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Press Release 101513

Press Release

October 15, 2013Contact:  Gregory Floyd                 973 984-9600       


Walter and Irene Crum, who together have committed more than 50 combined years to education, will be honored by the Tri-County Scholarship Fund (TCSF) at its 32nd Annual Awards Dinner on October 28, 2013.  In an interview with TCSF’s President Gregory Floyd, the Crums share their views on education and demonstrate why they are being honored for their commitment.

Walter and Irene Crum have spent most of their careers teaching at Oratory Preparatory School in Summit, New Jersey.  Walter joined the faculty of Oratory after graduating from Farleigh Dickinson University in 1974.  For 35 years, he taught all levels of Chemistry and Physics (and even Health and Physical Education when needed).  For the past six years, Walter has served as Director of Development and Alumni Relations at Oratory, spearheading a $10 Million capital campaign designed to improve facilities and make more scholarship money available to needy students.  Walter also served as the Student Council Advisor for 25 years, moderated an early club ice hockey team, coached basketball and received the Outstanding Teacher of the Year Award in 1994.  His annual ski trips around the world have become part of Oratory lore.

Irene is also a Science teacher.  She came to Oratory after four years at Union Catholic High School in Scotch Plains.  Mrs. Crum received a B.S. in Biology from St. Peter’s College in 1975, and completed her Comprehensive Science K-12 N.J. Certification in 1976.  She has taught Science, Math and Religion courses in her many years in education. 

Walter and Irene’s commitment to education isn’t limited to the classroom.  They have raised four sons, all of whom attended Oratory.  They are blessed with two granddaughters and a grandson, who they hope will one day enter the Oratory Class of 2026!

“Tri-County is proud to honor Walter and Irene Crum for their many years of dedication to education and commitment to Tri-County’s mission to help bring quality education to our area’s neediest children,” said Gregory Floyd.

The Interview

In an online interview, Walter and Irene shared some of their wisdom gained over a combined 50 years of dedication to education as teachers and parents:

Question:  Having spent many years personally involved in the education of young people, what do you believe are the most important goals in K-12 education?

Walter and Irene:  “We believe the most important goals involved in a quality K-12 education are: 

  1. Learning how to think

  2. Learning right from wrong

  3. Developing  a true moral compass

  4. Becoming responsible

  5. Knowing how to give 100% in whatever you do

  6. Providing an excellent academic experience while allowing for the full expression of faith and values.”

Question:  How have you witnessed the difference that quality education can make in the life of a child?

Walter and Irene:  “When a young person starts off life with a quality education, we have seen how doors open: to numerous career possibilities, to leadership roles in communities and corporations, to vocations in our Church and in a willingness to give back through service.  In the environment of an excellent school, we have seen so many students grow academically, spiritually and socially as they are given the freedom to develop their talents.”

Question:  What are you most proud of in your tenure at Oratory Prep?

Walter and Irene:  “Two things come to mind:

1 – that we were able to live out our vocation and still raise a family of four sons while continuing to work in Catholic schools; and

2 – that so many of our students were recognized by our state for their knowledge of science, and by other local academic competitions in religion, academic bowls and tournaments.”

Question:  What attracted you to Tri-County? 

Walter and Irene:  “We first learned of Tri-County while Irene was teaching at St Vincent DePaul in Stirling.  We were very impressed by the student recipients we met at one of the TCSF dinners, and by those who supported them.”

Question:  Finally, what words of encouragement would you give to TCSF recipients and their parents who struggle to overcome challenges to obtaining a quality education?

Walter and Irene:  “As a parent, the best gift we could give our four sons was a faith based education.  We are happy to report that all four still go to church and are involved in their faith and in their communities.  Parents, the price is high and we also have to give 100%.  It took us 2 jobs to make it happen.  Reach out to relatives, look into scholarships or get a second job and pray for Divine guidance.  You CAN do it!  Recipients, get a job during the summer, read as much as you can, stay up late until your homework is done.  Get involved in school’s activities.  Work with your teachers, and pray for help from our Creator.  We are so happy to see you use your gifts and talents!”

The 2013 Awards Dinner

To hear more from Walter and Irene, please attend TCSF’s Annual Dinner on October 28, 2013 at the Hanover Marriott.  The TCSF Annual Dinner seeks to raise $800,000 to provide hundreds of scholarships for some of the area’s neediest children. 

Since its founding in 1981, TCSF has provided more than $20,000,000 in scholarships to thousands of the neediest children of Morris, Sussex and Passaic Counties.  The majority of these children come from families that live at or below the poverty level.  Scholarships are awarded on the basis of financial need and help students of all races, religions and backgrounds to attend private schools in grades K through twelve. 

For more information about TCSF or the Annual Awards Dinner, for interview opportunities or to make a donation, please contact Gregory Floyd at (973) 984-9600 ( or visit Tri-County’s web site at


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