Distinguished Lasallian of the Year Background Information

The Distinguished Lasallian of the Year Award is named for Saint John Baptist de La Salle, patron saint of teachers, educational innovator, and founder of the Brothers of the Christian Schools (commonly known as De La Salle Christian Brothers). The Brothers established Manhattan College in 1853.

Distinguished Lasallians are people who exemplify the highest of Lasallian values to students, colleagues and community members. They are persons of faith who teach by example and give life to the Lasallian values that animate and sustain the core identity that inspires the mission of Manhattan College as a Lasallian Catholic college. 

It was during the 1987-1988 academic year that the De La Salle Christian Brothers Community at Manhattan College first began to identify a person from the Manhattan College community to be designated as a Distinguished Lasallian  a person in whom they saw the embodiment and contemporary expression of the spirit of Saint John Baptist de La Salle. 

The first person so identified was Dr. Francis Taylor of the Mathematics department. In the immediate subsequent years, the Manhattan College Community of Distinguished Lasallians grew with the addition of Father Anthony Rubsys of the Religious Studies department, Dr. Robert Thomann of the Civil Engineering department, Dr. Carl Bennett of the Physical Education department, Dr. William Patrick Cain of the Computer Information Systems department, and Dr. Mary Ann Groves of the Sociology department. Now there are more than 50 members of the Manhattan College faculty, staff and administration who have been so identified by their peers.

In his Spring 2014 Faculty Convocation address, President O’Donnell reminded us that it is with “great gusto and grace and patience” that the values of our mission as a Lasallian Catholic College are lived out each and every day. Our Distinguished Lasallians are among the stalwart persons who bring to life the spirit of Saint John Baptist de La Salle by advancing the Lasallian mission of Manhattan College through their respective areas of work at the College.

Each year, in commemoration of the birthday of John Baptist de La Salle (April 30, 1651 – April 7, 1719), President O’Donnell hosts a special luncheon in recognition and celebration of the Distinguished Lasallians, together with the Brothers of the Christian Brothers Community at Manhattan College as well as the deans of Manhattan College and the members of the president’s cabinet.  

Distinguished Lasallian Awards for Faculty, Staff and Administrators

Distinguished Lasallians are people who exemplify the highest of Lasallian values to students, colleagues, and community members. They are persons of faith who teach by example and give life to the Lasallian values that animate and sustain the core identity that inspires the mission of Manhattan College as a Lasallian Catholic college: