Letter from the President
To the St. John's Jesuit Community,
The 2015 graduation ceremonies for both the High School and the Academy were truly outstanding.
The High School valedictorian and salutatorian captured in their eloquence what it means to be Men for Others. From their very first exposures as new students to our Jesuit-inspired goals of what it means to be a Graduate at Graduation they shared examples of their Openness to Growth, their Intellectual Competence, their Religiosity, their Loving natures, and their Commitments to Doing Justice.
While the 180 seniors garnered over $18.2 million merit-based scholarships for their next academic steps, to a person assembled in the Stranahan Theater for the graduation celebration the most telling measure of the success of St. John’s Jesuit was hearing from the graduates themselves.
To the delight of his English teachers, valedictorian James Lazenby delivered his address in rhyming iambic pentameter. As he moved through his final stanza and we heard the word “inspire,” we knew he would conclude with that famous Ignatian instruction of “Go forth and set the world on fire!” James and several of his classmates are headed to The Ohio State University to do just that.
Salutatorian Matt Theis pulled from his wallet a card he and his classmates had received on their first day as freshmen. On it were printed the five goals of the Grad at Grad toward which all were to begin working. As Matt shared example after example of how his classmates embraced and achieved these goals I was deeply touched to witness what Fr. Pedro Arrupe, SJ, the Superior General of the Society of Jesus expressed in his 1973 speech to Jesuit alumni, “Today our prime educational objective must be to form men-and-women-for-others.” Matt and many of his classmates will demonstrate what it means to be Men for Others as they further their educations at the University of Michigan.
During the Academy graduation ceremony in the Chapel of St. John Berchmans, Mr. Mike Savona, Principal and Fr. Thomas Doyle, SJ spoke on readings from St. Paul to the Ephesians and St. Luke. They echoed James Lazenby’s poetic thoughts of moving forward to set the world on fire by making certain the 61 graduates display their lights on lampstands rather than beneath bushel baskets.
The value of a St. John’s Jesuit education was clearly in evidence as we celebrated the 241 graduates of 2015. We thank the families who honor us by partnering with us in the formation of their sons. We thank the thousands of our alumni who support and personify our mission in our local community and around the world as well. We praise the St. John’s Jesuit faculty for their unwavering commitment to guiding our young men to the attainment of the goals of the Grad at Grad. And we invite you to campus at any time to see for yourself the truly special community that is St. John’s Jesuit as we head into our 50th anniversary.
Michael R. "Mike" Truesdell, President
St. John's Jesuit High School & Academy