Four hundred alumni and wives assembled on the Subiaco campus for the May 30-June 2 weekend to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Subiaco Academy Alumni Association.
Past association presidents were honored at a banquet in the Academy dining room on May 30. Forty-four golfers teed up for the two-man scramble at the Chamberlyne Golf Course in Danville on May 31.
At the Abbot’s reception on Friday evening guests were welcomed and served dinner, followed by the blessing and dedication of the Pereyra Memorial (near the Abbey Church). This memorial honors a deceased member of the class of 1940 who, while a student at the Academy, died trying to save two other students from drowning. Rounding out the evening was the third annual Alumni Poker Tournament held in the Academy dining room.
Saturday morning activities included the Ladies Auxiliary brunch and the annual business meeting of the Subiaco Alumni Association. Abbot Jerome Kodell announced and outlined the goals of an $8 million campaign entitled Continuing the Tradition…A Campaign for Subiaco. The campaign addresses the care for the monks as they reach retirement age, and funding for the life and ministries of the Abbey: education and formation of young monks, support for the educational apostolate of Subiaco Academy and improvements in Coury House to support hospitality and retreats.
During the 4 p.m. Reunion Mass, Don Berend, a 1957 alumnus, was honored as this year’s winner of the Distinguished Alumnus award. Following his elementary school education at the Academy of Mary Immaculate in Wichita Falls, Texas, and his secondary school education at Subiaco Academy, Berend entered Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls, and completed the requirements for the baccalaureate degree in Business Administration with a major in accounting and a minor in economics in 1961. In 1962 Don married Daphne Disbrow and they became the parents of four children: Robert, Tricia, Charles and Sarah.
Following several years of employment with a public accounting firm in Dallas, Don returned to Wichita Falls and assumed the responsibility for all accounting and tax matters for Berend Bros., an agricultural partnership formed by his father and his uncle. The firm operated several feed stores and was involved in pork, cattle and egg production. When his dad and uncle retired, Don became president of Berend Bros. In addition to overseeing the accounting and financial aspects of the company, he assumed responsibility for many new ventures, including design and construction management of more than 100 projects to advance the company’s interests.
Don was active in several organizations related to his professional endeavors. He served two terms as president of the Texas Pork Producers Association and was elected to the Texas Pork Hall of Fame. He was a gubernatorial appointee to two six-year terms on the Texas Animal Health Commission and was elected to a three-year term on the National Pork Producers Board.
In addition to his professional work Don was active in his parish, Our Lady Queen of Peace. He has been a lector, Eucharistic minister, and president of the parish Pastoral Council. He has also served two years as Grand Knight of the local Knights of Columbus Council and as District Deputy for four years.
Service to Subiaco has always been important to Don. He has served on the Academy Board of Trustees, the Abbot’s Advisory Council, as President of the Alumni Association, and for the last twelve years as Executive Secretary of the Association
After Sunday morning prayer in the Coury House Chapel, a Thanksgiving Brunch was served and those attending heard remarks from outgoing association president Dale Schumacher, a 1971 alumnus, and incoming president Brian Weisenfels, a 1986 alumnus.