A great man is one who collects knowledge the way a bee collects honey and uses it to help people overcome the difficulties they endure - hunger, ignorance and disease!
- Nikola Tesla

Remember, remember always, that all of us, and you and I especially, are descended from immigrants and revolutionists.
- Franklin Roosevelt

While their territory has been devastated and their homes despoiled, the spirit of the Serbian people has not been broken.
- Woodrow Wilson

Tom Jurich

By Sandi Radoja

[This article originally appeared in the American Srbobran, April 5, 2017]

LOUISVILLE, KY – On an unseasonably hot February day, Tom Jurich welcomed us to his third floor office on the campus of the University of Louisville. We were 2-1/2 hours early, but his door swung open wide despite our inability to jump time zones correctly.

Born and raised in Southern California, Tom Jurich of SNF Lodge #95-Lovcen-Los Angeles, was apologetic for the heat as if it was his fault. “We don’t turn the air conditioning on this early,” he said, an explanation we already heard from his receptionist who called her desktop fan her “new BFF.” We were immediately at ease, and the friendliness of the entire office far outweighed the heat.

It was Mercia Martich of Northridge, California, who sent us in the direction of the Tom Jurich story initially. She said he was a SNF member and someone to hoot about, adding, “He is not only successful, but a fine gentleman and a family man, too.”

Jurich is the son of Lynn Jurich and the late Steve Jurich, of St. Steven Serbian Orthodox Cathedral in Alhambra where Tom was active as an altar boy, Sunday school student, and basketball player representing his parish at many SNF tournaments. He graduated from Arcadia High School participated in sports. “It was a great place to grow up,” he added. “Now, my Mom lives about three miles from us and it’s so good to have her here.”

We asked if he missed Southern California. “Not a bit. I loved it then, but I love it here. This is home.” And it is obvious he is firmly entrenched in his surroundings, fitting in like a native son.

As Athletic Director at the University of Louisville, a position he has enjoyed for two decades, he was named Kentuckian of the Year in 2013. He is credited with taking the university on the long road of acceptance into the Atlantic Coast Conference by way of Conference USA and the Big East. Many credit him with the success that the Cardinals enjoy today.

He has been described as the architect that has enabled the school to reach once unimaginable heights with an athletic budget that is the envy of many. The financial boost comes almost entirely from private funding. Walking around the campus, athletic facilities are decorated with the names of donors who have happily succumbed to Jurich’s charm and answered his appeals. He gives most of the credit to his son Mark who serves as senior associate athletic director of development.

Included in his many accomplishments during his tenure was a partnership with the City of Louisville and the State of Kentucky for a 22,000-seat arena where the men’s and women’s basketball teams compete.

He came to Louisville after working as athletic director at Colorado State University and Northern Arizona University. At NAU, he played football as a kicker. “I was with the Pittsburgh Steelers for about 20 minutes,” he said with a laugh. Jurich was a 10th round draft pick. His NFL career was brief, to say the least, but his life was just beginning.

He stayed at NAU as athletic director (1988-1994) then had the same job at Colorado until accepting the Louisville position in 1997. He began his full sweep with changes to the coaching staff that he perceived as being in the best interests of the program and the university. “Every coach on staff today is someone I hired.” Kentuckians and alumni think of him as a visionary. He was inducted into Kentucky’s State Sports Hall of Fame in 2006.

With the new blood came an abundance of victories, the greatest of which is not in any individual sport but in the unprecedented growth of the entire athletic program. On the Cards’ website it says, “Louisville has enjoyed some of its most dynamic eras on the playing field, and more importantly, has seen a complete transformation of the athletic department’s infrastructure that has improved not only the image of the athletic department, but the beautification of the entire campus.” In return, the grateful university answered the unprecedented growth with an unprecedented contract extension. Louisville is most certainly home for the Juriches until at least 2023.

Some of the capital improvements under his tenure include the completion of the Dr. Mark and Cindy Lynn Stadium, a state-of-the-art $18.5 million facility for men’s and women’s soccer, an expansion of softball’s Ulmer Stadium, a $4 million expansion of Jim Patterson Stadium, the seating capacity expansion of Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium, $14.5 million Thornton’s Academic Center of Excellence, and the relocation of the basketball program for men and women to the downtown 22,000-seat KFC Yum! Center.

Having said all of this, and considering how much more we haven’t even mentioned, one has to wonder what Jurich himself sees as his greatest accomplishment. It’s his family.

His wife Terrilynn is a former Miss Wyoming. They have four children: Mark who is married to Lainey, Brian who is married to Melissa, and twin daughters Haley and Lacey. They also have grandchildren Jay Ryan, Thomas Jack and Remington. “This is what it’s all about,” he says pointing out their pictures, front and center on the credenza. The walls are covered with celebrities and coaches and sports greats, but the grandchildren’s pictures are the ones to which he points. Those are front and center.

From start to finish, we weren’t in his office for more than an hour. But, the level of energy is so high it was as if we spent the entire day together. We thanked him again for allowing us to barge in so early. He was a gentleman and actually turned it around saying that we did him a favor. “With this weather forecast, it’s 80 today and will be 50 tomorrow, we have a big storm heading our way. They moved up the start of the baseball game, so this worked out perfect.”

The way he managed to make me feel as if I did him a favor was rather a reflection of his entire life. He is so eager to please and doesn’t seem to want to stop until he gets to the point where he can say, “This worked out perfect.” So much of what he does and touches works out perfect.

Good for him. Good for everyone.


People Directory

Marina Arsenijević

Marina Arsenijevic (arson-nee-vitch) is the international award-winning pianist and composer, star of the Emmy-nominated Public Television program, “Marina at West Point: Unity through Diversity” which has been broadcast to more than 160 Million viewers with over 350 airings by PBS Stations all across the country. Marina created the program and performed with the 120 member joint ensemble of the West Point Band and West Point Cadet Glee Club. The Concert was recorded LIVE at West Point’s historic Eisenhower Hall and will be broadcast all across the country through 2014.

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Publishing

On Divine Philanthropy

From Plato to John Chrysostom

by Bishop Danilo Krstic

This book describes the use of the notion of divine philanthropy from its first appearance in Aeschylos and Plato to the highly polyvalent use of it by John Chrysostom. Each page is marked by meticulous scholarship and great insight, lucidity of thought and expression. Bishop Danilo’s principal methodology in examining Chrysostom is a philological analysis of his works in order to grasp all the semantic shades of the concept of philanthropia throughout his vast literary output. The author overviews the observable development of the concept of philanthropia in a research that encompasses nearly seven centuries of literary sources. Peculiar theological connotations are studied in the uses of divine philanthropia both in the classical development from Aeschylos via Plutarch down to Libanius, Themistius of Byzantium and the Emperor Julian, as well as in the biblical development, especially from Philo and the New Testament through Origen and the Cappadocians to Chrysostom.

With this book, the author invites us to re-read Chrysostom’s golden pages on the ineffable philanthropy of God. "There is a modern ring in Chrysostom’s attempt to prove that we are loved—no matter who and where we are—and even infinitely loved, since our Friend and Lover is the infinite Triune God."

The victory of Chrysostom’s use of philanthropia meant the affirmation of ecclesial culture even at the level of Graeco-Roman culture. May we witness the same reality today in the modern techno-scientific world in which we live.