Knights of the Round Table

Established in 2003, the purpose of the McQuaid Jesuit Knights of the Round Table is to recognize individuals, living or deceased, who have distinguished themselves in their personal lives and careers, thereby reflecting credit upon McQuaid Jesuit’s educational efforts, moral principles and philosophical tenets. Candidates for the Knights of the Round Table include alumni, members of the McQuaid Jesuit faculty, administration and staff, coaches and non-alumni.

2019 Inductee: Thomas Schaeffer

In 1968, Thomas Schaeffer arrived at 1800 South Clinton with a simple focus: to teach. What would transpire from that day forward over the next 32 years was, in a word, “Transformative.”

Mr. Schaeffer’s years at McQuaid included much more than masterful instruction of young men. He was a pillar of dedication, focus,
compassion, and excellence. Whether teaching chemistry, coaching golf and basketball, or serving as department chair and assistant principal for student affairs, Mr. Schaeffer’s dedication to and care for his students and colleagues was legendary. As former students wrote, “He is dedicated to us as his students, and his friends. He can be a friend who violates the old adage that ‘familiarity breeds contempt,’ and can remain one of the finest teachers many of us will ever have. He is dedicated to us, from the time he walks into school to teach chemistry with the wit and verve of a virtuoso, to the time he leaves after practice, when most of us are finished with dinner. He is a man, a teacher, a friend who embodies the giving spirit of McQuaid, a friend we have been very privileged to know.”

Yet to say that Mr. Schaeffer’s influence and impact was felt only at McQuaid would be an understatement. In 1972, Mr. Schaeffer took over the golf program, as only the third head coach in the program’s history. What followed was a 28-year coaching tenure that redefined high school golf both at McQuaid and throughout
Section V. At the helm of the then City-Catholic League, he created a scoring system that allowed for both match and medal competition and ushered in a new era of golf in Section V.

A true man for others, Mr. Schaeffer is steeped in the tenets of Jesuit education and his enduring devotion to his students, student-athletes, and colleagues runs deep. His academic knowledge, his personal care and concern for his students, his quick and endearing wit, and his dedication to all things McQuaid is a legacy that will endure for all. Accordingly, the student body honored Mr. Schaeffer with both the dedication of the Accolade and the recognition of Teacher of the Year during his years at McQuaid Jesuit. It is therefore, most appropriate, that this
stoic gentleman of conscience, competence, and compassion is honored tonight forward as a devoted educator and true gentleman with his induction into the Knights of the Round Table.