Bro. Martin Zewe: What would St. La Salle think of of today’s St. John’s?

The 2019 President's Medal Celebration

On Friday, Nov. 8, this biannual event celebrated the leadership of six members of the St. John's community who were presented with the President’s Medal, the school’s highest honor. Traditionally, this medal is awarded to distinguished alumni and friends of the school who have given extraordinary service to St. John’s or to the world community.
 

2019 Honoree Biographies

List of 5 items.

  • Bro. Martin Zewe, FSC (St. John's Faculty 1994-2017)


    Bro. Martin Zewe, FSC, grew up in Pittsburgh, PA, and graduated from Central Catholic High School. He attended John Carroll University for two years and then entered the novitiate of the Christian Brothers in 1961. After completing the novitiate, he entered the scholasticate in Philadelphia and graduated from La Salle University.
     
    In 1965, he began his teaching career at Hudson Catholic High School in Jersey City, NJ. He taught for six years before serving as vice principal and then principal. After his term as principal, he participated in a spiritual renewal program at Sangre de Cristo in Santa Fe, NM. Bro. Martin was then assigned to West Catholic High School in Philadelphia, PA. He taught there for nine years and then became vice principal. In 1988, he returned to his alma mater, Central Catholic High School, as principal.
     
    Upon completion of his term as principal at Central Catholic, Bro. Martin was assigned to St. John’s College High School, where he returned to his first love – full-time teaching. He taught at St. John’s for 23 years, from 1994-2017, and during his tenure he served as chair of the English Department and spent several summers working at San Miguel School.
     
    In 2018, after 52 years in the classroom and 56 years as a Christian Brother, Bro. Martin was assigned to serve as director of the Christian Brothers retirement community in Beltsville, MD.
  • Major General Ronald Beckwith '53 (Posthumous)

    
    Born in Erie, PA, and raised in Chevy Chase, MD, Major General Ronald L. Beckwith graduated from St. John’s in 1953. He graduated from Georgetown University in 1957 with a bachelor’s degree in economics and entered the Marine Corps via the Platoon Leaders Class Program, where he was commissioned a second lieutenant in June 1957. Ronald completed flight training at the Naval Air Station in Kingsville, TX, and was designated a naval aviator in April 1959. His military career includes multiple combat tours and aviation command assignments at the squadron, group and wing levels, and he served in numerous senior leadership positions.
     
    In 1967, Ronald deployed with the VMF(AW)-235 squadron to DaNang, Republic of Vietnam, where he flew combat support missions. Later, in 1971, he served as the commanding officer of Marine Air Base Squadron 15, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, deploying his squadron with Marine Aircraft Group-15 to DaNang in response to the April 1972 “Easter Offensive.” Following his return, he earned an MBA from the University of West Florida in 1974. While serving as the commanding general of the 4th Marine Aircraft Wing, New Orleans, LA, in 1988, Ronald was promoted to major general. His final assignment was deputy assistant secretary of the Navy, Expeditionary Forces Programs, during Operations Desert Shield and Storm, and he retired from active duty in September 1991.
     
    Throughout his 34 years of service, Ronald received several medals and deco-rations, including the Department of Defense Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal with Numeral 11, Presidential Unit Citation, National Defense Medal, Vietnam Service Medal with three bronze stars and the Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal.
     
    Upon retirement, Ronald’s entrepreneurial spirit and passion to further serve his country led him to start a personal business, LeeCor, Inc., which focused on defense-related systems and solutions. Always concerned for the welfare of the Marine Corps, he was a true “Marine’s Marine.” He dedicated his life to God, family, the Marine Corps and numerous philanthropic causes.
  • Mr. Salvatore "Joe" Bruno '67


    Joe Bruno graduated from St. John’s College High School in 1967 and then went on to earn an accounting and finance degree from the University of Maryland, graduating in 1971 and passing the CPA exam in 1972. He started his public accounting career at Peat Marwick Mitchell, which today is KPMG. During his 15 years at the firm, he spent 18 months at the Executive Office Professional Development Department. In 1981, he was admitted to the partnership and served three years in the firm’s Rome, Italy, office.
     
    While at Peat Marwick, he received an offer he couldn’t refuse. He joined Jurgovan and Blair, a healthcare consulting firm, as senior vice president and chief financial officer and led the drive to sell the company to AIG.
     
    After the sale of the company, he returned to the world of public accounting as a partner at Coopers and Lybrand, today known as PWC. After another eight years of public accounting, he received another offer (from the same individual) that he (again) couldn’t refuse and left to start a public company in healthcare services. In 2000, five years after taking the company public, Bell Canada purchased the company stock and took the company private. He spent a year transitioning all financial and tax matters to Bell Canada and then retired.
     
    However, retirement lasted only one year, because he was approached by a good friend and fellow Peat Marwick alumnus, the CEO of Sallie Mae, who asked him to help develop a strategy that would expand the opportunities to give children in DC the choice to attend a charter school. So, in 2003, he started Building Hope. Building Hope provides a comprehensive array of business and financial services to quality charter schools. In addition, Building Hope manages three public/private partnerships: the Incubator Initiative in Washington, DC, Florida Charter Support Unit and the US Department of Education’s Charter School Credit Enhancement Program.
     
