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Alumni Profile

Thomas J. Vincent

Thomas J. Vincent, SF ’68

Board Member, Father Ray Foundation

  • Board member, advisor, and benefactor to the Father Ray Foundation for disenfranchised children in Pattaya, Thailand
  • Established the Thomas J. Vincent (1968) Fellowship Fund to support minority student graduate education at MIT Sloan
  • One of the few MIT Sloan Fellows alumni not to hold a bachelor’s degree or equivalent

Tom Vincent is not Catholic. He is not from Thailand. He is a skilled turnaround man, taking management control of failing business corporations to make them, and himself, profitable.

There is no obvious reason for him to be a key benefactor to the Father Ray Foundation, a portfolio of Catholic—managed children’s homes in Pattaya, Thailand.

But he is.

A member of the board of directors and an advisor to the organization, Vincent first visited Pattaya in 1989 when he heard about the orphanage, vocational school, and school for the blind Father Raymond Brennan had established. Vincent was in Thailand on business and dropped in to introduce himself to Brennan, who gave him a tour.

“Kids began running up to us and hollering his name, Paw Ray (‘Father Ray’ in Thai),” Vincent said. “I thought to myself right then and there, ‘This is not a movie set. They had no idea I was coming. It was not pre-announced.’ You know, ‘This is real stuff.’”

“I thought, ‘These kids really need help here,’” said Vincent, who now lives in Thailand and Hawaii. “Because, my goodness, some of their histories would just give you chicken skin all over.”

That year, Vincent established the Thomas J. Vincent Foundation to provide youth rehabilitation and education. The foundation has since founded, among other projects, the Thomas J. Vincent (1968) Fellowship Fund to help minority students pursue graduate education at MIT Sloan. Vincent started the fund in 1993 with a $100,000 down payment. Fellowship grants are made annually, “no strings,” to usually two students.

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