Villa Maria Hall of Fame Inducts Inaugural Class

Villa Maria inducted the inaugural class of the Villa Maria Hall of Fame in a ceremony on Friday, October 7, at Waynesborough Country Club. Four women were recognized for their outstanding achievements in athletics: Maurene Moore Polley ’64, Doris “Mrs. D” D’Innocenzo, Rene Muth Portland ’71, and Angie Brown ’94. Seven individuals received the Fidelis Award to recognize their outstanding commitment to the mission of Villa Maria Academy:  Gary and Patty Baldi Holloway ’73, P’05; Michael and Mary Kay O’Rourke P’05,’10,’12,’15; Jack and Nancy Hewes P’95,’97,’04; and, Mary Jane Raymond ’78. Each person was introduced and presented with a plaque, and then gave brief remarks.

Maurene Moore Polley ’64

Maurene Moore Polley ’64 arrived on the Villa campus as a freshman in 1960. During her four years at Villa she participated in numerous school activities and quickly developed a passion for athletics, especially for field hockey and basketball. Upon graduation from Villa, she attended West Chester University and earned a degree in Health and Physical Education. At
West Chester, she was a four year member of the field hockey team where she played for legendary coach Vonnie Gros. This is also where she met the love of her life, Ron, who was a standout soccer player for the Golden Rams.

In 1968, Maurene returned to her alma mater as the Athletic Director; during her tenure at Villa she also coached field hockey, basketball and tennis. Additionally she taught Health and Physical Education. Aside from coaching three varsity teams, she also coached swimming and volleyball in the Catholic Academy inter-school tournaments. Maurene was the catalyst for the
enormous growth of the Villa Maria athletic department, which now fields 13 varsity teams, 7 JV teams and 2 freshman teams. Under Maurene’s leadership the Villa Maria athletic department has become one of the most successful in the state.

As a field hockey coach, Maurene is without an equal in this area. Her illustrious career is highlighted by:  584 wins that include a 61 game winning streak; PIAA State Championship in 1993 and 1994; 11 PIAA District 1 Championships (6 consecutive titles from 2007-2012); and, 17 AACA Championships (10 consecutive titles from 1985-1994).

Doris D’innoCenzo (Mrs. D)

Doris “Mrs. D” D’Innocenzo is a Villa Maria legend. She was the original architect of the Villa Maria athletic dynasty. Doris is a graduate of Scott Senior High School in Coatesville, where she was involved in a myriad of athletic and musical activities. After graduation from Scott, Doris earned her degree in Health and Physical Education from West Chester University. She began her teaching career at Claymont High School in Delaware, but soon found the love of her life, Louis, and although she took a break from teaching when she got married, she continued to coach and referee basketball. It was while she was coaching at St. Katherine High School in Wayne that she first met Sister Rose Anthony who at the time was Florence Spingler, a versatile guard on the basketball team. The Florence/Doris combo won three championships together. In 1961, Doris received a call from her former player who then was IHM Sister Rose Anthony, stationed at Villa Maria Academy, inviting her to interview for the open PE job at Villa Maria. The rest is history.

Doris was hired in 1961, to teach PE to grades 1-12, as well as Health in the high school. She coached the varsity field hockey, basketball and tennis teams. Additionally, she took bowling, swimming and volleyball teams to league play days. She won titles in every sport she coached. In 1968, when Doris left Villa Maria, she had the foresight to reach out to her former student, Maurene Polley, who was about to graduate from West Chester University. Doris left the Villa Maria athletes in good hands when she lobbied for Maurene Polley to succeed her. You can imagine what a formidable woman Doris is. Although she only spent seven years on our campus, her impact was felt for many years afterward. Maurene Polley learned much of her teaching and coaching style from her mentor and imparted Mrs. D’s love for competition and work ethic to her student athletes. Doris remained an active member of the Philadelphia Board of Basketball Officials, serving as chairman for seven years. She was chosen to referee the college regional play-off games five times. In 1983, Doris went to work for State Representative Bob Flick as his administrative assistant. She retired in 2006.

Rene Muth Portland ’71

Rene Muth Portland graduated from Villa Maria Academy in 1971. While a student, Rene was an avid athlete playing field hockey, basketball, and volleyball. Today Rene is legendary as a player and coach in the sport of basketball, but she will openly admit that basketball was never her favorite sport, but rather field hockey was her first interest. She was coached in field hockey by fellow Hall of Fame inductees, Doris D’Innocenzo and Maurene Polley. As one of the inaugural inductees into Villa Maria Academy’s Hall of fame, Rene’s accomplishments on the basketball court and in the community have established her amongst the nation’s foremost leaders in women’s athletics.

