Our school was founded by Archbishop Alexander Christie and opened for business in 1901. But from the first Archbishop Christie thought the school should be in the hands of educational specialists and so brought Holy Cross religious to Portland from Notre Dame, with the result that in 1902, Rev. Michael A. Quinlan, C.S.C. became the second president of Columbia University. The first team from Notre Dame was Quinlan, Fr. William Marr, C.S.C., Fr. Patrick Carroll, C.S.C., and Brother Wilfred Schreiber, C.S.C. Marr and Carroll stayed two years, through 1904. Fr. Quinlan was succeeded by Fr. Joseph Gallagher, C.S.C. in 1906. Bro. Wilfred stoked the furnaces and ran the heating plant until 1933, when blood-clots and phlebitis side-lined him at the age of 60.
Over three decades, Bro. Wilfred’s ministry was dedicated, behind the scenes, invisible. The understated tribute in the student newspaper announcing Brother’s retirement (shown here at the bottom) defines once more the particular and human meaning of a life given in consecrated religious friendship. The students’ words, printed on PAGE ONE, show Bro. Wilfred present in the awareness of the students, who know his name, his humor, and his devotion. Our second exhibit is the only extant photograph of Bro. Wilfred, near age seventy.