Patrick J. Rowan, Honorary
Pat, a St. Mary’s School alumnus and 1966 graduate of Gloucester Catholic High School, was always fascinated by science. His true academic journey began at Villanova University, where he chose to study biochemistry.
After his freshman year, he changed his major to psychology after taking an interest in the brain and human development. After college graduation, Pat found himself drawn to education as the primary focus for his professional career. He taught at Pyne Point Middle School in Camden for 1 year before joining the staff at Paul VI, where he remained for the rest of his career. It was at Paul VI where his love of learning grew into a love of teaching.
Once Pat became a teacher and Assistant Principal for Discipline, Pat drew his inspiration from the students he saw every day. Pat loved teaching psychology, but most of all he loved his students. He enjoyed being involved in the extras at school as well: moderating the debate team, chaperoning school dances and the senior class trip, attending sporting events, and overseeing his beloved stage crew. Pat believed in the principles of service, leadership, and above all, character. This was the lesson he would want his students to take with them throughout life. As Pat once wrote, “Standards of scholarship change, leaders rise and fall with time, but character and truth will always ultimately prevail.”
Pat’s Catholic upbringing and education was a source of great pride for him. It was the sisters and priests Pat met in this environment who inspired him the most. Pat admired the values and principles of these individuals, such as Sr. Ann Arthur, Msgr. Harry Jordan, and lay teacher Marshall Halpern. Pat strove to be the kind of role model to his students that these educators had been to him. One of Pat’s most cherished awards was the Bishop’s Medal for meritorious service, which he received in December 2002.
Outside of school, Pat devoted his time to his other loves: first his family, Thom his brother, his sisters Kathy and Maryann, his brother-in-law Bill, and the light of his life, his niece Patty. And secondly fishing; he always dreamed of owning a boat, moving to Florida, and spending his retirement fishing. Although this dream unfortunately never came to fruition, the legacy that Pat left behind in his 41 years at Paul VI as an outstanding teacher, colleague, and friend, is not one that will soon be forgotten.
Some of it’s magic and some of it’s tragic, but I had a good life all the way.—Jimmy Buffett