So that John’s legacy lived on at the Prep, his brother and partner in the family business, Jim ’72, was also looking for a way to honor and express gratitude for all that the Prep had done for each of them. According to Jim Paul, “Our Prep experience had tremendous influence on me and John in our desire to be “men for and with others”.
So a few months after John’s death, Jim met with his classmate, St. Joseph’s Prep President Rev. John W. Swope SJ ’72, and Chief Development Officer Betsy Courtney and committed to a $250,000 scholarship to support an academically qualified student with demonstrated financial need who also has a strong record of service participation in his school, parish, or community.
“This scholarship underscores our belief that a willingness to serve is an important personality trait for all Prep students,” Jim states. “I want to support a prospective student who has already grasped this key aspect of our mission. It would be my expectation that he’ll embrace an even deeper desire to live a life of service during his four years at the Prep.”
Service to others would certainly describe the Paul family, a value passed down from their father Thomas. “My dad was a great example to his family and instrumental in creating a culture of giving back and caring for those less fortunate; he was generous beyond his means,” Jim recalls. “He taught us the gift of gratitude… to never, ever forget to give back to God, and your neighbor in thanks for our many blessings.”
Brothers Jim and John were co-principals in Thomas J. Paul, Inc., the family business their father founded in spring of 1972, the same year Jim graduated from the Prep. The Creative Marketing Services company serves clients in consumer-packaged goods and health care with a broad range of creative and marketing capabilities. The company has experienced consistent profitable growth over its 47-year history. “I was the ninth employee to join the small team in late 1978 and we now employ nearly 100 people. My brother and I had unique skills we brought to the work and we complemented of one another very well,” Jim points out. “John was my brother for 64 years and a great business partner for 40 of those years. While the past year since his death has been difficult personally, I’ve made the necessary adjustments professionally to help ensure our continued growth and success.”
And that success has allowed the Paul family to continue to support so many good works that impact the lives of thousands throughout the Delaware Valley. “When John passed away, I was looking for a way to memorialize his life and good works for the Prep in a meaningful way and also to reconnect personally, especially given that the Fr. Swope is one of my classmates.” Jim notes.
In addition to establishing an endowed scholarship in John’s name, he has also rekindled the War at the Shore, his brother’s passionate effort to have the Prep and La Salle alums square off in a friendly afternoon golf competition to support both schools. This year, the War at the Shore will take place at the Union League National Golf Course on August 2. “War at the Shore is a perfect example of what John felt was important: breaking through barriers and bringing alumni together to support two great schools.”
John’s son Chris attended LaSalle and John served on the LaSalle High School Board while Chris was there. John’s wife Judy, who passed away shortly after John, also served on LaSalle’s board. That’s yet another reason to bring folks together for the higher purpose of promoting support for independent, single-sex, Catholic education. “All of us who were so fortunate to have this high-quality educational experience know very well its inherent value. That’s why I’ve supported Mount St. Joseph Academy for 25 years, and that’s why our family supports the Prep.”
In addition, Jim continues the commitment and actively participates in many service and philanthropic endeavors beyond the Prep, including Holy Redeemer Health System and Mount St. Joseph Academy, serving on both Boards for many years. Jim also serves as Vice Chair of the recently created board at Our Lady of Mercy Regional Catholic School in Maple Glen.
Jim is especially proud of his work at Mount Saint Joseph Academy, where his daughters Kate and Tina attended. Jim has supported The Mount for the past 25 years,16 of those years in governance. He served as Board Chair from 2004-2007 and was a member of The Mount’s first president search committee which recommended the appointment of the late Sr. Kathleen Brabson SSJ, his good friend who died this past January. As a Director Emeritus, Jim is currently serving as Chair of the search committee for Sr. Kathleen’s successor, The Mount’s next president.
His work at Holy Redeemer was initially influenced by his father who also served on the early Board of Advisors. In the early ‘80s, when the Board was seeking young members, Tom Paul suggested they meet with his son, Jim. Since then, he has served in a variety of capacities, currently as a member of the Board of Trustees, and Chair of the Reliability and Performance Work Group (concerned with quality and safety across the system). He continues to deepen support of the mission and work of the Sisters of the Redeemer, and recently completed a sponsor formation program conducted over four bi-annual sessions by the Catholic Health Association in Chicago.
Jim hopes his family’s generosity will inspire others. “I really want to appeal to the Class of 1966, the Class of 1972, and all those whose lives were touched by John, to help build the endowment at the Prep because of what it stands for; it is what John stood for,” he adds. “I know The Prep’s endowment is a significant aspect of the current capital initiative, and I am grateful and proud to support it in John’s memory.”