Two Cardinal Kung Students to Attend West Point

STAMFORD– Two students from Cardinal Kung Academy in Stamford will attend the United States Military Academy at West Point this fall after completing a rigorous application process.

Future officers Thomas V.I. Grimm, 18, of Ridgefield, Conn., and Kathleen Liberatore, 17, of Tuckahoe, N.Y., are members of a Cardinal Kung graduating class of just 23 students. They join roughly 1,300 cadets in the incoming West Point class of 2028. They will report to R-Day (Reception Day) on July 1.

Grimm received his nomination from Connecticut Sen. Richard Blumenthal while Liberatore received hers from New York Rep. Jamaal Bowman.

Grimm has had his sights set on West Point since he joined the Civil Air Patrol wing in Danbury, Conn., at 13. At the start of high school, he printed out the required “Steps for Admission into West Point” and taped it to his closet door. His parents saw military potential in Thomas from an even earlier age.

“Thomas was a determined fisherman at 5 and a pious and often officious altar boy at 7,” said his dad, Leon P. Grimm. “At 10, Thomas started making breakfast and school lunch for not only himself but for his 5 siblings as well.”

At around the same age, young Thomas told his mother, Nancy, that he had “decided to say yes and be obedient to any authority without hesitation or considering the inconvenience.”

HEADED FOR WEST POINT—Cardinal Kung Academy graduates Future officers Kathleen Liberatore, 17, of Tuckahoe, N.Y., and Thomas V.I. Grimm, 18, of Ridgefield, Conn., meet with Fr. Matthew Pawlikowski, chaplain of West Point.

“I think that attitude has helped him develop a rock-solid discipline toward everything,” Nancy added. To prepare for R-Day, Thomas has been lifting, running, and batch cooking chicken and rice.

The Liberatores have been attending West Point football games for years.

“When you step onto campus, you can sense the bigger meaning of the institution,” said Kathleen’s mother, Colleen. “It calls you to put the interests of others ahead of your own, and that’s Katie’s nature.”

Kathleen’s interest in West Point was solidified after attending the Summer Leadership Experience in 2023.

“It provided me a glimpse into the cadet lifestyle,” Kathleen said. “I discovered my love for the powerful combination of academics, physical exercise, and military training. I relished military days out in the field, calling cadences, playing intramurals, sharing family-style meals, and even waking early to be ‘on the wall’!”

The Liberatores credit Kathleen’s stellar academic and athletic record to her “classical Catholic education” as well as “avoiding all video games, social media, iPads, and iPhones until she received her driver’s license.” Colleen and her husband Angelo believe this upbringing created discipline but also made “books and athletics Katie’s natural outlet during her formative years.”

A small group of parents—including Nancy and Leon Grimm—founded Cardinal Kung Academy in 2018 with the full support of Bishop Frank Caggiano of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Bridgeport. Approximately 120 students are matriculated full time in 2024. The school follows a rigorous classical curriculum; the students read original texts and participate in seminar-style discussions. Latin is required for at least three years.

Cardinal Kung Academy is a college-preparatory junior and senior high school, offering a liberal-arts style program in the classical tradition with a rigorous, integrated curriculum. Through a community of exceptional faculty, committed administration, supportive families, and generous benefactors, the school forms students to be lifelong learners who thrive in college and adulthood. Students are committed to intellectual excellence, moral integrity, and service to others. Founded in 2018, it is accredited through the New England Association of Schools & Colleges

Cardinal Kung Academy, which prohibits students from using phones on campus, graduated its first class in 2021. It is located at 948 Newfield Ave. Stamford, CT 06905, (203) 329-8296 For further information visit: