Andrew Klein was posthumously awarded the John Carroll School’s second Medal of Honor at the school’s Black and Gold Gala last month, which raised $100,000 for a new grant named in Klein’s honor.
“We are forever grateful to Andy for all he did to make the world — and John Carroll — a better place, and can think of no one more deserving of our highest honor,” John Carroll President Steve DiBiagio said. “Once a Patriot, always a Patriot.”
Klein, 65, of Forest Hill and president of Klein’s Family Markets, was killed March 11 in a 12-vehicle accident on Route 24 near Ring Factory Road. Seven-year-old Tripp Johnson, a second-grader at William Paca/Old Post Road Elementary in Abingdon, was also killed.
A ShopRite tractor-trailer slammed into nearly a dozen cars along a stretch of Route 24 before coming to a stop near Ring Factory Road and bursting into flames. The driver, Carloo Watson, is scheduled to stand trial on charges of negligent manslaughter in January.
The Medal of Honor is presented to “an outstanding individual who epitomizes The John Carroll School’s mission and values and has given of his or her time, talent and treasure to the school over multiple years,” said Kathy Walsh, director of strategic marketing and communications for John Carroll.
It was first was presented in 2017 to longtime faculty member and coach, Ed Miller.
Klein was chosen March 6 to receive the award; he died five days later, before the selection committee could tell him the honor would be bestowed on him, Walsh said.
As a student, Klein was an athlete, singer and performer, a member of the SGA and business manager of The Patriot newspaper.
He worked at the school for several years as business manager before joining the family supermarket business and in 1985 received the Rev. Charles K. Riepe Alumni Award, the highest award an alumni can receive.
Klein served on the board of trustees from 1996 to 2002, chairing the Finance Committee and serving on the Development Committee, where he was instrumental in the capital campaign that brought the fine arts wing to the school.
One of Klein’s most notable contributions to the school was his vision for the school’s Holocaust Remembrance program, Walsh said.
It started in 1994 with an offer to fund, through the Ralph and Shirley Klein Foundation, a trip for all seniors to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. It was done in conjunction with their reading of Elie Wiesel’s memoir, “Night.”
Over 25 years, the program has expanded to include Holocaust Remembrance Day, when survivors share their stories at school with students; Lessons of the Shoah, which brought nearly 500 students and teachers from across the state to the school; and a genocide awareness event.
John Carroll Director of Advancement Susan Butcher Roarty said Klein, a 1971 graduate, was “grateful, proud and involved," gave back to his alma mater and paid it forward to future generations.
“This evening is our chance as a school community to say thank you to a great man and pay it forward. We have the opportunity to honor his legacy, his vision and drive to make the world a better place. We can show our gratitude for his commitment to John Carroll,” Roary, a 1995 graduate, said at the gala.
“As we saw time and time again, here at John Carroll and throughout Harford County, Andy was proud to be the first to show his support for a cause he believed in. He was eager to give, but it didn’t stop there. He would encourage others to join him. If Andy were here tonight, he would be the first to raise his hand and say ‘Count me in!’ and then he would challenge each of us to do the same, to make our own gift to benefit the faculty and students of our great school.”
The new Andrew P. Klein Memorial Peace and Justice Grant is an endowed grant that honors the legacy of Klein and his passion and commitment to tolerance, peace and social justice, Walsh said.
The grant will be awarded, by application, to a John Carroll faculty or staff member for professional development that will enhance the peace and justice initiatives of The John Carroll School and “continue the work of this extraordinary alumnus,” she said.
The first grant will be awarded at the end of this school year.
Mr. Klein’s daughter, Sarah Klein, a 2001 graduate of John Carroll, said she was “astonished” that $100,000 was raised in one night alone for the grant.