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Young Alumni Thanksgiving Tradition

A night to remember! Yesterday, nearly 150 high school age alumni joined our current eighth graders and several faculty and staff for one of my favorite Saint David's Thanksgiving traditions, the Young Alumni Chapel and Dinner. It was incredible demonstration of camaraderie and brotherhood among our younger alumni.

Early in the evening, which was organized by Assistant Director of Development John Dearie '95, we held dedications for the Class of 2017 and 2018 legacy gifts, both related to our expansion. The Class of 2017's was the restoration of the Graham House Mosaic. The Class of 2018's, the new Eighth Grade Commons, which the boys named Il Duomo and was dedicated in memory of Rovena Kilkeary.

The boys packed the Chapel to hear the Chapel talk given by Fernando Guimaraes, who graduated in 2010. Fernando focused on the importance of self-discipline, hard work, and integrity; sharing that despite mistakes he may have made when younger, the lessons and values of Saint David's helped him get back on track.

"In order to go back to the good man Saint David's taught me to be, I needed to be disciplined, I needed to work hard, and Saint David's set me up for this," he said. He embraced that mindset, was admitted to Brown University, and graduated with a degree in philosophy and history.

Honest and forthright, Fernando told the boys they would be challenged, that their choices and decisions matter, and that it is far too easy to get distracted. He urged them to stay focused: "Ask yourself who it is you want to be and work hard to be that person, a man of integrity." Fernando gave all of the boys in the Chapel wise advice, all the more potent coming from a fellow Saint David's boy,  just a few years their senior.

Over the delicious dinner that followed Chapel, our eighth graders were able to talk to young alumni at high schools they are interested in attending.

To close the event, Student Council President, Paul-Alexander L. '18,  presented Save the Children with the check from the Class of 2018's fundraising efforts in support of Saint David's Kalina School in Ethiopia.

Thanksgiving is about taking the time to express gratitude and recognize one's blessings. I am grateful for the exceptional faculty and staff who dedicate themselves to our boys every day, to our committed and loving parents, and our inspiring student body. Last night, I was particularly grateful for the fine young men who returned to their newly expanded school to attend Chapel and break bread together. Ut viri boni sint. Happy Thanksgiving!


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