Rene’s collegiate basketball career began at Immaculata College in 1972. She helped lead the Mighty Macs to their first of three consecutive national championships under legendary women’s basketball coach Cathy Rush. As a senior, the team finished as the national runner-up. The school’s record during her career was 85-5. In 2014, the Mighty Macs were inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Massachusetts. Earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in social sciences and a teacher certification in secondary education in 1975, Portland remained at her alma mater as Rush’s assistant, again achieving championship level play when the Mighty Macs finished 2nd in the nation.

In 1980 Rene Portland was hired on as the head women’s basketball coach at Penn State. At Penn State, her 27-year tenure was marked with seven Conference Championships and eight Conference Tournament titles. During the 2006-07 campaign, she became just the ninth coach in NCAA Division I history to record 600 wins at one institution. Portland is the 19th-winningest Division I coach of all-time, a four-time Big Ten Coach of the Year, and a two-time WBCA National Coach of the Year. Portland received the WBCA Coach of the Year Award in 1991 and again in 2004 after her third-straight Sweet Sixteen.
During her time at Penn State, Portland made it a priority to give back to the community. She and the Lady Lions were a constant fixture with a variety of organizations including Easter Seals, Special Olympics and United Way. In 2005, Portland was named Renaissance Person of the Year, a prestigious award given to a local leader in the community.
Rene also made her mark in the International arena for women’s basketball. In the fall of 1997, Portland earned USA Basketball’s Developmental Coach of the Year accolades after her second straight summer involved with USA basketball. She coached the U.S. Jr. National Team to its first-ever gold medal at the 1997 World Championships. In July 1999, Portland coached the USA Women’s World University Games Team to a silver medal in Spain.

Angie Brown ’94

In 1990, Angie Brown entered Villa Maria Academy as a freshman. As a result of her athletic ability and determination, she quickly became a stand out athlete in both basketball and track and field. Also an active member of Student Council, Angie embodied the student athlete role at Villa. During her senior year, Angie served as the captain of both the indoor and outdoor track and field team. During her Villa Maria basketball career, Angie was a key player as a freshman and sophomore taking the team to the PIAA State Semifinals after winning the District title. After her sophomore year, Angie decided to focus solely on track and field.

Angie competed in the Penn Relays, winning top United States High School Competitor three years in a row. She broke indoor and outdoor long jump records throughout high school, including both the Indoor and Outdoor State records. Angie was the AAU Junior Olympic Champion in 1992, and was the Indoor and Outdoor National Champion for the Long Jump three times during her high school career. She broke the district record for the most gold medals won by a high school athlete; garnered 12 individual outdoor and 9 individual indoor state titles; and ranked on the All-Time Top 10 jumpers list for indoor track.

In 1994, Angie won the Golden West Title, surpassing Marion Jones’ long jump record, and was ranked 5th in the world. Angie made her first national team in 1994 for the Junior World Championship in Lisbon, Portugal as well as the World University Games in Canada.

Angie spent her first year of college at Seton Hall University, earning Big East Championship titles in both the indoor and outdoor long jump. During her second year, she transferred to George Mason University, where she continued her success in both the indoor and outdoor track and field arenas. During her collegiate campaign, she also represented the US in the Junior Pan-American Games held in Santiago, Chile, winning a gold medal. Throughout her college career, she was a 7 time All-American, and won an NCAA championship in the long jump. She made the Senior United States Team for the Pan-American Games, where she won a Silver Medal for her country, jumping 22’6″.

Angie has since retired from track & field, and now dedicates her time and passion to developing training initiatives for young athletes. As a certified personal trainer and strength conditioning coach for over 16 years, Angie has owned and operated athletic gyms throughout the city of Los Angeles. She held the position of Strength and Conditioning Coach for the WNBA Los Angeles Sparks for two seasons.

Mary Jane Raymond ’78

Mary Jane Raymond began her illustrious Villa Maria career in September of 1974, and she immediately made an impression as a scholar. She was a four year member of the National Honor Society, becoming Vice President in her junior and senior years. She was also active as President of the French Honor Society, Mu Alpha Theta Honor Society, Student Council and Children of Mary. She was a four year member of A’Cappella and the Drama Club. In her senior year she was part of the Science Bowl and Mathlete teams. Mary Jane somehow found time to be on both the Reflections and Festival staffs as well. The culmination of her career at Villa was her being named Salutatorian of the Class of 1978.

