James A. Fitzsimmons, III, KM
President, Malvern Retreat House
James A. Fitzsimmons took seriously his parents teaching that we are here on this earth to know, love, and serve God. With the help of the Sisters of Saint Joseph at St. Columba grade school and the priests and lay teachers at Roman Catholic High School, Jim has lead a life of doing just that -- living for God and his fellow man.
The youngest of three boys of Walter and Elizabeth Fitzsimmons, Jim was born on January 24, 1950. He was a good student, a devoted son, a loving brother to Skip and Jack. At one time, Jim thought God was calling him to the priesthood, so he enrolled in St. Charles Seminary, earning both a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy and an additional three years of theology courses and religious formation. But God had other plans for Jim; in 1974 he became a teacher.
Jim began his career at Calvert Hall College High School in Baltimore, Maryland while earning a Master's Degree in Education from Loyola College in 1981. He served on Loyola's faculty and was appointed Dean of Students in 1983. Jim enjoyed a variety of positions at the high school and college level including his time at St. Mary's Seminary, Maryland, and locally at Cabrini and Immaculata Colleges. He spent most of his life working in the heart of Philadelphia, at Temple University. Jim joined Temple in 1988 and was quickly involved in every aspect of student life, becoming Dean of Students. During his tenure, he oversaw a budget of $42 million and a staff of 150.
While Jim was taking care of students, he continued his professional development working on Middle States Accreditation Teams, developing diversity programs, serving on the American Council on Alcoholism and the Jesuit Association of Student Personnel Administrators (JASPA) boards. Not only was he a leader in education, but he was dedicated to serving the community.
Jim returned the favor by serving his high school Alma Mater as both vice president and president of the Alumni Association and as a trustee and member of the leadership council. He said, "thank you" to the Sisters of Saint Joseph by chairing the Development Advisory Board and raising millions of dollars for their community. Jim has also reached out to children from many walks of life by joining on the boards of La Salle Academy and the Boy Scouts of America and as a mentor for students at St. Michael's school and project H.O.M.E. His work has extended from the young to the aged by helping out at St. Ignatius Nursing Home.
Jim is proud of being inducted into the Philadelphia CYO Hall of Fame and the American Association of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta. He is a new member of Legatus. Also, dear to his heart is his connection to the American Catholic Historical Society where he has served as a member of the Board of Managers and as President.
With all of his hard work and professional excellence, Jim holds his family high in his heart. His brother, Skip says of him that he is the one who keeps them all together. He is truly the Patriarch of the Fitzsimmons family.
His parents would be so happy; all who know him are delighted by his selection as the recipient of the Commodore John Barry Award. Congratulations! James A. Fitzsimmons, III, KM.