Tom Owens ’54 is the embodiment of the Leo High School motto: Facta non Verba. Deeds not Words.
Through the Owens Foundation, Tom is one of Chicago’s most generous citizens. He supports a variety of charitable endeavors, most notably the Cara Program, which provides job training, clothing and other resources for the poor and the disadvantaged to get back on their feet and become productive, self-sufficient citizens. In September, the Streetwise Foundation honored Tom as one of the 20 Most Inspirational Chicagoans, rare recognition for a man who prefers to do his good works behind the scenes.
But the honors keep coming. Tom has long been one of Leo’s most loyal and generous supporters, and the school recognized him as such with a Lifetime Achievement Award at its third annual Scholarship Benefit on Tuesday, Nov. 27, at the Four Seasons Hotel downtown.
“Tom is a truly deserving recipient for all he has done on behalf of Leo,” school President Dan McGrath said. “We’re delighted that he has chosen to accept, because he’s a hard man to honor. Tom is as humble as he is generous and never seeks recognition for his good works.”
Tom joins Andy McKenna ’47 and Bill Conlon ’63 as recipients of Leo’s highest honor.
“My dad has never been one to call attention to himself, but this award is very special to him because the work at Leo is very important to him,” said Julie Owens Burns, Tom’s daughter and colleague at the Owens Foundation.