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Thank You Pat

Reception Remarks Made by Senior Vice President for University Advancement Jim Husson

“This evening, we come together to not simply name a building, but to dedicate ourselves to the purpose that this building—the Cadigan Alumni Center—represents. Indeed, we gather in this space very much as honored delegates, representatives of a community that bear witness to the commencement of work that will take place within these walls and that calls upon all those who visit this center to do so as “men and women for others.”

And in doing so, we pay tribute to the alumnus who has made this moment possible.

The novelist and sailor, Herman Melville, once said, “Life’s a journey that’s homeward bound.”  Few people embody this instinct more than Patrick F. Cadigan. Pat has always remained close to his roots, looking fondly homeward even as he moved to the West Coast as a young man and became a successful business leader and California real estate investor. 

The morals and principles that were instilled in him at home and in his Jesuit education at BC High and Boston College have always grounded him, yet have enabled his ambitions and accomplishments to soar. 

Anyone who knows Pat can’t help but be impressed by his love of family and friends, his deep affection for BC High and Boston College, and his authenticity.  With all that he has achieved in life, Pat has remained true to the values of his early, formative years, and is still very much that local neighborhood boy who so quickly called the Heights home.   

Like so many of the alumni of his generation, Pat is the son of Irish immigrants, and was raised in Cambridge, where he both studied hard and worked hard to pay his way through college.

 Some of you may recall his father’s business, where Pat worked part-time.  It was officially called the Celtic Café, but was known by the locals in Cambridge simply as Cadigan’s. But it was much more than a business—it was the neighborhood stop where friends gathered after a long day to share stories, to celebrate their joys, and to offer encouragement to those who needed support.  Looking around this grand atrium, it strikes me that the spirit of that place is very much with us tonight, and will forever set the tone that helps to welcome alumni back to what we might well call BC’s version of Cadigan’s.

Since graduating from Boston College in 1957, Pat has had a remarkable career. He worked as a product manager at Sylvania Electronic Systems in Waltham for a few years before being recruited to the West Coast to oversee sales and marketing for the Electronic Engineering Company of California.  Rapidly rising through the ranks, he became its president and CEO leading the firm for nearly 20 years, and overseeing its national and international expansion.  Pat subsequently served on the boards of more than a dozen high-tech and electronics firms, and assumed the reins as chairman and CEO of several public companies.

A successful real estate investor as well, Pat is known in all he does for a keen eye and clear judgment—skills that we might like to think he began to hone first at BC High and later here in the Heights.

Always one to value education, Pat earned an MBA from Boston University, a degree from Harvard University’s Advanced Management Program, and a master’s degree and PhD from Claremont Graduate University, where he studied under the late, renowned business philosopher Peter Drucker.

And so to Pat, and to all of Pat’s family, we officially dedicate this building the Cadigan Alumni Center.  Pat, we hope that this crystal flame John now presents to you and Tandi will remind you of how you have heeded that call—that it will call to mind the spark that you have lit, and that will forever glow, here in the Cadigan Alumni Center.

May I ask that everyone join me in applauding and thanking Patrick F. Cadigan, Boston College Class of 1957.