Saint Paul’s President Brother Ray Bulliard, F.S.C. was diagnosed with stage 4 spinal cancer.
The announcement of his diagnosis was made to the Saint Paul’s populous on December 8, 2022.
Brother Nick Gonzalez, F.S.C. informed the Board of Trustees that he would be withdrawing Brother Ray from his duties as president on February 7, 2023. The board appointed former Saint Paul’s principal, Trevor Watkins, to act as interim president for the 2022-23 school year.
The board is presently considering new applicants for the position of Saint Paul’s president for the next school year and beyond.
According to NOLA.com, Mr. Watkins stated that the board is pursuing an individual who “understands the LaSallian charism and the unique culture of the Saint Paul’s community,” for the office of presidency.
Mr. Watkins addressed the student body during his first President’s Assembly on February 14, 2023. There, Mr. Watkins informed the student body that Brother Ray was about to begin his third round of chemotherapy. Fortunately, Mr. Watkins also revealed that while Brother Ray has suffered an immense amount of pain, his pain was subsiding, and he felt much better physically.
Brother Ray is currently living in the brother’s residence on campus. Throughout his treatment, Brother Ray is still showing the utmost concern regarding the happenings of Saint Paul’s and its students.
However, news of this diagnosis struck a despair-ridden chord across the Saint Paul’s community, including thousands of students, teachers, and alumni alike.
Brother Ray has dedicated himself to Saint Paul’s since 1977 and has worked tirelessly to mold the school into the special place it is today. In addition to serving the school as its president, Brother Ray also was regarded as one of the greatest principals and English teachers in the school’s 111-year history.
Countless alumni have fond memories of Brother Ray and appreciate his significant and profound impact on their Saint Paul’s experience. Alumnus Davis Neitzschman reflected on Brother Ray’s presence during his time at Saint Paul’s:
“A recollection of my Saint Paul’s experience would be incomplete without recalling Brother Ray’s presence. He is man who bewildered students with his ability to seemingly teleport across campus; he had an unmatched ability to remember names and birthdays of students. Brother Ray truly cared about every student on that campus. As my freshman year English teacher, Brother Ray helped me see my potential as a writer. His rich vocabulary and passion for Charles Dickens illuminated my own fervor in literature. He loves his students, loves what he taught, and above all loves living a life of service for the benefit of Saint Paul’s.”
The consensus among the Saint Paul’s community is that Brother Ray led by example; he embodies the Lasallian tradition. His presence on the campus was almost all encompassing, as he made sure every student felt seen and important.
The absence of Brother Ray is sure to be a radical change for the Saint Paul’s community. Almost every student at Saint Paul’s school in the last several decades has had some genuinely positive experience with Brother Ray. With his position relinquished, he passes on a monumental baton to whoever is to take the reins of the presidency.
On behalf of the entire Saint Paul’s community, we wish Brother Ray well in his recovery.