The 2018 Spirit of Xaverian Gala


The Xaverian community gathers annually at the Spirit of Xaverian Gala to recognize those among us who have achieved great things – professionally and in their volunteer work – and more importantly, in living lives that emulate the values of the Xaverian Brothers. Xaverian’s mission, a part of daily life at 7100 Shore Road, instills in our students a commitment to faith and service to community.

Please join us in celebrating this years honorees: 

Spirit of Xaverian Award Recipient:

Mr. Sigfried Heiles '64

Bernard McQuillan Distinguished Alumni Award Recipients

Dr. Robert Giasi '61
Dr. Walter Koroshetz '71
Mr. Charles Johnston '72
Mr. James Lynn, Esq. '79

This year the Gala will be held on November 15, 2018
at  The Liberty Warehouse  
260 Conover Street, Brooklyn, NY 11209.
Proceeds from the Gala benefit Xaverian’s annual Clipper Fund.
Questions regarding the Gala may be directed to
Brittany Campanile at or at 718-836-7100 x167.

2018 Spirit of Xaverian Award Recipient

List of 1 items.

  • Sigfried Heiles '64

    “In the 1950’s, when there were far fewer cars, the streets were the playground of the Baby-Boomer kids,” Sigfried recalls.  “What a special gift was the giant mound of earth created during the construction of the ‘new school’ on 71st Street, (minus the cranky watchman.)  The school was already a reality the morning after the Sputnik launch in 1957, when we were playing touch football on Narrows & MacKay.”
    Everything at Xaverian was still brand-spanking new when Sigfried entered as a Freshman in 1960.  Burned into his memory in the very first week of school was the powerful Cat 2 Hurricane Donna which slammed the shore with huge waves; but more fearsome still was “my algebra teacher, Brother Claude, who also packed a wallop.” In time, the seemingly endless four years of high school morphed into something of a blur. Fortunately, at frequent gatherings of 1964 classmates, those memories are relived, even improved and enhanced.  At the center of every story is usually a teacher, mostly Brothers, but also legendary names such as McQuillan, Staples, and Sajecki.
    After graduation, Sigfried relocated to the Village to attend NYU, and from there to the University of Madrid, Spain, his first serious venture into a lifetime of travel. It soon became evident that marketing language skills was far more profitable than fine arts studies. Visiting Xaverian after a six-year absence, Sig learned of the unique Language Saturation Program during an informal conversation with administrators.  “Weeks later I received an unexpected contract offer in the mail, which I enthusiastically accepted and so joined the Xaverian faculty in 1970.”
    “What a vibrant time!”, Sigfried recalls.  “What a team of colleagues: Baldor, Rodriguez, Marin, Hidalgo.  They were passionate - intelligent, dynamic, enthusiastic.”  Taking three classes in a foreign language during Freshman year, hundreds of Xaverian graduates still maintain various levels of conversational fluency as adults.
    In 1975, Sigfried took a leave of absence, spending a year in London in the study lettering arts, an experience that deeply altered his life.  Any thoughts of not returning to Xaverian evaporated with another unexpected invitation. Invited to view the 1976 Bicentennial OP Sail on the 4th of July reception on the Brothers’ terrace, he was asked if he would be interested in joining the Art Department. Sigfried’s response, “Who wouldn’t jump at the chance of working with Brother Clement?”  In following years, the ever-evolving school allowed him to introduce classes in art history, calligraphy, italic writing, and an award-winning class in New York City History. By 1981, he had become the Chairman of the expanding Arts and Humanities Department.
    The academic calendar allowed Sigfried time to travel to explore new art experiences, as well as develop a graphic arts business. He summered in England, Greece, France, Italy and of course Spain. Formal studies were done at UC Santa Cruz, St. Cloud Minnesota, Portland, OR and NYU where he earned an MA.  “One of my more memorable experiences was three months in North Beach, San Francisco, which still retained strong elements of its Bohemian past.”
    “The most meteoric change in my life ensued with my marriage to the lovely Xaverian Italian teacher, Nancy Santoro, in 1984,” Sigfried reminisces.  Soon came the responsibilities of a house and mortgage, and the incomparable joys of parenthood, with the birth of Ander in 1986 and Sonja in 1988.
    A major course correction happened in 1989, when Sig joined the Development Office as Alumni Coordinator and was thrust into the world of special events, volunteerism and public relations.  The school’s alumni population had increased from a mere 1,200 in 1964 to over 12,000 in the 1990s. He helped the Xaverian Alumni Association sponsor an annual Golf Outings, the P.O. Hoban Memorial Run, and organize alumni professional groups such as attorneys, accountants, dramatics enthusiasts, out-of-town chapter meetings, and publish an alumni newsletter three times a year. Importantly, the Alumni played the major fundraising role in the building of the Technology Center. In order to maintain a direct classroom relationship he taught computer graphics and served as moderator of the Clipper yearbook. 
    Although the Millennium found the Heiles family fully centered at Xaverian, by 2007, attention turned to the South where their son was at the Naval Academy, and their daughter Georgetown-bound.  Nancy took a position at Annapolis HS as IB Coordinator, and Sigfried cultivated his art business.
    However, another chance meeting with Xaverian’s admin in 2010 again rekindled the Xaverian fire in the form of an offer to help reinvigorate the Advancement Office as a part-time consultant.  By 2016, Sigfried’s focus turned to the establishment of a Xaverian Archives in the former Brothers’ quarters in the 3rd floor, a task he enthusiastically enjoys enough to still commute across state lines on a regular basis.
    “Recalling four years as a student, twenty years in the classroom, eighteen years in Administration, and eight years as a consultant is an emotional exercise. I have personally known eight of the nine Xaverian principals, witnessed the transition from religious to lay faculty, applauded the burning of the school’s mortgage and felt the pain of the unveiling of the 9/11 Memorial. The most recent addition of young ladies to the student body and the remarkable energy and enthusiasm they bring.”
    It is said that through the interchange of molecules, with every breath one literally becomes part of one’s environment. The Latin word spiare, which means to breathe,
    gives us aspire, inspire and of course Spirit!

