Theodore Roosevelt once said, “credit belongs to the man . . . who spends himself in a worthy cause” – an apt description for Tom Callaghan ’65. When Callaghan was inducted into Gilmour Academy’s Athletic Hall of Fame in 1999, Gilmour Magazine cited his skills and heart as a Lancer tailback. “Tom carried the ball with great enthusiasm and determination,” the magazine reported. These traits still apply.
Over the years, he has been a loyal Gilmour supporter. Callaghan currently is a Gilmour Trustee and has been a member of the Alumni Board of Governors. He was recruitment co-chair of the FAITH IN OUR FUTURE – Educating the Mind and Heart Campaign, chaired the school’s Athletic Commission and strengthened the foundation of Gilmour athletics, and co-chaired the Class of 1965’s Annual Fund Committee. He believes what distinguishes Gilmour from other schools is its longstanding, genuine family atmosphere and inclusiveness.
“I love Gilmour Academy,” Callaghan says. “The Brothers were the most impressive Christian role models, and the school’s remarkable teachers taught us how to communicate – to write effectively and speak confidently.” This was done under the tutelage of mentors such as Holy Cross Brothers Ivo Regan, Francis Englert, Clarence Podgorski and Richard Sitar and teachers John Schubert, John Gale and Coach Vern Weber.
In 1969, Callaghan earned a bachelor’s degree in English and economics and graduated from Boston College where his son, Brendan, is also a graduate. He received a Juris Doctorate from Cornell Law School in 1973. For more than 30 years, Callaghan was in private law practice, and for the past several years has served as counsel to Big Game Capital in Chagrin Falls. The firm focuses on private equity and real estate investments and owns businesses such as the Daytona Cubs Minor League baseball team in Daytona Beach, Fla.
Committed to improving health care, Callaghan was a trustee and executive committee member of Mt. Sinai Medical Center before it closed in 1997. Since 2001, he has been a trustee of the Cleveland Clinic Myeloma Foundation providing support and encouragement to patients and families confronting multiple myeloma and traveling across the country giving motivational talks for the International Myeloma Foundation and other cancer survivor groups.
As former chairman of Laurelwood Hospital, now Windsor Laurelwood Center for Behavioral Medicine, where he served for 20 years, Callaghan steadfastly led efforts to improve the quality and scope of behavioral health care services in the region. He is convinced that mental health does not receive the attention and funding it deserves.
Callaghan made lasting friendships while at Gilmour and returns to campus regularly for meetings, sporting events, Reunion Weekend and the Headmaster’s Christmas Party. Still an avid golfer, he also enjoys frequent outings and get-togethers with many of his ’65 classmates, whether for golf or just for fun.