When the time came for St. Mary’s to nominate its newest board chair, Rev. Brian Flynn, Pastor of St. Mary’s and Sacred Heart parishes, said the school was seeking one thing: a person of great faith and integrity.
That person was William Mosakowski.
“We all agree: your generosity to St. Mary’s, and to Catholic schools in general, goes unmatched and your leadership, in business and on our board, sets an example for all of us to follow,” said Flynn, who officially installed Mosakowski as the board chair at a liturgy in St. Mary’s Church on Monday, Oct. 27.
“His expertise and commitment to helping every child realize his or her potential is truly a gift to the school and the Archdiocese,” wrote Cardinal Seán O’Malley in a letter to the school.
Mosakowski, a Swampscott resident, was first introduced to St. Mary’s by former pastor Rev. Monsignor Paul V. Garrity, who struck up a friendship with one of the loyal 7 a.m. Sunday Mass attendees. Msgr. Garrity convinced Mosakowksi that the school needed his support and guidance.
“Msgr. Garrity asked me to get involved. He is a very compelling and convincing friend and mentor,” Mosakowski said. “I’m convinced I made the right decision.”
An original member of the St. Mary’s Board of Trustees when the school moved to its current governance structure in 2006, Mosakowski assumed the role of chair of the Board of Trustees in September. He follows former board chair Jack King ’66, who remains on the board.
“It’s an honor and quite a responsibility,” said Mosakowski, founder and CEO of Public Consulting Group. “Serving on the board has been a tremendous experience from the get-go, working with [former chair] Tony DiCroce and then Jack King.”
Mosakowski said he understands and embraces the role the board plays in setting the agenda for the school.
“The importance of Catholic education has never been more necessary,” he said. “We have the opportunity to ensure that St. Mary’s, a school that has served the community well, will be around for another 125 years.”
Mosakowski and his family have been extremely generous in their support of St. Mary’s students over the past several years, providing more than $2.5 million in scholarship aid to students from local Catholic elementary schools: St. Pius and Sacred Heart in Lynn, Our Lady of the Assumption in Lynnfield and St. John the Baptist in Peabody.
“We have been extremely fortunate in terms of what we have been able to achieve, and we look at education as the root cause for our success,” Mosakowski, a Clark University graduate, said of his wife, Jane (Clark University), daughter, Rachel (Holy Cross), and son, Nicholas (BC). “We have the ability and inclination to want to help others have similar opportunities.”
Mosakowski has a few key goals for the board.
“We want to continue to improve the sustainability of the school for future generations by broadening the educational opportunities for all students,” he said. “We want to improve student outcomes academically, athletically and artistically, and provide students with strong values that will help them become good leaders and principled citizens.”
As with any private institution, ensuring the financial sustainability of the school is of critical importance. “We need to keep the cost of a private education affordable and predictable,” Mosakowski said, “and make sure the tuition increases at reasonable levels. Attracting students from all segments of the population requires being able to provide financial assistance and scholarships. There has to be a very active and committed fundraising component to the board.”
Mosakowski, a former chair of the Clark University Board of Trustees, sees the parallels between higher education and a private high school education. “It’s all about preparing students for successful careers, and giving them the skills to be critical thinkers and contributing members of the workforce,” he said. “St. Mary’s will succeed if our students succeed, both while they are at St. Mary’s and when they move on to college and their careers.”
Quoting the late clergyman and author Phillips Brooks on Monday, Mosakowski urged St. Mary’s students: “do not pray for easy lives, pray to be stronger.”
“You must work hard, learn and serve others, and do all of this as a team,” he said. “On the board, we stand together and depend on each other. We all have a duty to set a high bar for ourselves and try to reach it.”
St. Mary’s Head of School Grace Cotter Regan said the school is fortunate to have Mosakowski continue the work done by King during the last five years.
“Jack King led our board through economic times that were very challenging for our country and our school. His leadership, philanthropy, vision and fidelity to his alma mater will never be forgotten,” Regan said. “We are truly poised for success and growth. I look forward to working with Bill and the board as we continue to advance the mission and legacy of St. Mary’s.”
For his part, Mosakowski is ready to get to work.
“My commitment is to work to keep sustainable an excellent institution with a long and wonderful legacy that really does educate the whole student,” he said.
Learn more about the future of St. Mary’s at stmaryslynn.com.