The Brother Rice Alumni Association is pleased to announce their selection for the 2018 Alumnus of the Year Award. Jerome ‘Cap’ Malczewski ’81 will be honored on Friday, May 11, 2018, at the annual Senior-Alumni Luncheon at Oakland Hills Country Club starting at 11:30 a.m.
“Cap,” as everyone knows him, was chosen for his modesty, humbleness, selflessness and constant service to his teenage high school roots. In addition to dedication, loyalty and the positive impact he’s had and continues to have on students every day, he embodies the pillars of respect, integrity, character and excellence in a uncanny way, in fact, it’s almost as if this award was named after him.
Malczewski grew up on the east side of metro Detroit and attended St. Anne’s in Warren, MI. In 1981, he graduated Brother Rice High School and ranked seventh in his class, participating in wrestling (two-year captain), football, and baseball. Outside of athletics, he was also in the National Honor Society and achieved National Merit Scholar Semi-Finalist status.
After graduation, Jerome entered the United States Military Academy and promptly distinguished himself as the first member of the Class of 1985 to undergo right knee reconstruction surgery at West Point’s Keller Army Hospital two weeks into Cadet Basic Training.
Despite spending half his Plebe year on crutches or in knee rehab, he managed to earn a class rank of 23 out of 1500 classmates and status as a Distinguished Cadet (top 5% of the class). At West Point, most cadets are given 3 or 4 major leadership assignments during their four years at the Academy. Malczewski had the good fortune to have been given eight such assignments, which he attributed to the great academic and leadership development he experienced at Brother Rice. Cap reminisced, “I wasn’t any better than my West Point classmates, just better prepared for the demands of Academy life because of what I learned from Brother Rice.”
Malczewski graduated from the United States Military Academy in 1985 and was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant in the armored cavalry. The cavalry’s job is to venture out a few miles in front of the main line of friendly forces, find the enemy, and then tell the good guys what the bad guys are doing. It’s the combat version of being a spy while trying to stay inconspicuous in a 63-ton, 12-ft high M1 tank.
Jerome met his wife Linda at West Point, and they’ve been married for 33 years. Linda is an Academy graduate and followed her grandfather’s footsteps, who graduated from West Point in 1931, served on General Patton’s 3rd Army staff as assistant G-4 (supply), and retired from the army a Brigadier General. Jerome jokes, insinuating “Linda went to West Point to earn a commission in the Army, and I went there to find a wife!”
Malczewski has had the honor of leading combat soldiers in the 304th Tank Brigade, the 2d Armored Cavalry Regiment, and the 12th Cavalry Regiment. When he first reported to the 2d Armored Cavalry, he was given concurrent assignments as both a scout platoon leader and mortar section leader. The cavalry and mortar soldiers he had the privilege commanding, set United States Army – Europe records for Bradley Fighting Vehicle gunnery proficiency and Mortar Combat Readiness testing. Jerome left the military service at the rank of Captain. During his time in the army, he attended Airborne School, the Infantry Mortar Platoon Course (Honor Graduate), the Armor Officer Advanced Course, and the Combined Arms and Services Staff School (Honor Graduate).
After retiring from the army, Malczewski worked for Procter & Gamble in oral care sales (Crest, Scope, Oral-B toothbrushes). Ultimately, he was promoted to Associate Director of Oral Care Sales. He noted, “P&G is a great company, but I left the organization because the company and I could not reach an agreement regarding what constituted “outside the box” thinking. That’s a nice way of saying P&G did not like any of my ideas. I take great comfort in the fact that many of those ideas, which “did not fit in at all with the company’s philosophy” 18 years ago, are now part of P&G’s standard operating procedure. My wife still works for P&G (she’s an engineer with the company), so I am able to stay informed about company news.”
For the past 17 years, Malczewski occupies his time by being part of the Brother Rice football staff and writing books. Actually, the ‘s’ in books is overstating things just a bit; he’s completed only one book thus far, Evendale: The First Fifty Years, which was a minor work chronicling the history of a small town just north of Cincinnati, OH. The book won the Ohio Historical Society Book of the Year Award in 2001, but he doesn’t brag about that too much because he thinks he may have won a one-horse race.
While serving as manager for the football team, Jerome has lived in Cincinnati, Ohio, Cape Girardeau, Missouri, Boston, Massachusetts, and his current location – Gerrardstown, West Virginia. During his time in Boston, he became the Senior Warden of the Old North Church vestry, which despite its status as a National Historic Site and an icon of the Revolutionary War, is still an active church. He was also a member of the Board of Directors of the Old North Foundation, which is the secular/historic organization responsible for the preservation, fundraising efforts, and education programs of Old North Church.
Jerome’s work with the Brother Rice football team began in 2001. On average, he attends about 80% of the team’s games each season and contributes in whatever way he can – filling water bottles, fixing equipment, having honey available for the team at halftime, cleaning the locker room, the list goes on. He also likes to send (what he hopes are inspirational e-mails to the players almost every day during the season) messages that are centered on a particular theme (determination, teamwork, courage, etc.) and designed to get the boys properly motivated and focused for that week’s game.
Looking over his travel and e-mail records indicate that since 2001, he has logged over 150,000 travel miles getting to/from Brother Rice (over 6 trips around the equator), served 120 pounds of honey to the team, poured approximately 1,600 gallons of water and Gatorade, and sent nearly 1000 e-mails to the boys in service to the great tradition that is Brother Rice Warriors football. Also noteworthy, Malczewski has participated in almost 96 Agility Drills sessions, most recently in early March of this past year. He manages to complete the drills, but he’ll tell you, “it’s currently mid-April, and I am still trying to recover from them!” He added, “I’ve also had the honor and privilege of being part of four Michigan state championship teams, two state runners-up, and 6 Catholic League championship teams.”
The Malczewski’s have one daughter, Katherine, who is a doctor and Air Force Captain stationed at Keesler Air Force Base in Biloxi, Mississippi. They also have a granddaughter, Charlotte, who is 17-months old.