Upon graduation from Villa, Mary Jane attended St. Joseph University where she earned a B.A. in Public Administration. During her junior year, she interned in Washington D.C. at the Natural Resources Defense Council. Mary Jane holds an MBA from Stanford University and is a Certified Management Accountant. She spent ten years at the Cummins Engine Company in Indiana, holding various positions in finance and general management. She led Lucent Technologies’ Merger Integration practice from 1998-2002. She was the Corporate Controller at Dun and Bradstreet for five years before becoming the CFO of Hudson Global in 2005. In 2014 she joined II-VI Incorporated as their CFO.

Mary Jane Raymond is the true embodiment of philanthropy. She served on the Board of Trustees of the Colonial Symphony for twelve years and as the President of the Villa Maria Academy Alumnae Association from 2013-2016. She currently serves as Vice President of the Alumnae Association.

Mary Jane has also served on the Advisory Board at Villa Maria. She has been active in the philanthropic pursuits to support the Gift of Life Family House in Philadelphia as well as Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Mary Jane has said that she loves to support the students at Villa and as such she supports every endeavor here at Villa. She donates to FEST, and to every club and team at Villa. Most recently, Mary Jane underwrote the Senior Capstone Project. In addition to financially supporting Capstone, she herself is a mentor and she helps other students find mentors as well.

Mary Jane grew up in Wallingford, PA and was a member of St. John Chrysostom Parish. She is as devoted to her family as she is to any group. She founded, and financially supports, the Jane F. Raymond Scholarship fund, a scholarship named for her dear mother that supports music education for students at Villa Maria. Mary Jane is quick to tell anyone that her twin sisters Annie Eversman and Michele Ward ‘82 both were fabulous students at Villa Maria. She proudly boasts of the soccer conquests of her niece Beth Eversman ’16, who is now a freshman student athlete at Loyola University.

Patty Baldi Holloway ’72 and Gary Holloway

Villa Maria’s mission statement says “… empowers young women to lead lives of spiritual growth, intellectual inquiry, and Christian service.” Patty Baldi Holloway ’ 72 and by extension, her husband Gary are the embodiment of that mission statement. Gary Holloway has been very successful in all his business ventures. In 1985 he founded GMH Associates, a fully integrated and diverse real estate company specializing in student and military housing. Later GMH expanded to include residential and commercial properties throughout the United States. In November of 2004, Gary successfully completed the Initial Public Offering of the student and military housing division which raised approximately $340 million for a new entity, GMH Community Trust (GCT). Mr. Holloway was chairman, President, and CEO of GCT from November 2004 until the sale of the company in June 2008. Upon the sale of the public entity, GCT was the largest owner and operator of off campus housing in the country while the military housing division GMH Military Housing was among the largest developer and operator of on-base housing. The sale of the public entity in 2008 approached $2 billion.

Patty Holloway has certainly lived a life of Christian service. After graduating from Villanova University with a BS in Education and a MS in Counseling and Human Relations, Patty went to work in the Counseling Office of Villanova and Bryn Mawr Colleges. She has chaired many successful fundraising events for breastcancer.org, St. Edmond’s Home, After School All-Stars, Malvern Prep, St. Charles Seminary, and of course her alma mater, Villa Maria Academy. Patty and Gary were instrumental in the expansion of St. Joseph Hall in 2001. The Holloways are benefactors of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, Narcotics Overdose Prevention Education, Villanova University, Camilla Hall, the Sisters Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and an orphanage in Honduras to name a few. The Holloways played an integral part in planning the papal visit last fall and actually visited Rome to meet with Pope Francis before his visit. Most recently, the Holloways were one of three lead donors in the building of the Maurene Polley Field at Villa Maria. Patty served on the Main Line Health Board of Directors and chaired the Governance Committee. Presently, Patty chairs the Paoli Hospital Foundation Board. For her tireless commitment to various charities, Patty has received several awards including, but not limited to, The St. Augustine Medal from Villanova, the Volunteerism Award from St. Mary Magdalen School and the Blue Torch Award for after School All-Stars Philadelphia. When she is not volunteering, Patty serves as the President of Lindsay Fashion Enterprises which oversees frey Boutique in Newtown Square and Ocean City.

Probably the greatest achievement of this couple is their beautiful family. Gary and Patty have five children, including their only daughter Lindsay who is a 2005 graduate of Villa Maria. Patty especially enjoys spending time with her eleven grandchildren. Number twelve is due any day now.

The Holloways are a great philanthropic team. Many people may share Gary’s business acumen, but few are as philanthropic as the Holloways. His business success has allowed them to give to charities they hold dear. We are so grateful that through the years, the Holloways have remained consistently faithful to the mission of Villa Maria Academy.

