.
||Collegiate athletic program begins by joining NAIA Athletic Association.
||Ground broken for new Pfeil Center – a facility for student athletics, recreation, and student government. Centers of Excellence established (Center for Global Perspectives and Center for Discernment and Preparation) Theology and education majors approved.
||Pfeil Center – McKenna Arena becomes operational. Hesburgh Grove is completed.
||Higher Learning Commission North Central Association of Colleges and Schools approves 6 new baccalaureate majors for total of 9.
||First Commencement is held in Pfeil Center. Saints’ lacrosse team wins first conference championship of any sport. The Tenth Anniversary of the Global Perspective Program is celebrated. Br. Richard retires.