Published in the Spring/Summer 2018 edition of Jaynotes
“The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.”
We all appreciate the significance of the day on which we were born as we celebrate our birthdays each year. For many members of the Class of 2018, one of the most important days of their lives was May 24, the day they walked across the stage and received their Jesuit diplomas – the culmination of 4-5 years of hard work and, most importantly, of growth.
Certainly the Class of 2018 has grown in many ways over the past several years. They have developed in terms of competence, conscience, and compassion that has helped them to become men of faith and men for others.
Their intellectual competence is evident in their many academic achievements. This class produced 35 National Merit Semifinalists, 19 Commended scholars, and 5 National Hispanic Scholars. Several students achieved a perfect score on the ACT, and the class earned millions of dollars in college scholarships. There is no doubt that these young men have built an academic foundation that will help them excel in college and beyond.
The Class of 2018 also knows what it means to serve others. In his commencement address, Father Fronk reminded these young men that “You have already embraced your call from God to be of service to your brothers and sisters in need.” Father then recounted many examples of how this class has been of service to others. From raising money and collecting essentials for the victims of storms to helping to feed the less fortunate at Thanksgiving and Christmas, these Blue Jays showed that they have grown as true men for others.
Furthermore, these young men have developed into men of faith through their involvement and leadership with underclassmen retreats, student ministry, sodality, and much more. They have used their God-given gifts to excel on the athletic field, in various co-curricular competitions such as mock trial, quiz bowl, robotics, and debate, and in the arts through their impressive Philelectic Society and band performances.
But this class did not experience only success over the years. In his valedictory address, Garrett Crumb spoke of this class’s time here as “a journey full of exploration” that was not without challenges and failures. Crumb stated, “We have faced hardships on our path in challenging and unknown subjects, but our teachers taught us not to fear failing and even to embrace it as a means of growth.” I am confident that their failures will serve this class well as they continue to learn from their mistakes and grow into men of competence, conscience, and compassion.
And although graduation was a very important day in the lives of these young men, it is but a marker along the way as they continue to grow and to discover what Twain was referring to as the second most important day in their lives. Father Fronk emphasized this in his commencement address by telling the Class of 2018, “Each of you were created by our God to serve him in a unique way. You were formed for a particular mission given only to you.” This mission certainly entails serving others for the Greater Glory of God, and we are confident that their time at Jesuit has helped to prepare these graduates for all their future explorations.
Peter S. Kernion, M.Ed., ’90