2018 Bernard McQuillan Distinguished Alumni Award Winners

List of 4 items.

  • Dr. Robert Giasi '61

    Dr. Robert Giasi is a very proud member of Xaverian’s first graduating class. After graduating from the College of the Holy Cross with Honors, he
    received his Doctor of Medicine degree from S.U.N.Y. Downstate Medical School and did residency training in Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Great Lakes Naval Hospital before being deployed to Vietnam where he served as North Search and Rescue Medical Officer in the Gulf of Tonkin for most of his tour.

    Upon returning from southeast Asia Dr. Giasi began training in Anesthesiology at the Boston Naval and Harvard affiliated hospitals. He then did a fellowship in Cardiac Anesthesia at the Massachusetts General Hospital and a fellowship in Intensive Care at the Portsmouth Naval Hospital. He was the Director of the Intensive Care Unit at the Portsmouth Naval Hospital until he resigned his commission as a full Commender in the United States Navy to join the faculty at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, where he had a long and illustrious career. He was Clinical Director of Anesthesia Services for the University Hospitals and Chief of Cardiac Anesthesiology for almost all of his 28 years at the Medical school. He cared for countless patients, taught medical students, trained residents, did research, wrote medical papers and gave lectures at both local, national and international venues. He retired from the university in 2005 as Professor of Clinical Anesthesiology. Along the way he was privileged to participate in several medical missions abroad: with the International Children’s Heart Fund (Vietnam, Ecuador, Mauritania, Haiti [5 trips] ), and, after retiring from the University,  with Project Hugs ( Ecuador ) [3 trips ], and, subsequent to the massive earthquake, to Haiti [ 2 trips ] with Forward in Health. Dr. Giasi continues to volunteer at St Ann’s Free Medical Program in Shrewsbury, Massachusetts. In 2011 Dr. Giasi was honored by the Diocese of Worcester and the Saint Luke Society for his years of volunteer medical service both locally and internationally.

    During his high school years, Bob was active in Speech and Debate and is currently an enthusiastic and passionate supporter of the Brother Meric Pessagno scholarship. He has been and continues to be an ardent and fervent believer in supporting education, especially Catholic education, as well as being a zealous  advocate for social justice.

    After completing his first year of medical school he married his best friend and wonderful companion, MaryEllen Miscione. They have two children and four grandchildren. Their son John and his wife Ellen live in Dover, MA and are computer engineers. Their daughter, Mary Theresa and her husband Rip live in Scarborough, ME where they are environmental engineers and own their own firm - Credere LLC.

    Today Bob is very happy and content. He raises bees, has a small fish pond and a moderate size garden. He plays “at” golf, goes to the gym, travels a fair amount and generally enjoys family and friends.
  • Dr. Walter Koroshetz '71

    Dr. Koroshetz was named Acting Director of NINDS in October 2014. Prior to this appointment, he served as Deputy Director of NINDS since January 2007, where he worked with Dr. Story Landis, the NINDS Director, in program planning and budgeting, and overseeing Institute scientific and administrative functions.  He has leadership roles in a number of NIH and NINDS programs including co-lead for the NIH’s BRAIN Initiative, lead for the NIH Pain Consortium and Inter-Agency Pain Research Coordination Committee.  While Deputy Director he helped found the collaborative Traumatic Brain Injury Center at intramural NIH and Uniformed Health Services University, and the NIH’s Office of Emergency Care Research. 

