Ramview A P U B L I C A T I O N F O R T H E A L U M N I, P A R E N T S A N D F R I E N D S O F F O R D H A M P R E P

Vol. 34. No. 2 Ramview Winter 2014 A P U B L I C A T I O N F O R T H E A L U M N I, P A R E N T S A N D F R I E N D S O F F O R D H A M P R E P Nothing which is done without joy can last. Very Rev. Father
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Vol. 34. No. 2 Ramview Winter 2014 A P U B L I C A T I O N F O R T H E A L U M N I, P A R E N T S A N D F R I E N D S O F F O R D H A M P R E P Nothing which is done without joy can last. Very Rev. Father Adolfo Nicolás, S.J., Superior General of the Society of Jesus Jesuit Father General Adolfo Nicolás speaks to the New York Province Jesuits in the Leonard Theatre On October 3, 2013, Father Adolfo Nicolás, S.J. visited Fordham Prep as part of a two-week tour of the United States. On campus, he met with his brother Jesuits, spoke with lay and clerical leaders of various Ignatian works, and celebrated Mass in the University Church. Father Nicolás visit was notable for a number of reasons. First, it s not every day that the Black Pope visits the Bronx. Especially if he s the old boss of the gentleman that now serves as the White Pope. But much more importantly, he used his presence and his words to inspire the living mission that is Fordham Prep. Father Nicolás is fluent in six languages and his message in English could not have been any clearer: it is an honor to serve others, a responsibility we should assume with joy. Whether as students performing Christian service or as alumni creating financial aid, we engage these works with excitement. It is in this work, this service, that we can find lasting happiness. In Evangelii Gaudium, Pope Francis writes that an authentic faith... always involves a deep desire to change the world, to transmit values, to leave this earth somehow better than we found it. As we read in this Ramview of the collective service of the Fordham Prep family, we consider how have we engaged our own work? What can we make better? To reflect the words above from Father Nicolás sermon at Fordham, how have we enjoyed our own engagement in this continuous process? This June, I will complete nine years of service on the Fordham Prep Board of Trustees. It has truly been an honor. I would encourage anyone who has interest in engaging Fordham Prep from a Board perspective, or from any other perspective described in these pages the arts, the Endowment, basketball, service, ice hockey, whatever to simply start. Just begin. And don t stop. You will find some of what Father General described. A.M.D.G. John F. Neary 87 Chairman, Board of Trustees In this Issue: Liam Neeson Speaks to Students on the 20th Anniversary of Schindler s List Bastianich & Friends Endowment Launched at Del Posto Daniel Neeson 15, Liam Neeson, English Department member Lynette Scallion, Father Devron, Bob Gomprecht 65 Donnie Walsh Court Dedication Fordham Prep Partners with Mark Messier and the Kingsbridge National Ice Center Over $1.3 Million Raised for the Patrick S. Joyce, Jr. 88 Scholarships By Lynette Scallion The first time I saw Schindler s List was days after it opened in December I knew I had not just seen another movie about the Holocaust. This was an important film with a poignant message, one that I would share with my high school students in Maryland, one that I wanted to share with all of my students for the next twenty years. This was not just an event to watch the film. I wanted to ask Liam Neeson how he prepared for such a demanding role. In early September 2013, I saw an article on the Internet about commemorating the twentieth anniversary of Schindler s List. I drafted a proposal for Mr. Gomprecht requesting that we dedicate one instructional day to watching the three hour and sixteen minute film and then invite Mr. Neeson for a Question and Answer Forum. I contacted Mr. Neeson s personal assistant and received a response within a few days. Imagine my reaction when I read Mr. Neeson accepts your invitation to participate in a Forum. The mere idea from 1993 was becoming a reality in 2013! This event took over two months of planning with many s, phone conversations, and one meeting with Mr. Neeson s assistant. The greatest obstacle was his backto-back filming schedule. Once the dates were confirmed, the juniors watched the movie on Monday December 16. I wasn t sure how our boys would respond to a twentyyear-old black and white film; however, the attentiveness and focus in the theatre was palpable. For the next three days, the boys commented on how they had a better understanding of the brutality of the actions committed against Jews in the concentration camps. On December 19, the juniors gathered in the theatre first to hear long-time Chairperson of the Fordham Prep Fine Arts Department Marilyn Honigman s story of how her parents survived the Holocaust. She discussed her paintings about teaching the Holocaust through her art, as well as showed her son s short film where he interviewed his mother for her memories of her parents. It was during her