Mr. Gregory J. Rubino is a Cathedral Preparatory School alumni. In 1964, another year of eighth grade students were running around frantically, worrying about where they would be going off to high school, but for a young Greg Rubino, it was an easy decision. “My family was very Catholic, and there was no discussion allowed. My father told me I was going to Prep, and that was it.”
He graduated from Cathedral Prep in 1969, continuing his education and attending Gannon University. Shortly before Rubino was scheduled to graduate, he dropped out, never graduating from the university. “I left school with six credits to go because I had a disagreement with a faculty member,” he said. Overcoming his choice to leave school, Rubino began a career in real estate development, sales, and management, in which he eventually launched a firm, Passport Realty, LLC. That is where he focuses much of his “free” time as well, stating, “Work is my hobby.”
In high school, Rubino would wake up each day, get dressed for school, and make his way out the door of his Upper West Side home, where he would then walk, hitchhike, or, when he was lucky in the winter, catch the bus. After cruising through the first half of the day, the bell would ring for lunch. Rubino and his crew would hit the halls in search of, “whatever we could get a freshman to hand over.”
Once lunch dismissed he would make his way to his favorite class of the day, Latin, with Fr. Domenico Sarro, “[He] was a genius! He made us love an obscure language!” Finally, as the week came to an end, and Friday afternoon rolled around, it was time for students to let loose and for everyone to get pumped up the football game. It was Rubino’s, among many other students’, favorite memory at Prep: “Friday football rallies!” After sending off their jolted athletes to their respective athletic events, the students would pack the stands to watch their brothers bully other teams on the field. The Cathedral Prep athletics, similar to how they are often referred to nowadays, were both “proud and dominant” in every sport.
During his Senior Year, as the end of the year was beginning to close in, the seniors decided to attempt a class prank and continue on the tradition. When asked for the details of the prank, Rubino stated, “[I] can’t tell you; it’s been a secret for 45 years and must stay that way. Suffice it to say that an entire class of students had detention for several Saturdays, but not one student ratted out the perpetrators. It wasn’t illegal, but it was quite a prank. It gelled our class more than anything I can remember,” he continued. “Just recalling it today made me laugh out loud.”
Today, looking back on his past, Rubino is proud to call himself an alumni of Cathedral Prep. There is something different about this school. When asked what has stuck out the most from his time at Prep, he said, “The camaraderie amongst the student body.” In his time at Prep, Rubino took away some important information,that would lead him in preparation for the rest of life; “I learned Latin at Prep, and I use it every day in the legal documents I read and prepare,” Rubino said. “I learned math and geometry at Prep, and I use it every day in my real estate business. I learned to type and write at Prep, and I use it every day.” He used what he learned at Cathedral Prep as the structural foundation on which he built and achieved success, “I learned discipline at Prep, and it’s been the mainstay of my business career.” When asked if anyone had been an inspiration at Prep to get where he is today, he did not say anyone by name, but added, “I would be remiss if I did not mention the dedication of the priests and nuns for whom education was a vocation, not a job.”
As the interview came to a close, I asked Mr. Rubino if he had any advice for the students of Cathedral Prep, specifically the graduating class of 2015. He said, “Yes, but the school won’t like it. A quote from Calvin Coolidge: ‘Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not: nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not: the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.””