    Before joining NINDS, Dr. Koroshetz served as vice chair of the neurology service and director of stroke and neurointensive care services at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH). He was a professor of  Neurology at Harvard Medical School (HMS)  and led neurology resident training at MGH between 1990 and 2007.  Over that same period, he co-directed the HMS Neurobiology of Disease Course with Drs. Edward Kravitz and Robert H Brown.

    A native of Brooklyn, New York, Dr. Koroshetz graduated from Georgetown University and received his medical degree from the University of Chicago. He trained in internal medicine at the University of Chicago and Massachusetts General Hospital. Dr. Koroshetz trained in neurology at MGH, after which he did post-doctoral studies in cellular neurophysiology at MGH with Dr. David Corey and the Harvard neurobiology department with Dr. Edward Furshpan studying mechanisms of excitotoxicity and neuroprotection.  He joined the MGH neurology staff, first in the Huntington’s Disease unit, and then in the stroke and neurointensive care service.  A major focus of his clinical research career was to develop measures in patients that reflect the underlying biology.  With the MGH team he discovered increased brain lactate in HD patients using MR spectroscopy.  They also pioneered the use of diffusion/perfusion weighted MR imaging and CT angiography/perfusion imaging in acute stroke which is now widely employed in medical practice.

    Active in the American Academy of Neurology Dr. Koroshetz chaired the professional organization’s Public Information Committee, led the AAN’s efforts to establish acute stroke therapy in the US, founded the Stroke Systems Working Group, and was a member of the AAN Board of Directors.
  • James Lynn, Esq. '79

    James P. Lynn is the principal of the New York City law firm of The Law Offices of James P. Lynn. He concentrates his practice on the representation of businesses and individuals in intellectual property, corporate, employment and general commercial matters. Jim's practice includes both transactional and litigation matters.

    Jim provides advice on business, intellectual property and employment issues to such varied clients as an international software development and services company based in New York and Mumbai, India, several national non-profit organizations and a number of other businesses throughout the country. In that regard, he has negotiated numerous multi-million dollar transactions involving Purchase and Sale Agreements, License Agreements, Leases and other types of corporate Agreements. Jim frequently lectures on business law-related matters.

    As a litigator, Jim has successfully tried cases and otherwise litigated a wide variety of matters in federal and state courts throughout the United States, as well as the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board and the tribunals of the American Arbitration Association, JAMS and the New York Stock Exchange. Jim has also successfully argued appeals before the United States Court of Appeals and New York's Appellate Division. He is a member of the New York Bar as well as the United States Court of Appeals for the Second and Federal Circuits, the United States District Courts for the Southern, Eastern, Northern and Western Districts of New York, and the United States Court of Federal Claims. Jim belongs to the American Bar Association, the New York State Bar Association and the Association of the Bar of the City of New York.
    Jim graduated cum laude from Dartmouth College in 1983, and received his J.D. from Fordham University School of Law in 1987. Prior to starting his own practice in 2003, Jim was a partner in the intellectual property firm of Lieberman & Nowak, LLP, where he practiced patent, trademark and copyright litigation and licensing. From 1987 to 1997, Jim practiced commercial litigation with the firm of Haythe & Curley (now Torys) in New York.

    Jim currently resides in Middletown, New Jersey with his family, where he has coached children’s basketball, baseball and softball teams for many years. Jim also serves on the Board of Trustees of his alma mater, Xaverian High School, in Brooklyn, NY.
  • Mr. Charles Johnston '72

    Charles Johnston is a proud member of the Class of 1972. Upon graduating, Charles studied Russian at Colgate University. He went on to receive an MBA at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth. Charles began his professional career at Arthur Young as a CPA, and also began consulting for corporations across the city experiencing severe cash flow issues. In 1984, Charles became the managing director for Morgan Stanley, leaders in the development of the mortgage derivative market. In 1996, he became the managing director of Lehman Brothers, eventually running the Investment Management Division, consisting of 16 offices and over 1200 people. In 2014, Charles then began to lead the NY Investment Management Division of Deutsche Bank. Upon retirement, Charles went back to school – this time St. Joseph's Seminary – and received an MA in Theology. Currently, Charles is back home at 7100 Shore Road, as a member of Xaverian's Theology department. Charlie’s wife is a children’s book author and illustrator. They live in Greenwich Village and have three beautiful and successful daughters.
Established in 1957, Xaverian is one of thirteen schools nationwide sponsored by the Xaverian Brothers.
7100 Shore Road         Brooklyn, New York 11209         Phone: (718) 836-7100