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Peace and Light

At the Annual Alumni Christmas gathering last night attended by more than 140 alumni, alumni parents, and faculty, I was reminded of how much I love this time of year. This week, after the terribly disturbing events of last Friday, we have all been living in the shadow of something we can't possibly understand. This is when the healing power of community is so important. Saint David's theme this year is 'true community' and drawn from our mission's subsequent words, it is defined as 'compassion' and 'kindness'.  Celebrating Christmas together tonight as a true community, a symbol of peace and light, is an antidote to violence illuminating somewhat the shadows cast.

In celebrating community, the school also gathered to celebrate one of our own, an alumnus who has expanded and promoted that definition of community.

Jamal Lucas, Class of 1992, was named Alumnus of the Year in recognition of his global economic initiatives. Mr. Lucas' aim is to use superior agricultural food security technology to contribute to government policies for medium-term sustainable economic growth in emerging markets across the globe. Among his several endeavors, Jamal is the executive director of the non profit Hip Hop for Humanity, whose warning about illegal diamond mining in Sierra Leone led to a Grammy award winning song. His initiatives include organics and Jamal is a Good Will Ambassador of the Mayara School in Rundu, Namibia.

Mr. Lucas is also the youngest recipient of the school's Alumni Award. Upon acceptance of the award, Jamal thanked the school and the Alumni Council under Arthur (Sam) Samuels '84 and Alberto Acosta '71, for honoring him. "I am overwhelmed with the opportunity to represent the school." He expressed how his having attended Saint David's had expanded his world and enabled him to forge new friendships. And Jamal, as Tully McLoughlin '03 did in his Thanksgiving Chapel Talk, referenced the school's imperative to share one's gift, to give back, noting that through his work on global initiatives in Africa he is "quite simply giving an opportunity to others who may not be able to come to an institution like Saint David's."


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