TMF Hawks

Travis Manion Foundation at the Prep
Since 2014, the mission of the TMF Hawks is to cultivate virtues-based leadership in every student at the Prep. Inspired by Travis Manion and his “If Not Me, Then Who” ethos, the TMF Hawks host programming (speakers, peer-led workshops, service events) that invites students to grow in their personal leadership style and practice. Every aspect of this mission honors those Americans who have made the ultimate sacrifice.

The Prep's partnership with the Foundation formed in 2014 particularly to honor Travis Manion and all those Americans who made the ultimate sacrifice in the wars on global terror in Iraq and Afghanistan. Since 2014, hundreds of Prep students have been inspired by Travis Manion's life and the military veterans who have worked with us to animate our call as virtues-based leaders in our local communities.
TMF Spring Leadership Academy Applications 

All sophomores and juniors are invited to apply to this spring’s
Travis Manion Leadership Academy!

Register Here

Email Ms. Cook with questions at

The Prep Celebrates Veterans Week
A Legacy of Inspiration
St. Joseph’s Prep Travis Manion Foundation
Since 2014, St. Joseph’s Prep has been developing leaders driven by the spirit of 1st Lt. Travis Manion, USMC--a 1999 graduate of La Salle College High School who made the ultimate sacrifice for his country in 2007 while serving in Iraq. The sentiment “If Not Me, Then Who” has been shared on t-shirts, banners, bracelets, and in the hearts of Prep students who have been inspired by Travis’s spirit, life of service, and selflessness. 

The mission of the Travis Manion Foundation Hawks (TMF Hawks) is to honor the fallen by challenging the living. Tirelessly led by English teacher Susie Cook since 2014, the TMF Hawks host a leadership academy each semester as well as seminars and workshops throughout the year in which they reflect on the importance of leadership, animating the virtues of integrity, personal responsibility, moral and physical courage, ethical decision-making, and humility. Patti Frey, Bryan Ghee, Katie Longto, Jenny Mars and Dominic Galante '03 have, in recent years, assumed co-moderator positions in the TMF Hawks to engage and support students in their journey of becoming Men for and with Others on an even greater level. 

Guided and mentored by veterans (many of whom are Prep alum, including Terrence Fenningham ‘00, Brad Adams ‘07, Brian McGrath '01, Dominic Galante '03, as well as Gold Star family members, active military officers and first responders, more than a 1,000 Prep students have graduated from the TMF Leadership Academies, Seminars, and Veterans Week and Leadership Week, serving as well across Philadelphia in the Foundation’s Operation Legacy service events. Ryan Manion, Travis’ sister and President of the Travis Manion Foundation, recently joined the Prep’s Mother-Son Communion Breakfast to share her gratitude to St. Joseph’s Prep for keeping Travis’ memory alive and developing leadership skills among our students. 

Manion reflected on her experience as a Gold Star sister after losing her brother. She described her grief process as a “jackhammer," running in the Marine Corps Marathon that fall, all while trying to suppress her grief through physical exercise and activities that diverted her attention away from her loss. Over the years, Manion has learned to replace that jackhammer with a "chisel"--tackling her struggles with a more tactical approach. Her work with the Foundation has taught her that building relationships, working with purpose, and being vulnerable are paramount in chiseling meaning out of loss and developing a resilient and inspiring life–in other words, “struggling well.”

Each year in November, our country honors our Veterans. At Prep, the TMF Hawks sponsors Veterans Week, holding myriad activities to hear  from veterans, learn about leadership, and honor their service and sacrifice. All Prep students and families are invited to participate in the TMF Hawks Veterans Week events and service projects to serve alongside our nation’s heroes. Inspired by Travis Manion's life and by others who heed the call to service, the more than 1,000 Prep students who have participated over the years in living the “If Not Me, Then Who” ethos are indeed inspired and inspiring. 

For more information on the Travis Manion Foundation, click here

List of 11 items.

  • Who was Travis Manion?