presentation that I felt a shift in the boys perspectives. Suddenly, we weren t watching a film about the Holocaust. We were hearing a daughter s poignant story of her parents survival in a concentration camp in Poland close to the one depicted in the movie. When Mr. Neeson came on stage to answer my questions, I expected him to be much like his characters: aggressive, serious, and committed to justice. Instead, I was having a quiet conversation with a humble, thoughtful, sometimes humorous man about the characters he plays in his movies. As he addressed my questions and those of the boys, I think everyone noted how he never quickly answered any question. He reflected and responded with purpose and thought. He shared with us how the first scene that was filmed outside Auschwitz was when (Continued on page 4) Around the Prep Chaplain s Corner Made in the Image of God By Rev. Donald Devine, S.J., Chaplain Fordham Prep Faculty Chaplain, Fr. Donald G. Devine, S.J., passed away on December 26, 2013 after celebrating his 80th birthday with his fellow Jesuits. His Chaplain s Corner columns have been a wellreceived part of Ramview. We can think of no better way to pay tribute to Father Devine than by printing this column, which he submitted in early December. Requiescas in Pace, Father Devine. I would like to begin by sharing with you a lovely observation/reflection on Genesis 2:18-24: Woman was not taken from man s head to be ruled by him, nor from his feet to be trampled upon by him. Rather, she was taken from his side to walk beside him, from under his arm to be protected by him and from his heart to be loved by him. (Gordon Higham) God saw from the very beginning that Adam needed another being like himself, someone with whom to communicate and share himself fully emotionally, intellectually, spiritually and physically. He needed another person he could really get to know and be known by at the very deepest level of his being through mutual selfdisclosure. Today, as we walk the streets and ride on buses, we see people constantly checking their cell phones to see if anyone called or texted them in the past ten minutes and looking visibly depressed and lonely if no one has. With , we have direct, instantaneous communication with people almost anywhere in our world. But chatter and data sharing are not enough to give us real, lasting satisfaction. We want, need more than that. Jesus views marriage as husband and wife living in unity and interdependence, a symbol of restored creation, an image of God s original plan for Adam and Eve, man and woman in union as a mirror of the mystery of God. Mark s gospel has a story about Jesus holding a child. For Jesus, the child is a symbol of both non-domination and the need for care that should characterize married and all human relationships. Jesus, the unmarried prophet, holds children in His arms and blesses them, an enduring image of God s delight in the fruitful gift of marriage. When I am privileged to witness and bless a marriage as representative of the Church, I always tell two stories. The first is that every couple needs three bones in their bodies: a backbone, a wishbone and a funny bone. I elaborate on the importance of each depending upon what I know of the couple. The second story goes like this. In the next to last line in Eric Segal s Love Story, the author writes: Love is never having to say you re sorry. NONSENSE! What love really means is that I have the faith and trust in my beloved that when the times come to say I m sorry, (as they will in every human and married life), I know that I shall be forgiven. That s what true love is all about. A third story that I may add in the future would go like this. In Beauty and the Beast, the girl didn t love the beast because he was beautiful. Instead, she restores his humanity and makes him beautiful because she loves him. Jesus does the same thing in becoming truly human, one of us in all things but sin. He restored our humanity, made us beautiful by loving us. As St. John tells us: This is love not that we loved God but God first loved us, 1 John 4:10. The purpose of any relationship is for us to help others become the-best-version-of-themselves and for others to help us become the-best-version-of-ourselves. This is the glue of intimacy that it intended to bind together all relationships, especially those of husband and wife. If I have rambled a bit, that s alright love is not always logical, it doesn t always write in straight lines with wellreasoned thoughts. In fact, love is intended to be creative, to mystify, to be a source of wonder. THANKS BE TO GOD! 2014 Wall Street Forum Monday, May 12, 2014 at 12 noon THE YALE CLUB 44th Street and Vanderbilt Avenue The speakers will be Kevin Parker, founder, and Mark Messier, CEO and NHL Hall of Fame member, of the Kingsbridge National Ice Center. The transformation of the Kingsbridge Armory, in the Kingsbridge section of the Bronx, into the Kingsbridge National Ice Center will be completed in The facility will be the largest ice center in the world. To follow the project s