The 1966 Awardees
Edwin A. Heafey
LLB 1923, Honorary degree 1968
Edwin A Heafey, a prominent attorney in the San Francisco Bay Area, received the John Carroll Award in ceremonies held at the Sheraton Palace Hotel on Sept. 10, 1966.
A graduate of Santa Clara and the Georgetown Law School, Heafey was a lifelong resident of Oakland and one of the state's most prominent attorneys. He served as president of the state bar association and was a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers. The law library at Santa Clara is named in his honor. and he received honorary degrees from his alma maters in 1963 and 1968, respectively.
Heafey died in 1979 at the age of 81.
Alvin M. Lesser
Daly City, CA
Alvin Lesser, former president of the Georgetown Club of Northern California, received the John Carroll Award in ceremonies held at the Sheraton Palace Hotel on Sept. 10, 1966.
Lesser , a 1941 graduate of the College, was honored for his efforts for securing the first John Carroll Awards held west of the Mississippi River. Since 1966, San Francisco has hosted the event five times, the most of any destination city.
Alvin Lesser retired to Portland, Oregon and died in 2012 at the age of 92.
Richard J. McCooey
Richard McCooey, the visionary entrepreneur who build the landmark restaurants known as 1789 and The Tombs, received the John Carroll Award in ceremonies held at the Sheraton Palace Hotel on Sept. 10, 1966.
At his passing in 2014, HoyaSaxa.com wrote an appreciation which is excerpted here.
No classroom or dormitory at Georgetown University bears the name of Richard McCooey. He never needed one. His monument to Georgetown always stood on its own.
"Simply put," wrote the late John Courtin, former executive director of the Georgetown University Alumni Association, "no individual Georgetown alumnus has done more to improve the human culture of Georgetown University than Richard McCooey."
An entrepreneur by trade and a Hoya at heart, the founder and inspiration behind the 1789, F.Scott's, and the Tombs restaurants passed away Wednesday at the age 83 following surgery. From the moment he set foot on the Hilltop in the fall of 1948, he had a plan. As Yale had Mory's and Princeton the Nassau Inn, his was the dream of a archetypal Georgetown eatery. And like so many dreams at Georgetown, it took a little more time.
"As a freshman, walking along this street, I had that dream," McCooey said in 2012 on the 50th anniversary of his restaurants. "I kept the dream."
Richard McCooey was born in New York, NY in 1930, and attended Brooklyn Prep and Iona Prep before being accepted to Georgetown University. He arrived by train in the fall of 1948...and threw himself into campus activities: three years on The HOYA, the New York Club, and in 1951, elected as President of the Yard. Following a BSS degree in history, McCooey joined the Air Force, later becoming an advertising account executive before returning to Washington in the late 1950's. McCooey set his sights on a project that had gone unrequited for nearly a decade: a restaurant to serve the students, faculty, and alumni of the school. He worked with Georgetown officials in purchasing three buildings on the corner of 36th and Prospect Streets, variously occupied by two luncheonettes and a laundry, none of which were in McCooey's long term plans.
McCooey had the money to build, but encountered sustained resistance from the Georgetown citizens association, who were bound and determined that no "saloon" would invade their village, much less one from the University. McCooey fought through three years of litigation over the beverage license, a battle that eventually found its way to the DC Circuit Court of Appeals, one step short of the U.S. Supreme Court...all for a beverage license. The plaintiffs had hoped that the 30 year old McCooey would eventually go broke from legal fees, but with the dedicated assistance of Eugene Stewart, a future president of the Alumni Association, the fight endured, and by 1962, a license was granted and two restaurants opened: the 1789, named for the founding date of the University, and the Tombs, a play on his nickname in the service: "Bustopher Cat", from the T.S. Eliot poem "Bustopher Jones: The Cat About Town":
In fact, he's remarkably fat.
He doesn't haunt pubs--he has eight or nine clubs,
For he's the St. James's street cat...
And just before noon's not a moment too soon
To drop in for a drink at the Drones...
If he looks full of gloom then he's lunched at the Tomb
On cabbage, rice pudding and mutton."