    Travis Manion was a standout scholar-athlete at LaSalle College High School who would go on to study and compete at the Naval Academy. A leader in the classroom and on the wrestling mat, Travis was a true “Man for Others,” putting the welfare of his family, friends and team before his own. As a United States Marine, Travis was known for his disciplined and courageous leadership, leading with integrity in small ways and often compromising situations. Before his final deployment to Iraq, Travis left us with a simple but powerful ethos. “If Not Me, Then Who...”—in other words, if I do not take on my duty to lead, those I am called to lead will suffer. This ethos of personal responsibility and service to others describes the sense of duty felt by American service members and their families—a daily, constant reminder for all of us to live with character and put the interests of others before our own (taken from for more; also read Brothers Forever for the full story of Travis and USNA roommate Brendan Looney).
  • What is the origin story of the Prep’s partnership with TMF?

    In September of 2014, Ms. Susie Cook met Ryan Manion, President of the Travis Manion Foundation and sister of Travis and invited her to speak to Prep students about Travis’ service and sacrifice. At the time, the Foundation was also interested in piloting a virtues-based leadership program that would pair students with military veterans trained as mentors by the Foundation in order to honor the fallen and build the next generation of leaders. Ms. Cook’s classroom became the space for this flagship effort. Eight years and 16 cohorts of the “TMF Leadership Academy” later, over 400 Prep students have graduated from these Leadership Academies, and over 40 different TMF mentors—all military veterans, Gold Star family members, and first responders—have facilitated this effort in honor of America’s fallen. The Prep continues to be the national model for TMF’s “Character Does Matter” programming.
  • Who are the TMF Hawks?

    To become a TMF Hawk, a student needs to graduate from the Leadership Academy or Leadership Seminar. The TMF Hawks pledge to commit themselves to developing their leadership practice and the leadership of all Prep students through leadership learning and service. The TMF Hawks facilitate peer-led leadership discussions; plan events like Veterans Appreciation Week and Leadership Week; and take charge of Operation Legacy Projects. Working to ignite Travis “If Not Me, Then Who” ethos into every Prep student through service experiences and workshops, the TMF Hawks are held to a high standard in the Prep community, as these Men for Others commit themselves to living out the virtues of integrity, personal responsibility, moral and physical courage, ethical decision-making, and humility in small ways on a daily basis.
  • What is the TMF Leadership Academy?

    Started in the Fall of 2014, the TMF Leadership Academy takes place in Ms. Cook’s classroom on Mondays after school from 3-4:30 p.m. The Fall Leadership Academy takes place from October to December; the Spring Leadership Academy takes place from late February to early May. Each Leadership Academy cohort involves 6-8 Monday sessions, 20-30 students, and 3-5 TMF Mentors. The Prep has welcomed TMF Mentors—veterans of every branch of the military as well as first responders and Gold Star family members—through its doors in order to facilitate workshops and discussions with TMF students on the complexities of leadership. Students who join this program range from having no leadership experience, confidence or identity whatsoever, to students who are already leaders of their clubs/teams and want to examine more deeply their personal leadership style. What does it mean to live with integrity? What sacrifice is involved when one acts in a morally courageous way? What are the nuances of ethical decision-making? These are a few core questions students and their mentors explore over the course of the semester in creative ways: case studies, for instance, are used to discuss ethical decision-making; Crossfit workouts are a tool to examine physical and moral courage; and a yoga session is a lesson in adaptability and flexibility. Students must attend each session as well as an Operation Legacy service event to graduate.
  • What is the TMF Leadership Seminar?

    Started in the Fall of 2020, the Seminar is for those students who cannot attend Monday sessions due to such conflicts as working after school or year-round sports/activity commitments. Students must present proof of this conflict upon applying. The Leadership Seminar, which runs once a year in the fall, involves 35-45 students in five Zoom sessions from 7-8 p.m. across Wednesday evenings in October and November. The Travis Manion Foundation lines up speakers—all trained mentors (and, as such, military veterans or family members of the fallen trained by the Foundation) for these sessions. Sessions involve conversation, Q and A, reflection writing and student sharing. TMF Hawks facilitate these conversations with the TMF Speaker. To graduate and become TMF Hawks, Seminar students must attend each session and complete the Operation Legacy service event and attend at least one Veterans Appreciation Week.
  • What are the TMF Workshops?

    TMF Workshops are facilitated by TMF Hawks on a weekly basis so that students can continue to discuss and develop their leadership. Activities involve peer-led viewing and discussion of seminal talks by America’s key leaders, for example. Workshops also involve guest speakers from the Prep network who have military and/or civil service experience. These guest speakers reflect on their leadership history and journey, reflecting too on their personal interpretation of Travis “If Not Me, Then Who” ethos. TMF Workshops take place in Ms. Cook’s classroom on Thursdays and Fridays across the year.
  • Who can participate in this programming?