progress, you can like the Kingsbridge National Ice Center s Facebook page - https://www.facebook.com/knicnyc. Kevin Parker Mark Messier 2 Ramview / Winter 2014 From the President s Office The President s Report Dear friends of Fordham Prep, You may be surprised to see the second edition of Ramview arrive so early in your mailbox. This is intentional: we sped up our publication deadline so we could send this issue to the several hundred students (and their families) who have been accepted into the Class of 2018, beginning as freshmen in the fall of To those young men and their parents: Congratulations! We hope this issue of Ramview will give you a greater sense of why, for generations, young men have found a sense of belonging and purpose here at Fordham Prep. Since arriving on campus in August, I have been truly inspired by the commitment of our faculty and staff to the mission of Jesuit education a mission to set the world aflame for God s greater glory and the help of souls (St. Ignatius Loyola). In fact, this mission has had a lasting impact on our alumni, who continue to set the world on fire. God s greater glory and the help of souls are reflected in the lives of men recognized at this year s Hall of Honor Dinner men like Col. Robert Gould Shaw Ex 1854 and Matthew O. Fitzsimons 76 (see p. 12). Col. Gould commanded the only all-black regiment during the Civil War. Shaw s courage and commitment to equality were portrayed on the big screen by Matthew Broderick in the Oscar-winning 1989 film Glory. Matthew Fitzsimons contributions, though more unheralded are arguably as impressive. Matt is the founding principal of Grace Academy, a middle school for girls from low-income backgrounds who reside in inner-city Hartford. Through Matt s efforts at Grace Academy, students many who may have otherwise been neglected by a failed educational system have achieved, succeeded and realized their human potential, all to God s greater glory. God s greater glory and the help of souls also shine through Donnie Walsh 58, who currently serves as consultant to the Indiana Pacers. During his career as an NBA coach and team executive, Donnie has exemplified quiet integrity and dedication to social justice. This is the inside story that explains why, this past fall, our basketball alumni decided we should name our new floor in the Higgins Gymnasium the Donnie Walsh Court (see p. 8 ). It is also the reason why Fordham Prep received tribute messages for Donnie from the likes of NBA hall of famers Larry Bird and Reggie Miller, and NBA president and CEO David Stern. God s greater glory and the help of souls are found when alumni like the late Joe Trimarco 31 and Joe Bastianich 85 and members of the Classes of 64, 87, and 88 credit their Fordham Prep Jesuit education with giving them the skills to think critically, question the status quo and become leaders in their respective fields. Recognizing God s gifts to them, they have invested in the Prep s endowment, and, therefore, in the future of young men from families of modest means who need financial assistance to make a Jesuit education affordable (see pp. 4 7). It is also at work on a day like today, when I can call on an alumnus to help a freshman student earning all A s and B s because his single mother needs additional financial assistance to make her tuition payments. While separated by 50 years, both freshman student and alumnus are from just a couple miles apart, in the Bronx. Speaking of the Bronx, God s glory and the help of souls even operate in the private sector, as Fordham Prep joins forces with NHL hall of famer Mark Messier in support of turning the Kingsbridge Armory, a 100-year-old abandoned edifice, into the world s largest ice center (see p. 9). Fordham Prep is proud to stand with its Bronx neighbors in supporting this initiative which will bring jobs and economic development to a community that, for too long, has been left out of New York City s renaissance. Sometimes, God s glory surprises us. In March 2013, this was the case when the College of Cardinals elected a Jesuit pope, Cardinal Bergoglio of Argentina, to lead the Church. Very Reverend Adolfo Nicolás, SJ, Superior General of the Society of Jesus, spoke about Pope Francis during his October 2013 visit to Fordham Prep (see p. 1). Father General Nicolas reminded us that Pope Francis invites us to embrace a paradox at the heart of our Christian faith: we are called to be both a Church of the poor, and a community of joy. Because Pope Francis has captured the attention of the world, Fordham Prep and its Leonard Theatre is proud to host Anderson Cooper of CNN who will moderate a special Town Hall Forum marking the first anniversary of this papacy, sometime this school year. The forum will feature Cardinal Timothy Dolan and an outstanding panel of Catholic thought leaders. All members of the Fordham Prep community will be invited, so please consult Fordham Prep s website as the date and details for this extraordinary event emerge. So whether you are an 8th grade student who has been accepted to Fordham Prep, a