    As president of Building Hope, Joe has guided the organization’s participation in the completion of more than $1.2 billion of facilities project financings. He laid the foundation for the future success of Building Hope and the fulfillment of the educational dreams of thousands by initially targeting those public charter schools in the District of Columbia that were most suitable for aiding the students most in need and assisting communities most in need of revitalization. He oversees and directs all aspects of Building Hope’s operations. Building Hope has offices in Washington, DC, Fort Lauderdale, FL, San Antonio, TX, and Boise, ID, and also transacts business in a number of other states.
     
    Joe has been involved in many philanthropic and community activities during his 50 years in the Washington, DC, community. He has served on many boards, including Junior Achievement, the Boys and Girls Clubs, Big Brothers of the Washington DC Metropolitan Area, Catholic Charities, the Washington Archdiocese Consortium of Catholic Schools, the San Miguel School, the Downtown Jaycees, DC Prep, KIPP and Somerset Academy Charter Schools and has chaired the Board of MedSTAR Georgetown University Hospital.
     
    Joe currently serves on the board of a public company, in addition to his non-profit board positions at Leadership Greater Washington, Washington DC Police Foundation, the Florida Consortium of Public Charter Schools, Idaho Charter School Network and Friends of Choice in Urban Schools. In addition, he speaks at national, state and local conferences regarding all aspects of charter school business operations, and more specifically, in the areas of governance, finance and real estate.
     
    In 2010, along with Mario Andretti, Joe received the Italian American “Man of the Year” award from the Lido Civic Club on the occasion of its 80th anniversary celebration held at the Italian Embassy. He is married to Cynthia Marini and has two beautiful daughters who are both St. John’s graduates. His brother Alfie is also a St. John’s graduate.
  • Mr. Akihiko "Kiko" Washington '76


    Kiko Washington ’76 serves as executive vice president, worldwide human resources, for Warner Bros. Entertainment, a post to which he was promoted in January 2009. Warner Bros. is a leader in every aspect of the entertainment industry, from feature film, television and home entertainment production and worldwide distribution (including digital and physical content distribution) to animation, comic books, product and brand licensing, fan experiences and broadcasting.
     
    Based at Warner Bros. Studios in Burbank, CA, Kiko is responsible for managing the company’s human resources department on a worldwide basis, including organizational planning and development, recruitment, compensation and benefits, employee training and development, employee relations, employee communications, shared services and work-life initiatives. He also works closely with all WarnerMedia divisions on meeting overall human resources management objectives.
     
    Kiko joined Warner Bros. in August 2000 as senior vice president, worldwide human resources. He came from then parent company Time Warner, where he served as vice president, human resources planning and international human resources management, working with the human resource professionals across Time Warner’s divisions to create a career development initiative with the objective of guaranteeing that the most talented and diverse pool of candidates was readily available to the company at all times. He also worked to improve Time Warner’s company-wide human resources planning efforts to meet the demand caused by, and necessary for, the company’s continued growth.
     
    Prior to joining Time Warner, Kiko spent 15 years at Home Box Office, the company’s premium cable television network. As vice president of human resources and administration, Kiko was responsible for overseeing HBO’s human resources planning and organizational development efforts. He was also responsible for the company’s domestic and international staffing, employee relations, training and development and employee communications initiatives.

    Kiko spent six years as a member of St. John’s Board of Trustees, and he has hosted several recent alumni gatherings in Los Angeles at Warner Bros. Studios. In 2018, he was the guest lecturer for St. John’s Distinguished Speaker Series, sharing his experiences with both alumni and freshman students through the Entrepreneurial Center curriculum. Kiko continues to serve St. John’s as the alumni representative on the St. John’s Athletic Hall of Fame Selection Committee, and he has unofficially offered to mentor and assist many alumni seeking career advice.
     
    Kiko graduated from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School with a bachelor’s degree in economics. He lives in Santa Monica with his wife, son and daughter.
  • Mr. and Mrs. S. Donald Harlan III P'15, '16, '19


    Laura and Don Harlan are the proud parents of three St. John’s College High School graduates: Stephen ’15, Emily ’16 and Lizzie ’19.
     
    Don is the managing member of Harlan Enterprises, LLC, a real estate investment company focused on multifamily investments throughout the southeast United States. Prior to founding Harlan Enterprises in 2001, Don was president of H.G. Smithy Company from 1993-2001. He also held real estate positions with South Charles Realty and LaSalle Partners. Don started his professional career as a certified public accountant with Kenneth Leventhal & Company. He graduated from the University of Richmond with a bachelor’s degree in accounting and earned his MBA with a concentration in finance from Vanderbilt University.
     
    Laura currently works for The Andrea Rizzo Foundation, a non-profit that provides dance/movement therapy for children with cancer and special needs in hospitals and schools throughout the country. In addition to raising three children, she previously worked at the Oliver Carr Companies, Cafritz Company and Barruetta & Associates. Laura attended Marymount University in Arlington, VA.
     
    Laura and Don have supported and been actively involved with Catholic Charities Center (Silver Spring, MD); San Miguel School; St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital; Open Hearts Foundation; The Dwelling Place, which provides transitional housing and support for families in need in Montgomery County; and Love One International, which supports critically ill children in Uganda by providing lifesaving medical treatment and rehabilitative services.
     
    During their time as St. John’s parents, the Harlans quietly impacted the lives of many students, both at San Miguel and St. John’s, without any recognition. “Over the years, the school would see good works happening and suspect the Harlans’ generosity and kindness were to credit, but no word was ever spoken,” said St. John’s President Jeff Mancabelli. “We are grateful that they accepted the invitation to be recognized tonight, because the St. John’s community deeply appreciates everything they have done.”