But there was no gloom when 1789 and the Tombs opened in 1962 to immediate and lasting acclaim, even from the very residents which fought with such vigor. "As one walks contentedly from the coffee shop or spiritedly from the pub, he approaches the main floor dining room." write the HOYA that fall. "It is marked by fine wood in an atmosphere of Virginian good taste. With walls adorned by early American prints, it is at once warm and elegant, intimate and impressive."
Downstairs, crowds gathered nightly amidst a scene largely unchanged today--walls adorned with World War I recruiting posters, newspaper headlines of Georgetown's football glory, and the oars from championship crews. The monthly gathering of the Georgetown Chimes drew such large crowds that when one large crowd swarmed the sidewalks in the early 1960's to wait its turn down the narrow flight of stairs, an errant call to the local police suggested a fight was brewing, hence, the "Chimes Riot" of 1963.
Upstairs, the '89 evolved into one of the city's elite restaurants, while the downstairs Tombs never went out of style in the cultural whirlwinds of the 1960's and 1970's.
"A restaurant is a neutral spot," he told Washingtonian magazine in 2010. "It is where people can forget their troubles. I have a drive to delight people by giving them a magical, tasteful and soul-filled space in which to be."
In the generation since McCooey retired from active ownership to spend time with his wife and travel worldwide as a restaurant consultant, the restaurants have endured and prospered. And even as the venerable Mory's was [once] forced to close...the corner of 36th and Prospect remains as vital to the Georgetown experience as it has ever been--from orientation to graduation, homecoming to reunions, baptisms to funerals, it remains a stop on any returning Hoya's calendar.
"His vision for what should happen at that crucial corner of University real estate was spot-on," said Courtin. "His execution of the built work: flawless...The entire project was done as near to perfection as humanly possible --- right down to the oars over the fireplace --- when first created, which is why it has endured unchanged and has been so much loved by the Georgetown family for half a century now. What Richard wrought has lifted the spirits of generations of Hoyas, and all this the work of one great man..."
McCooey was a longtime Georgetown volunteer, and previously served on the Board of Governors of the Georgetown University Alumni Association. In 1966, he received the John Carroll Award, the University's highest alumni honor. In a surprise dinner in 2012 held on the 50th anniversary of the restaurants' opening, he added: "I am so appreciative. I did all I wanted to do."
Malcolm C. McCormack
BSFS 1949, MSFS 1951
Tysons Corner, VA
Malcolm McCormack, the former director of the Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation, received the John Carroll Award in ceremonies held at the Sheraton Palace Hotel on Sept. 10, 1966.
Born in Memphis, TN in 1928, McCormack spent much of his life in the Washington area, having received his high school education at Western High School and two degrees from the University. After working as an analyst for the Central Intelligence Agency, McCormack went into advertising, and at the time of the award was advertising manager for the Washington Evening Star.
Following the award, McCormack served for 11 years as the Vice President for Development at Georgetown, helping lead its "Mandate '81" capital campaign. he left Georgetown in 1978 to lead the Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation through his retirement in 1989.
McCormack died in 2002 at the age of 74.
Rev. Brian A. McGrath, S.J.
MA 1940, Honorary Degree 1975
Rev. Brian McGrath, who served a senior administrator at Georgetown University for 30 years, received the John Carroll Award in ceremonies held at Sheraton Palace Hotel on Sept. 10, 1966.
Born in Washington in 1913, Rev. McGrath joined the Society of Jesus following his graduation from Gonzaga College High School in 1931, and was ordained in 1944. He earned a bachelor's degree from St. Louis (1936) and masters degrees from Georgetown (1940) and Harvard (1949) before returning to Georgetown to become Dean of the College from 1950 to 1957.
While Dean, he was named Academic Vice President in 1955, and served later appointments as Academic Vice President (1966-70) and Senior Vice President (1970-71). McGrath was a member of the University's Board of Directors from 1950 through 1968, and was awarded the Presidents medal in 1971 for exemplary service under four different University presidents.
Rev. McGrath died in 1988 at the age of 75.