Dr. Thomas J. Smith
Distinguished Lasallian Educator 1995-96
You have been selected unanimously by our Committee for Lasallian Education, composed of Brothers and previous recipients of the award, as the 1995-1996 Distinguished Lasallian Educator at Manhattan College. Your leadership and inspiration have promoted, cultivated and advanced the educational apostolate and the Lasallian tradition at Manhattan College. For this, we salute you today.
We recognize in you the qualities that distinguish an educator in the Lasallian tradition. John Baptist de La Salle envisioned the function of teaching as a vocation worthy of a life-long commitment, providing young people with the knowledge and skills needed to make something of themselves in this world, and opening up to them a wider vision of their dignity as children of God. De La Salle's teachers were noted for their competence and creativity in a student-centered educational enterprise conducted "together and by association."
Your sense of association in accomplishing the College's mission is a guarantee of its Lasallian character, while the breadth of your educational vision in the development of the core curriculum has earned the respect and admiration of your colleagues. Whereas De La Salle had to content himself with instruction in simple calculation, you have brought to young people today the mathematical and computer skills they need in today's world. This you have done with time-consuming and painstaking attention to the academic potential of each student. Above all, by the genuine love you have for your students you reveal to them something of God's love and concern for them, by your example as a convinced Christian you show them what it means to live the Gospel.
Manhattan gratefully confers upon you the Distinguished Lasallian Educator Award. Manhattan is privileged and honored to have you as the College representative at the Huether Workshop, a national conference for educators from schools associated with the De La Salle Christian Brothers.
In congratulating you on this award, Manhattan is profoundly thankful for the person you are and for all you mean to Manhattan College and its students.