    Sophomores and juniors are eligible for the Academy and Seminar. Students can participate in only one Academy or Seminar over their time at the Prep. Then they move onto their work in the TMF Hawks and TMF Workshops to continue their development. Meanwhile, all Prep students–freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors—are invited to participate in Operation Legacy events and TMF speaker events open to the entire Prep Community.
  • What is Operation Legacy, Veterans Appreciation Week, and Leadership Week?

    Operation Legacy is the name the Foundation gives to any service project that honors America’s fallen heroes. Anyone in the Prep community—alumni, families and students—can create and organize their own Operation Legacy events in their community. Details can be found on While Operation Legacy events happen over the course of the year in towns and cities across the country, there are two national Operation Legacy events, both on Saturdays–one on or around Veterans Day, the other on the Saturday closest to April 29th, the day Travis made the ultimate sacrifice in Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2007. The Prep thus joins a national effort on these two Saturdays of the year. To build context and inspiration for these Operation Legacy events, the TMF Hawks host Veterans Appreciation Week in November and Leadership Week in the last week of April. Each of these weeks involves guest speakers each day and events to honor the fallen, culminating in the Prep’s Operation Legacy project.
  • Who are the moderators of the Prep’s TMF programming?

    Ms. Susie Cook is the Lead Moderator of the TMF Hawks and the Director of the Partnership with the Foundation. Ms. Cook oversees all student TMF programming (Academy, Seminar, Workshops, etc.) and all communication between the Prep and the Foundation. Students interested in programming are invited to email Ms. Cook at TMF Co-Moderator Mrs. Patti Frey is the contact for Prep alumni and families. All military veterans and Prep families interested in supporting the TMF Hawks are invited to email Mrs. Patti Frey at The TMF Hawks also thank co-moderators Mrs. Jenny Mars, Mr. Bryan Ghee, and Mrs. Katie Longto for their inspired assistance.
  • What opportunities for family and alum involvement exist?

    The Prep’s programming with TMF is dynamic, organic, and multi-pronged. In short, it’s truly a team effort. Join us today as we continue to build America’s next generation of leaders and better communities together! Prep families and Prep alumni are invited to engage with this programming, through event participation—including Operation Legacy events—during Veterans Appreciation Week in November and Leadership Week in April. Families and alumni can find TMF updates in the Principal’s Newsletter and Prep alumni communications, and are also invited to contact Mrs. Patti Frey, Alum/Family Outreach Coordinator, for ways to engage in TMF at the Prep.
  • Who are the Prep's Fallen Heroes?

    John Spahr ’81

    Aloysius P. McGonigal ’40
    John J. Flood ’51
    Michael W. Doyle ’60
    Thomas Dineen ’61
    Thomas Weiss ’62

    William “Billy” Marshall Gaul ‘46
    William Joseph Tierney ’37  
    World War II
    Joseph J. Canning ‘23
    Joseph M. O’Malley ‘23
    John P. Hughes ‘25
    James Gallagher ‘32
    William Heenan ‘32
    William J. Devlin ‘33
    James Considine ‘34
    John P. Kelly ‘34
    Joseph E. Cann ‘35
    John E. Connor ‘35
    William J. Corr ’35  
    John A. Burns ‘36
    John J. McMenamin ’36  
    Paul Delaney ‘38
    Joseph E. Galbally ‘38
    Raymond E. Adams, Jr. ’39  
    Edward J. Agnew ‘39
    Donald A. Bath ‘39
    Joseph Carbine ‘39
    Walter F. Higgins ‘39
    Francis J. MacMurtrie ‘39
    Bernard F. Staub ‘39
    Howard L. Bondy ’40  
    John J. Gallagher ’40   
    Harry J. McDermott ‘40
    Francis Schrier ‘40
    John J. Schulke ‘40
    Karl J. Joerger ‘41
    Francis E. Stapleton ‘41
    John W. Hensler ‘42
    John T. McLoughlin ‘42
    Morris J. Herzstein ’43     
    Daniel W. Keough ‘43
    William F. McCauley ‘43
    Michael A. Cozzi ’44
    William J. McConnell ‘45

