Generations of Heroes

We asked several alumni whom they admire. Here’s a sampling of what they said:

Lance Cunha ’68   (Boomer)

Winston Churchill, Franklin Roosevelt, Pope John Paul II, and my paternal grandmother, Josefa Vierra Cunha, “who as a single mother, had the courage, discipline, and integrity to risk everything for a better future. All four of my heroes fit my profile of leadership.”

Jodi Barth ’81   (Boomer)

“Strong women who opened doors for my generation”: Eleanor Roosevelt, Jackie Kennedy, and Golda Meir.

Dan Wald ’09   (Millennial)

My mother, Susan Joy Wald: “She was a social worker by trade. Before she passed away from skin cancer, she did everything for everyone. If I could be 50 percent as generous as she was, I’d consider myself a success.”

Taralyn Frasqueri-Molina ’99   (Gen Xer)

“After giving this a lot of consideration, I thought I’d go with someone professional or even well known, like Colin Powell or Gandhi. But you know, at the end of the day, my hero was and still is my mom, Violet Frasqueri. She was made of true grit. There was a lot working against her in life, but she always found the most innovative ways to persevere.”

Jack Cantwell ’60   (Traditionalist)

My maternal grandfather, Joseph McDonald: “He taught me the value of persistence and self-confidence. After dropping out of school in the eighth grade, he went to work for the City of New York, working on a garbage truck. He used self-education to take a series of civil service exams to work his way up the ladder. He finished his career as commissioner of sanitation of Staten Island. When I was a kid, he took me on tours of garbage dumps in a chauffeur-driven limousine. He also took me to my first baseball game to see the Brooklyn Dodgers.”

Bill Diehl ’63   (Traditionalist)

Edward R. Murrow and Walter Cronkite: “They were the pioneers of broadcasting, and we need to remember the giants in our field who came before us.”

The Dalai Lama, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Thomas Jefferson, Winston Churchill, John F. Kennedy: “They influenced the world in a very positive way.”

My wife Lorraine: “A wonderful woman and author, whom I’ve been married to for almost 42 years and who never ceases to inspire me to do better and improve myself in so many ways.”

My daughter, Suzanne: “My greatest creation, who keeps me on an even keel and makes me laugh at myself.”