On December 12th, Father Jerry Wade celebrated his 80th birthday on campus after a long history with the community.
“This morning was a great morning for me to realize that I was 80 years and still in good condition,” Fr. Wade said. “Not so much my knees, but my mind is good.”
Father Wade had dedicated several decades of his time to the Bellarmine community as a student, as a teacher, as a president, and as a Jesuit priest.
“I thought back to when I was a student, which was 63 years ago,” Fr. Wade said. “And then I came back here twice, once for three years in the ‘60s as a young teacher and then came back at the President in ’79, and I’ve been here ever since.”
Fr. Wade saw a lot of changes on campus since his time as a senior, from becoming a teacher to seeing the buildings on campus we know today being built.
“The Jesuit living quarters for Jesuits was built in my senior year,” Fr. Wade said. “But everything else is new since my graduation, except for O’Donnell Hall. And so I felt good that we accomplished a lot.”
Above all else, however, Fr. Wade found the students on campus to be his biggest source of inspiration and joy.
“You young guys keep me enthused and energized,” Fr. Wade said. “If we had this nice plot with no kids, it wouldn’t be worth anything.”
To celebrate Fr. Wade’s birthday, more than one hundred students and teachers gathered at the Carney amphitheater to wish him on his special day.
“I thought it was touching to see everyone gathered on the stairs, on the first floor, and in the amphitheater to greet Fr. Wade happy birthday,” DJ Maceda ’20 said. “That really showed how closely knitted the Bellarmine community and the Bellarmine brotherhood.”
Fun Fact about Father Wade: “During my senior year, I was the Editor-in-Chief of the Cardinal, which is the school newspaper. So I have a long history with that. And when I came back as a young Jesuit scholastic, I was the moderator of the Cardinal.”