Marywood University Honors Jim and Cathy Gavin for Inspiring Social Justice

Marywood University’s Eighth Annual Community Leadership Celebration, Inspiring Social Justice, took place on Thursday, June 10, 2021, and honored Jim and Cathy Gavin of Scranton.

Nearly 300 people gathered at the Motherhouse and Seminary Morgan Memorial Garden to celebrate as Marywood proudly bestowed the Lead On Award to Jim and Cathy Gavin, honoring them for their community leadership, their selfless work for the benefit of Marywood students and the greater community, and for making our area a better place to live, work, and raise a family.

Guests of the event were welcomed by Richard McLane, bagpiper. Entertainment was provided by Isabella Snyder ’22, student vocalist, accompanied by Stephen Murphy, pianist and vocalist. Barbara Cawley ’63 and Mary Ellen Coleman ’68, served as committee co-chairs of the event.

Funds raised at this year’s Community Leadership Celebration (CLC) exceeded $325,000. To date the CLC has raised nearly 3 million dollars. Marywood University’s CLC event provides special support to Marywood students. Proceeds from this year’s event, as in the past three years, will support the President’s Innovation Fund, a fund that supports Marywood students through initiatives that enhance the academic experience in the IHM tradition.

The Gavins have had a lifelong relationship with the Congregation of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, beginning in grade school at Chapel and Holy Rosary schools in the 1950s. This relationship has flourished over several decades.

Mr. Gavin graduated from the University of Scranton in 1971, following three years of active military service. He earned graduate degrees in Social Work and Management from Marywood in 1973 and 1985. A professional social worker, Mr. Gavin worked in the behavioral health field for 47 years in clinical as well as management positions. He recently retired after 21 years as President/CEO of Community Care Behavioral Health Organization, a UPMC insurance company, and is currently a Senior Advisor to executive leadership. Elected to Marywood University’s Board of Trustees in 2014, Mr. Gavin is a member of various committees serving as Treasurer and Chair of Finance since 2016.

Mrs. Gavin began a lifelong career in the restaurant business at Stirna’s Restaurant in 1967. After a short stay at The Scranton/Lackawanna Human Development Agency she returned to her true passion, Stirna’s Restaurant. In 1980, with the support and assistance of a friend and attorney, she purchased the business and remains its sole proprietor today. During the next 40 years, Mrs. Gavin began and managed what is today a thriving catering business. She also negotiated and managed the food service contract for Lackawanna College. In 2008, on the 100th Anniversary of Stirna’s Restaurant, and with the help of her son, Michael, she totally renovated the West Market Street facility. Today, the restaurant and catering business continue to thrive under their management and supervision.

During Jim and Cathy’s fifty years of marriage, their focus has been on family, church, and community. They have two children, Kate and Michael, and two grandchildren, Gavin and Grace. They are proud members of the Gavin/Walsh families, who are collectively committed to the missions and work of the IHM Congregation.

Together, Mr. and Mrs. Gavin are active on numerous boards dedicated to the health and welfare of the citizens in Lackawanna and Allegheny counties.

To learn more about Marywood University’s Annual Community Leadership Celebration, please visit, or call (570) 348-6238.