    World War I
    William Francis Gallagher ‘16
    Walter J. Wiegand (left school to enlist, was class of ’19)
    Edward Francis Bennis, Jr. (left school to enlist, was class of ’19)
    Walter Joseph Spearing (left school to enlist, was class of ’19)
    Francis Charles Logue ‘17
    George V. McIlhenny ‘14
    Charles P. McMenamy ‘16
    Thomas Joseph Fearn ‘16
    Richard J. Currie ‘15
    Earl John Grogan ‘16
    Jesse F. Entwistle ‘06
    Edward Maher (left school to enlist, was class of ’19)
    Harold A. Ryan (left school to enlist, was class of ’20)
    Frederick Cunningham ‘16
    Clarence J. Devlin ‘09
    Roger C. McNally ‘09

    Civil War
    Charles Brightly 1852
    Henry Allen 1857
TMF Mentors
All TMF Mentors are full-time professionals living and working the Delaware Valley: Terrence Fenningham ‘00 (Navy); Brad Adams ‘07 (USMC); Paul Fisher ‘99 (USMC); Tim Rigler ‘02 (Navy); Vince Ruiz (Army); Bob Craven (Gold Star Father); Fred Fife (NJ State Trooper); Josh Jabin (USMC); Jimmy White (Navy); Brett Adams (Army); Dale Wetherill (USMC); James Fitzgerald (USMC); Mike Shiavone (National Guard); Keith Palmer (USMC); Mike Lahiff (Navy Seal); Eric Adelsberger (Army); Shaun Black (Army); John Mosko (Gold Star Father); Charlie Elison (Army); Lydia Sandri (Gold Star Sister).
24 Students Graduate from TMF Leadership Academy
We talked about how being big in the little things makes you big in the big things, just like Travis."
Aidan Farkas '24
On Monday, May 2nd, 24 students graduated from the Travis Manion Foundation Leadership Academy. Over six Monday afternoons this spring, these young men in Cohort 16 learned leadership lessons from their TMF Mentors who volunteered their time to facilitate workshops and discussions on leadership virtues like integrity, ethical decision-making, and moral courage.

The Prep would like to thank this semester's TMF Mentors: Brad Adams '07 (USMC); Gold Star Father and United States Air Force Veteran Bob Craven GP '24; and Terrence Fenningham '00 (Navy). Brian McGrath '01 (USMC) gave the keynote address at the graduation ceremony, while Aidan Farkas '24 and Mike Ricci '23 shared reflections on what they learned this spring.

Congratulations to our Cohort 16 graduates--who are now officially TMF Hawks! Click here for a list of TMF Hawks.
About the Moderator
Ms. Susie Cook
-Liaison/Point Person between the Prep and TMF (a.k.a. Director of Partnership)
-Communications Director
-Oversees TMF Leadership Academy (Fall & Spring/Monday afternoons)
-Oversees TMF Leadership Seminar (Fall/Wednesday evenings via Zoom)
-Oversees TMF Workshops 
-Oversees TMF Hawks Captains
-Oversees Operation Legacy dynamics (November and April)
-Coordinator of TMF Mentors/Speakers (inside TMF network)
-Veterans Appreciation Week & Leadership Week Co-Coordinator
Ms. Susie Cook
Mrs. Patti Frey-Co-Moderator
-Prep Alumni Lead
-Prep Family Lead
-TMF Budget and TMF Fundraising Lead
-Coordinator of External Speakers 
-Internal Partnerships Coordinator 
-Hospitality Coordinator
-TMF Spirit Coordinator
-Operation Legacy Co-Coordinator
-Veterans Appreciation Week & Leadership Co-Coordinator

Mrs. Jenny Mars-Co-Moderator*
-Blue-Star Point Person
-Leadership Seminar and Workshop Assistant 
-Operation Legacy Assistant
-Creative Outreach
-Veterans Appreciation Week & Leadership Co-Coordinator

Mrs. Katie Longto-Co-Moderator* 
-Operation Legacy Co-Coordinator
-SJP WOD Organizer
-External Partnership Coordinator
-Mobile-Serve Coordinator
-Veterans Appreciation Week & Leadership Week Co-Coordinator

Mr. Bryan Ghee-Co-Moderator*
-TMF Northeast Regional Summit Support
-Veterans Appreciation Week and Leadership Week Support
-Event Space/Logistics Coordinary

Mr. Dominic Galante
-TMF Workshop Mentor

Mr. Bill Avington
-Social Media/Communications Support
TMF Hawks in Service
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