Brother Richard Baker Gilman, CSC

July 18, 1943 – September 24, 2017

Brother Richard Baker GilmanBrother Richard Baker Gilman, C.S.C., age 74, died on September 24, 2017 at Dujarie House, in Holy Cross Village at Notre Dame, Indiana. He was born in Lakewood, Ohio, on July 18, 1943, the son of Robert and Alice (Healy) Gilman. He attended St. James Elementary School and St. Edward High School where he graduated magna cum laude in 1961. Richard must have been influenced and encouraged by the Holy Cross Brothers since he joined the Brothers a month after graduating. He went to Sacred Heart Juniorate in Watertown, Wisconsin in June 1961 and received the habit of the Brothers on August 15, 1961 at St. Joseph’s Novitiate, Rolling Prairie, Indiana, and made his first profession of vows as a Holy Cross Brother on August 16, 1952. He traveled to Austin, Texas, to begin his college studies at St. Edward’s University with success and graduated Summa cum laude in 1965 earning a bachelor’s degree in physics and mathematics and was awarded a National Science Fellowship grant to continue advanced study the next year at Harvard University earning a Master of Science degree in Mathematics. Brother Richard said that his graduation present from Brother Donatus was a letter assigning him to teach in Ghana, for 5 years at St. Augustine’s College in Cape Coast and 3 years at St. John’s College in Sekondi.

Upon returning to the U.S. in 1974, he pursued studies at Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson Institute in bioinformatics and began a love affair with Archbishop Hoban High School in teaching challenging math courses for 11 years and developing an interest in administrative challenges through studies at the University of Dayton while serving as Principal of Archbishop Hoban High in 1986 and then its President in 1991. His scholarship and service culminated by earning a Ph.D. in Higher Educational Leadership. He was selected in 1992 to be the new President of Holy Cross College at Notre Dame. He was quoted, “I was graced to be the President of Holy Cross College to lead it to achieve baccalaureate status.” There were expansions within the College’s academic and campus needs, a role he fulfilled with ingenuity and a creative vision. His ideal for leadership was to empower others through steady enlightenment to bring satisfaction and success.

A man of intellect and insight with a sound moral compass, Brother Richard was regularly called upon to serve on boards, the provincial council, general chapters and as an expert advisor and mentor. Along with his amazing mastery of facts and creative critical thinking, these gifts allowed him to accurately interpret the present and plan for a desired future in his role as president with ingenuity and creative vision. Brother Richard once said, “In the song ‘Getting to Know You’ from The King and I, we are told, “if you become a teacher, by your pupils you’ll be taught.” As an educator of minds and hearts, he lived this message for over 50 years and grew in grace and wisdom while assisting others to do the same.”