It began with the National Director Martha Murray, seeking an inclusive Catholic high school for her son Philip in 2007, found that there were none in R.I. Martha’s passion led to an anonymous donor and the establishment of the Options Program at Bishop Hendricken in Warwick, R.I. Tom and Terri Murphy were profoundly inspired by the work of the Options Program and they recognized the need to spread the gospel of inclusion to Catholic high schools and Catholic colleges nationally. The Tom and Terri Foundation, Pathways to Independence soon followed.
The Brother Thomas R. Leto Options Program opened its doors in 2008. Br. Leto recognized the need to educate ALL young men, and his vision provided students with mild to moderate intellectual needs the “option” of benefiting from a Catholic education. One year later…
Tom and Terri are a truly committed, philanthropic couple and the closest missions to their hearts are the ones that serve the needs of children. A retired businessman, Tom has most enjoyed serving on the board of Sarasota Great Kids and Terri is an award-winning costume designer and graduate of the Fashion School of Design.
Throughout their life together, the couple has served on numerous boards and committees that further serve the Catholic educational tradition as well as students with additional needs.
Tom & Terri Murphy
An encounter with Martha Murray at a Providence College awards celebration in June of 2013 led to Tom and Terri’s presence at the Bishop Hendricken annual Options pasta dinner celebration. The keynote speaker from the Options Program, Antonio profoundly impacted Tom and Terri. Antonio, a graduating senior, simply asked the question which to this day continues to infuse our Foundation’s mission, “where do I go next after this amazing high school experience?”
A master of donor relations and fundraising, Martha Murray has spent the last three decades working with organizations like the Diocese of Providence, the March of Dimes, and Women & Infants Hospital. Most recently, Murray was the Director of Development at Bishop Hendricken High School in Rhode Island, where she supported the establishment of the Options Program, which provides inclusive education at the high school level. The combination of her lifelong background in special education, commitment to Catholic values and work in philanthropy have provided her with the knowledge and experience to lead as the National Director of the Tom & Terri Murphy Foundation.