Why I Wanted to Pay It Forward
Jim Shrode believes his good fortune began when he left St. Joseph's Home for Boys and attended Cretin High School instead of Boys Town, Neb.
"A wonderful, loving Catholic couple, who eventually adopted my brother and me, made it possible to receive a Christian Brothers education," Jim says. "These were seminal events in my life."
After graduating from Cretin in 1954, his family moved to Washington, D.C., where he attended Catholic University of America. While at CUA, he signed a contract to pitch for the Washington Senators. For three years, his time was divided between baseball and trying to finish his degree.
After an injury, Jim realized a professional baseball career was not meant to be. He graduated from CUA and went to work for IBM and later GE as a computer systems engineer.
In 1970, he married his beautiful wife, Kieko Okada Shrode, and founded Intercon Systems Corporation, a software and systems company whose principal customers were the Department of Defense, the intelligence community and the aerospace industry. Intercon expanded throughout the United States and Europe, and in 1985, Jim sold Intercon to a major corporation. He remains involved in an asset management business that he formed after he sold Intercon.
Jim and Kieko enjoy their lives in Southern California and are proud to boast about their daughter and their two "gorgeous" granddaughters.
To honor the memory of Jim's parents, the Shrodes have established the Irvin and Mary Shrode Scholarship Endowment at CDH. "Our annual gifts fund the endowment, and we have informed the school that we have remembered it in our estate. We aim to help needy CDH students benefit from a fine Catholic education the same way I did more than 50 years ago. This is our way to pay back for our good fortune."
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