Acknowledging an Unsung Hero



There is a man who has done heroic unsung work for Catholicism in our country, and soon will be riding off into the proverbial sunset with insufficient fanfare (as I know he prefers). Nonetheless, I consider it just and fitting to give a little extra nod to this man. I speak of Dr. Keith Cassidy, President (and former Academic Dean) of Our Lady Seat of Wisdom College (OLSW).


Now Dr. Cassidy was hired as Academic Dean back in 2009. At the time, he had recently “retired” from teaching (University of Guelph). I can imagine D. Cassidy surmising that a few years of labour with OLSW would be a constructive transition into retirement life.


However, with the illness of then President Dr. David Warner, Cassidy was soon thrust into the role of Academic Dean and President.

It is not appropriate to confer details, but as an employee of OLSW at that time, I declare that Dr. Cassidy saved the College. As with many Liberal Arts institutions following the recession of the 2000s, OLSW found itself in grave financial difficulty. It was to the point that following one staff meeting, I was sure it was the end. So were others in the know. It was a surreal and eerie feeling walking home late one night and thinking, “This is it? Just like that?” I fully intended to pack my bags that weekend.

Thankfully, it wasn’t the end. As if compelled by the hand of God, Dr. Cassidy leaped into action. Appropriate cuts were made at all levels. Salaries reduced (all employees sacrificed dearly to save OLSW). Leading by example was Dr. Cassidy. Again, I am sure he would never want this information publicly brought to light. Suffice it to say, Dr. Cassidy and his wife were not just abundantly generous with their time and efforts, but by other means as well.
 
I will repeat again with 100% assurance: Dr. Cassidy’s work and sacrifice saved Our Lady Seat of Wisdom College.

Of course, through Dr. Cassidy the College has even traversed its way to accreditation, and now offers a three-year Bachelor degree in Catholic Studies. Indeed, today (May 1st) is the two year anniversary of OLSW’s accreditation.
 
The challenges will never be lacking for OLSW. They will need continued support moving forward. However, it is with gratitude that I acknowledge the prodigious work achieved by Dr. Keith Cassidy. I speak for a multitude of others when I say, with the deepest of appreciation:

Thank you Dr. Cassidy.

“Well done” to a good and faithful servant. Now, perhaps, he may soon enjoy that long-delayed retirement.





Comments

  1. They are an amazing couple, Keith and Elizabeth Cassidy. True Catholics and a pleasure to know. They spearheaded the pro-life movement in Guelph and continued to demonstrate for years how to live as we all should in following Christ. God bless them both and their beautiful family.

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