Mater Dei Prep Announces 2020 Gala Date, Honorees

Mater Dei Prep will hold its signature fundraiser, the Seraph Strong Gala, Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020, at the Sheraton Eatontown Hotel in Eatontown, New Jersey. The annual event brings together alumni, current students, family and friends who support Mater Dei Prep's tradition of excellence in education and commitment to Catholic values. This year's event honors Kathryn McLaughlin (MD '72) and Robyn O'Neill Begley (MD '73).

Robyn Begley, DNP, R.N. is chief executive officer of the American Organization for Nursing leadership and senior vice president and chief nursing officer of the American Hospital Association. She leads key initiatives involving workforce development, quality and safety, and future care delivery models. For 35 years she worked for AtlantiCare Health System in Atlantic City, New Jersey, the region's largest health care organization, and for the past 20 years served as vice president of nursing and chief nursing officer.

She has over 40 years of experience in multiple areas of health care and administration and has served in leadership roles for state and national professional organizations. She has worked in Massachusetts and New York in maternal and child health. She was recently honored with The University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey School of Nursing Visionary Leader Award.

Robyn received her Bachelor of Nursing from Georgetown University. While working as a clinical nurse and raising a family, she obtained her Master of Science in nursing at Widener University in Chester, Pennsylvania and her Doctor of Nursing Practice at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey in Newark.

While at Mater Dei, Robyn was a member of the National Honor Society, student government and multiple clubs and committees. She was a cheerleader for four years, a two-time captain and a varsity letter recipient.

Robyn will receive the Seraph Excellence in Leadership Award.  This award identifies leaders in our community whose entrepreneurial vision was the catalyst for transformational growth in their field.  As an executive leader, Robyn leads a membership organization of more than 10,000 nurse leaders whose strategic focus is excellence in nursing leadership.

Robyn is married to Jim Begley (MD '73) and is mother to Christopher, Marisa, and Jessica and a grandmother of four.


Kathryn (Kathy) McLaughlin, Esq. (MD '72) is a founding partner and principal of McLaughlin & Wilshinsky, P.C., in New York City. For the past 25 years she has represented clients in civil litigation matters; employment disputes; real estate transactions; family law and estate matters; and general legal counseling for businesses. 

She was one of the founding members of the Mater Dei Prep Board of Trustees, assisting in the formation of the school by developing the by-laws and other documents for the new governance structure, including charters for various organizations. She was also chair of the Academic Development Committee and a member of the legal affairs and policies and procedures committees. In the fall of 2018, Kathy co-founded the Women's Leadership Initiative which serves the young women of Mater Dei Prep by providing positive leadership models, mentoring and advocacy for women's sports and programs at the school.

Kathy and Cathy Daniels (MD '79), chair of the Kevin Attridge Memorial Committee, recently collaborated in a major fundraiser, the Attridge/Women's Leadership campaign.  Thanks to a team of dedicated volunteers and generous donors, the campaign raised $240,000 – including a $100,000 matching gift from Don Froude (MD '74) - in support of the Attridge Scholars and Women's Leadership programs.

Kathy has spent her career volunteering for myriad causes, including the Thurgood Marshall Junior Mock Trial Program, the Gay Men's Health Crisis in the 1990s, and as a pro bono attorney for families of 9/11 victims.

Kathy received her bachelor's degree in English and Journalism from the University of Delaware and earned her law degree from the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law where she was Supervising Editor of the Cardozo Law Review. Prior to becoming an attorney, Kathy worked for WPLJ-FM Capital Cities/ABC, Inc. in New York, where she spent nearly a decade in marketing, sales and management.

While at Mater Dei, Kathy served as a leader of the Student Council and contributing writer for The Seraph, the student publication.  Kathy is proud mother to her son, David, and sister to Mater Dei alumni Skip McLaughlin (MD '74) and Susan McLaughlin Mayer (MD '77).

Kathy will receive the Frank Outwater Lifetime Achievement Award.  This award identifies those selfless individuals who have worked behind the scenes, without expecting recognition, to ensure others in our Community are helped to overcome obstacles.  It also recognizes how one has leveraged their Mater Dei Prep experience, including curricular, extracurricular and a Christian value system for outstanding achievement in their personal and professional life.


The 2020 Seraph Strong Gala features online, silent and gift auctions; cocktails and dinner; and entertainment by Joe Rapolla (MD '79). With only 350 available seats, this event will sell out quickly. All journal advertisements must be submitted by Jan. 28. To help honor Kathryn McLaughlin and Robyn Begley for their commitment to Mater Dei Prep, consider attending this year's event, sponsoring the Seraph Strong Gala or advertising in the gala ad journal.

For more information about the gala or to sponsor the event or place an advertisement in the journal, please visit the gala event page or contact Jen DeBiase, Director of Advancement Operations, at