Pete Frates '03
“There are so many layers of heroism within Pete’s story. He is an amazing role model of resilience, perseverance, inspiration and servant leadership. His family is a model of how people come together to support one another. Today is a testament to how much we believe that Pete exemplifies what we want our students to emulate in their own journey,” said St. John's Headmaster Edward Hardiman, Ph.D. announcing Pete as St. John's Distinguished Alumnus in September 2017.
A three-sport standout in football, baseball, and hockey at St. John's Prep, Pete Frates went on to Boston College, where he played four years in center field and captained the BC Eagles as a college senior in 2007, graduating with a bachelor’s degree in communications. His life changed in March 2012, when he was diagnosed, at the age of 27, with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease).
Determined to find something positive in his diagnosis, Pete galvanized his family and friends to join him in raising awareness about ALS. He went on to spark a cultural phenomenon by popularizing the Ice Bucket Challenge, which went viral on social media during the summer of 2014. He ultimately inspired unprecedented fundraising in the search for a cure. Multiple charitable initiatives in association with “Team Frate Train” and Pete Frates #3 have raised more than $220 million worldwide.
The Frates family’s connection to St. John’s runs deep with a legacy that includes Pete’s father, John '76, and his brother, Andrew '06.