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Young Alumni Chapel and Thanksgiving

Last night the Chapel overflowed with our boys and several of their teachers for the Young Alumni Chapel and Dinner,  a Thanksgiving tradition that has grown tremendously each year since its inception in 2006.

Alum Chris Landry '06 delivered the Chapel talk to the gathering of our eighth graders,  alumni who are currently in high school, and faculty and staff. Chris, a graduate of Regis and currently a first-year medical student at Columbia, focused his talk on the uniqueness of a Saint David's education. 

Recalling a favorite Latin class he took while at Saint David's, he recounted an exam in which the teacher asked the boys not only the expected questions related to vocabulary or the readings of ancient philosophers, but to write an essay that would,  "relate the Latin we learned to the six virtues of Saint Davids: scholarship, spirituality, balance, action, order, and aesthetics."

He noted the value in such an exam question, which asks the student to really think and connect what he is learning in a discipline to bigger issues or values.  He also observed how rare it is for schools and other institutions to place such values at their core; and that our school-wide theme for this year deliberate moral introspection is a call "to look inward and also outward." This entails reflection on "the aspects of ourselves that are good and what's not so good, what could be made better," so that "ultimately we make ourselves and others better." For as Chris observed, what is of most importance is not the major goals achieved in a life, but how we live our daily lives: "Every moment of your life matters."

These wise words from our alumnus speaker provided much fodder for all to ponder as we later headed down to Hyman Hall to share in a delicious pre-Thanksgiving meal. During dinner, last year's Student Council President Kevin K. '15 presented a check to Save the Children's Cheryl Anderson for the fundraising work his class led in support of the Saint David's School in Kalina, Ethiopia.

To top off a wonderful evening, Teacher Tom Ryan announced that this year our boys collected enough food during our Thanksgiving Food Drive to pack a record 252 boxes for delivery this morning.

As we enter this Holiday Season, and with each successive year, I find myself growing ever more grateful and appreciative of our collective blessings.

We are fortunate to be surrounded by boys who thirst to learn, moms and dads who strive to nurture, teachers who yearn to inspire, a community that commits to those in need, and a mission that encourages boys to aspire to be good men.

I have come to realize that life is a gift.  It’s important to live it, enjoy it, celebrate it, and fulfill it and most important of all, we are to be thankful for it.


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