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Brother George Larkin, O.S.F., of St. Francis College’s Admissions Office, whose welcoming face students saw on their first day of college each semester and their last when they graduated, has died.
Bro. George, as he was known, was perched at his usual post at the front entrance just a few days before he fell ill August 6, making sure freshman for the upcoming fall semester got where they needed to go for their placement test.
Bro. George graduated from St. Francis College in 1960, returning in 1971 to spend more than 35 years in the admissions office, personally recruiting tens of thousands of young men and women who went on to attend the college, 180 Remsen Street.
Before attending St. Francis College Bro. George began high school with a six month stint at St. Ann’s Academy in Queens (now Archbishop Molloy) before moving to St. Francis Preparatory Academy. After graduating from St. Francis College he worked as Principal of St. Bartholomew’s School in Elmhurst Queens from 1964-71. St. Francis College President Donald Sullivan then surprised Bro. George by asking him to work at the college instead of the prep school where Bro. George thought he would go next.
Always visible on campus, always accessible to students and always with a story of pride about the people he’d watched grow and learn, Bro. George’s boundless passion for helping others and commitment to education resulted in changing countless people’s lives for the better.
In her valedictory address in 2008, Jessica Minotti Verderame, told her classmates of her life transforming meeting with Bro. George. She was looking for a job at the college, which would enable her to earn a degree by taking a few credits each semester for free, “Brother George%u2026 informed me that at the rate of six credits per semester, it would take me about 10 years to graduate. So he said to me: “Jessica, I want you to call your husband and tell him you are quitting your job, and you are coming here full time in September.”
Verderame was awarded an endowed scholarship named for Bro. George and proved his instincts right by not only excelling in the classroom but achieving a perfect 4.0 grade point average and becoming a member of the St. Francis College Duns Scotus Honor Society.
At the college’s Charter Day Award Ceremony in 2008, alumnus Kenneth Daly ’88, now the CFO for Global Gas Distribution at National Grid (formerly KeySpan) and an adjunct professor at St. Francis, thanked Bro. George for his crucial role in helping him get into college.
A year later at the 2009 Charter Day Ceremony, Michael Courtien ’79, National Grid vice president for Customer Meter Services, said it took 33 years for him to get the chance, but he could not pass up praising then Admissions Director Bro. George for working with him all those years ago to make sure he transferred into St. Francis College and was put on the path to success.
A funeral mass was held at the Church of St. Charles Borromeo, and he was buried at the Cemetery of the Holy Roodin Westbury, NY.
©2009 Community Newspaper Group
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