parent of a current student, an alumnus or a faculty member whatever the nature of your relationship to Fordham Prep consider yourself truly blessed to be part of a community where God s glory and the help of souls so readily abound. I certainly do! Best regards always, Fr. Christopher J. Devron, S.J. Rev. Christopher J. Devron, S.J. President Robert J. Gomprecht 65 Principal The Principal s Report This is the time of year when we focus on recruitment and the admission of the incoming class. In a sense, of course, everything we do at the Prep affects admissions. Many activities are publicized, and students, parents, faculty, and friends talk about their experiences at the Prep to others. This plays a large role in creating the public persona of the Prep. You as members of the Prep community do this as well. The pride you express in Fordham Prep is crucial. Keep up the great work! But, there is also a need to have formal ongoing efforts to bring that public image into sharp focus and to be sure it reaches students and their families who might be interested in attending the Prep. The yeoman s portion of this work is the responsibility of the Admissions Office. Mr. Christopher Lauber 79, Director of Admissions, teaches Classics and works year-round on Admissions, ably assisted by Mrs. Tina Porco of the Prep s Administrative staff. They devote summers to planning and to updating and revising admission publications, especially the Prep s attractive Admissions brochure. From the time school starts in September, Mr. Lauber and Mrs. Porco oversee the Day at the Prep program, in which 8th grade students spend a day with a Prep freshman, accompanying him to classes, lunch and any other scheduled activities. It is a credit to the faculty that most boys who go through the day end up with an enthusiastic interest in returning as Prep students. In addition, Mr. Lauber and Religious Studies teacher Mr. Randy Pedro attend high school fairs, visit individual grammar schools and open houses, and speak to individual families who are interested in the Prep. Other faculty volunteer to make contact with a particular elementary school to establish an ongoing communication with school personnel. The Admissions Office orchestrates the Prep s annual Open House on a Sunday in late October or early November. All faculty and many staff are on hand as anywhere from 1,500 1,700 individuals visit during the three-hour program. Families are welcomed, and then proceed in groups to rooms where teams of teachers talk about various aspects of Prep life and answer questions. They then move to the Computer Center for a brief presentation of technology, and through the Library to the Higgins Gym where teachers from every department are assembled to talk individually about classes and curriculum. The groups then move into the Intramural Gym where students, coaches and moderators with various artifacts are arranged by activity and speak with the families about extracurriculars. The day ends with the groups in the Commons. There, Day at the Prep procedures are explained and Financial Aid and transportation information is available. In addition, the Mothers and Fathers Clubs answer questions, and Prep faculty, staff, and parents mingle to speak with our guests while they are enjoying refreshments. Fr. Christopher Devron and I also hosted a Pastors Dinner in October and a grammar school Principals and Eighth Grade Teachers Dinner in December to improve communication with these key constituencies and to give them the opportunity to learn more about the Prep. Just before Christmas, the results of the Test of Admission to Catholic Schools (TACHs) exams (formerly the COOP, for us older alumni) arrive at the Prep. Mr. Lauber adds that data to other information he has accumulated on each applicant. In the week we return from Christmas break, we discuss each applicant individually to make a decision. We look primarily at TACHs scores, 7th and 8th grade marks, and other useful information that may be available. We are particularly interested in recommendations from alumni and therefore solicit it. This year, 162 candidates were so recommended and we are grateful. On a date determined by the New York Archdiocese, all schools mail their admission results to each candidate. The Prep follows up with a congratulatory and welcoming phone call to every accepted student. Ninety of our parents volunteer to complete these calls. Along with acceptance material, we invite the top performers on the entrance exam and their parents to the Prep on an afternoon and evening for a scholarship competition. The boys take a written test, provide a writing sample, and are interviewed by a faculty member. There is a separate concurrent program for parents to learn more about the school. At the end of the competition, the boys along with Prep students have dinner in the gym, get a chance to talk with each other, and then enjoy some recreation. The parents, along with current Prep parents and faculty, have a buffet dinner in the Commons.
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