Skip to main content


Last week's Spring Gathering began with a Chapel talk given by Stephanie Berardesca, former longtime assistant to Headmasters Hume and Maiocco, and current Assistant to the Board of Trustees.

Stephanie's Chapel honored personal heroes of Saint David's; people who, by embracing their profession and calling, have had great impact on others. One was former teacher Bill Ryan, a humble and erudite man who inspired so many of his students, including a graduate who, years later, dedicated his doctoral thesis to Mr. Ryan because, "he had never had another teacher who had influenced him more than his fourth grade teacher."

Of our former longtime Chaplain Monsignor Thomas Leonard h' 06, to whom we dedicated the Chapel, Stephanie said: "In Monsignor Leonard’s attitude and commitment, his patience and love for those of us in his flock, I would say that there are probably more than a few whose lives have been personally and deeply impacted by the attention of this one man, and that this impact was felt not only when they were young men, but into their adult years as well."

Chapel was followed by a Graham House tour for all of the alumni and alumni parents present. So many of our alumni community were amazed by the new spaces and marveled at how their alma mater was evolving.

The evening concluded with the Dedication of the Chapel--the heart of Saint David's--which is the only space in our school untouched by the construction project. Msgr. Leonard expressed how joyous it has been for him to serve Saint David's, noted how integral the boys teachers are in their lives, and called upon the alumni present to fulfill the school's mission by effecting positive change in the world.

I loved seeing our alumni community together again, and all of the reunion classes, particularly members of our very first graduating class, the Class of 1958, who traveled back to Saint David's to mark their sixtieth anniversary.

It was an exciting, energizing evening for all of us; a reaffirmation of Saint David's values, and a celebration of the past and future of this great school.


Popular posts from this blog

An Evening With Lidia Bastianich

On Tuesday evening, Lidia Bastianich, award-winning chef, restaurateur, television host and author, visited Saint David's to speak to the Saint David's Alumni Parent community and current Eighth Grade.

Interviewed by Alumni Parent Dr. Joseph Haddad for our Alumni Parent Council Lecture, Lidia recounted her youth in Istria when the once Italian peninsula shifted to communist reign after World War II, her two years spent as a refugee in Trieste, and her experiences after her family immigrated to America when she was eleven years old.

The boys were fascinated with her discussion about her family's escape from Istria and her life as a refugee and immigrant. She expressed her everlasting gratitude to the people who provided assistance to her family in Trieste and when they first arrived in New York. "I can't talk enough about the goodness of the people who helped us," she said. "I am where I am because of them."

As a highly successful person with…

Navy SEAL Bill Berrien '82 Gives Chapel on Service to Saint David's Boys

Former Navy SEAL and Saint David's Alumnus Bill Berrien '82 fascinated all during his Chapel Talk Tuesday morning to our seventh and eighth graders.

A SEAL for nine years, Bill was a member of two platoons in South America as well as part of a Joint Special Operations unit. He shared his SEAL Trident with the boys, talked about the intensity of training, and noted he remains close to many with whom he served.

Connecting his service to the values that Saint David's espouses, he encouraged the boys to always be students--curious throughout their lives, to find the best in everyone, appreciate setbacks, and to learn from failures. In the video above, he addresses the first.

He closed by planting these "seeds" for our boys to consider: that life is a journey to be embraced broadly with openness to a variety of opportunities; being a service leader is of utmost importance; the unknown should be embraced; and, finally, that the boys be their own best friend, compassi…

Saint David's Father and Son Dinner Featuring Mark Whitaker

Our annual Seventh Grade father and son dinner provides the opportunity for seventh graders and their fathers to share an evening exploring what it means to be a good man, the relationship between parent and son, and other mission-related themes.

The speaker at this year's event was author, journalist and media executive Mark Whitaker, who spoke about his memoir My Long Trip Home, in which he delves into the story of his family, in particular, his father. The son of a bi-racial couple who wed in 1956 (a time when interracial marriages were still illegal in some states), Mark spent many years estranged from his father, a brilliant African Studies scholar who struggled throughout his life with alcoholism.

Later, they would reconcile, but it was only after his father had passed away that Mark realized he wanted to write a book about this man who had had a groundbreaking career despite all his problems, and try to understand him better. Ultimately, the process deepened Mark'…