Mike and Mary Kay O’Rourke

Mike and Mary Kay O’Rourke have been fixtures at Villa Maria since September 2001, when their oldest daughter Katie enrolled as a freshman. Almost immediately they both got involved in the Villa community. Mike and Mary Kay served on the Parent’s Guild and they were instrumental in the transition of this group to the VMA Advisory Board. Mary Kay served as secretary of the board until last spring, while Mike continues to serve as the Chair of the Facilities Committee. Mary Kay was a loyal FEST volunteer doing everything from data entry to basket building. She served on the Parents’ Association as their secretary and she helped organize the Christmas service project. As head of the Facilities Committee, Mike has overseen many facility improvement projects at Villa, including the expansion of St. Joseph Hall and most recently, he spearheaded the building of the new Maurene Polley Turf Field.

Both Mike and Mary Kay were instrumental in the recent Strategic Planning Committee and in the formulation of the 2013 Strategic Plan for Villa Maria. There overwhelming commitment to Catholic education is evidence by not only their involvement at Villa, but also their equal dedication to St. Agnes Parish where Mary Kay serves on the finance committee and Mike coaches CYO basketball. Mary Kay is currently the President of the Board of the West Chester Senior Center. Additionally, Mike serves on the boards of the YMCA, Salesianum High School, Fulton Bank, and the West Chester University Foundation Board.

Mike is the owner of O’Rourke & Sons Steel in West Chester and Mary Kay left her job at IBM to become the CFO of O’Rourke and Sons in 1989. Unquestionable though, the most important role for these two is their positions as CEO and COO of the O’Rourke family. Mike, a 1974 graduate of Cardinal O’Hara and Mary Kay a 1974 graduate of Academy of Notre Dame, met when they were 15 years old while both were babysitting their younger siblings at the St. Alban Swim Club. Mike graduated from Mount St. Mary’s in 1978 and Mary Kay from Georgetown that same year. Being siblings in families of nine and six respectively, helped prepare them to be parents to five of their own, Mike, Katie ’05, Colleen ’10, Kellie ’12, and Clare ’15. Crazy schedules and raucous dinners were nothing new to Mike and Mary Kay.

Although both enjoyed their service at Villa, their true passion was sharing in the lives of their children. Mike boisterously cheered at sporting events while Mary Kay could be found quietly pacing and praying for a successful outcome. Together they supported the Hurricanes at approximately 165 basketball games. Both can still be found on the sidelines for big games. Their West Chester home was the place to be for their children and their friends. The barn was the destination for many basketball victory parties and sleepovers. Although Mike and Mary Kay will tell you that they miss all the activity, they are enjoying their “empty nest” and are spending as much time as possible in
Ocean City.

Jack and Nancy Hewes

Jack and Nancy Hewes joined the Villa Maria Academy family when their oldest daughter, Christi, matriculated as a member of the class of 1995. Katie, ’97, and Maggie, ’04, followed shortly after, having been famously told by Jack: “you can go to any high school you want, but I’m sending the tuition payment to Villa.” Almost immediately, Jack and Nancy began to volunteer in the classroom and on committees, because they believed so strongly in Villa’s mission of faith, the rigor of their education, and enjoyed watching their daughters make life-long friends. Equally enjoyable was observing closely as the girls and their classmates went on to successful and rewarding college experiences at some of the most competitive institutions.

As parents, Jack and Nancy earned a combined eight Varsity letters while cheering for the soccer, basketball, lacrosse, volleyball, and track and field teams. While their support of Hurricane athletics was always loyal and boisterous, their generous philanthropy and leadership at Villa Maria as an institution is most noteworthy and inspiring – and why we honor them tonight. Since 1995 Jack and Nancy have volunteered on the Parent’s Board, co-chaired the Auction/Fest in 1996, co-chaired Villa’s Capital Campaign in 1997, co-chaired the Golf Outing in 2004, and since 1999 Jack has had a seat on the Advisory Board. Most recently, Jack and Nancy were one of the lead donors in the building of the Maurene Polley Turf Field. Their consistent generosity through annual giving and capital campaign support have been critical to the long term success and sustainability of Villa – but more importantly, the gift of their time, energy, and sense of humor have left an indelible mark on the campus.

It’s likely that none of this would have been possible if this St. James Bulldog and still aspiring Hall of Fame catcher and the daughter of tough-as-nails Lansdowne policeman hadn’t met and married 45 years ago. Today you can find Jack and Nancy in Malvern, PA, Fort Myers, FL, or Kinsale, Ireland, where they enjoy playing golf, going to and critiquing movies (catching any viewings of Braveheart however they can, spoiling their eight grandchildren, and always advocating for the Hurricanes wherever they are.