Parents of Stephen ’13 and Spencer ’18, Steve and Marybeth Bisson have been longtime supporters of Xaverian, dating back to Steve’s time as a student.
“I’m the person I am today because of Xaverian,” says Steve, retired chairman of the board at Constar International, Inc., in Norwood. A self-described “wise-guy from the inner city,” Steve came to Xaverian in fall 1963 because his mother thought he needed discipline. “The Xaverian Brothers had a reputation for being strict—but also for providing solid academics. I managed to get both: a great education and a nice blend of Christian values,” says Steve.
The youngest of seven children, Steve grew up in Roslindale, where his parents held multiple jobs to support their large family. “They both worked so hard,” he recalls. “We were latch-key kids before the word was fashionable.” Steve thrived in the firm- but -nurturing, atmosphere at Xaverian and formed wonderful relationships with some of the brothers. “Many of them made a profound impression upon me. I literally saw Christ at work through these men.”
After time at Stonehill College and the Air Force reserves, Steve landed a job in the electrical construction industry. “I learned from the ground up. I started by driving a truck and getting coffee,” says Steve. He eventually entered a formal training program and worked his way up at Broadway Electric in Boston.
In 1976, Steve took a chance, went out on his own and founded Consolidated Electrical Services. His gamble paid off. After obtaining his MBA from Northeastern University, he renamed the business Constar International. Constar became the 18th largest electrical/telecommunications company in the country, with over $200 million in annual revenues.
In addition to his financial success, Steve is a dedicated volunteer. He’s been a member of the Xaverian board of trustees, and, most recently, arranged for upgrades to the lighting systems at Xaverian, placing almost 85 percent of the school building lighting on motion sensors, which has significantly lowered the school’s electric bill.
Steve’s wife, Marybeth, has also been a constant source of support to Xaverian, regularly providing help with everything from co-chairing the annual gala, serving as co-chair on the auction committee, and speaking with new incoming parents. “I can clearly see the difference Xaverian has made in both of my son’s lives. This school teaches them to think beyond themselves and encourages them to care about others while motivating them to be the best they can be,” says Marybeth.
When asked why they give back to Xaverian, the Bissons explain, “Xaverian changes lives for the better. We want to be a part of that by contributing to the school.” Called to Lead: The Campaign for Xaverian recently benefited from the Bissons’ generosity with a significant gift.
“Our hope is that this gift will help further the legacy,” says Steve, “and that Xaverian will continue to put inner-city boys like me on the right path.”