Holy Cross Assembly sets tone
Posted August 24
Saint Francis held its first school-wide event this week -- the Holy Cross Assembly, which set the tone for the year. Students were encouraged to live out Holy Cross values, and speakers expanded on the year’s theme of respect.
Holy Cross values have long been a pillar of Saint Francis, and Br. Samuel Robin, C.S.C., reminded students that they have a responsibility of carrying forward the Brothers’ spirit. Seniors who have walked in the Brothers’ footsteps and personify the spiritual, academic and social values of Saint Francis were recognized.
The Peter M. Morey Award went to Shannon Geison for best embodying the characteristics of a Holy Cross Man or Woman. Chosen by her peers to receive this honor, Shannon is involved in mock trial, Rally Board and attends countless club meetings each week. “Her presence is felt in every corner of campus,” Director of Activity Simon Raines said.
Four additional seniors were recognized. Vipul Bhatnagar is involved with BRIC Brothers and served at the freshman retreat as a small group leader and as a member of the core leadership group. Additionally, he is part of the Rally Board, the 6th Man Crew and was a football manager last year.
Shawn Esmaili has taken the values he learned at Saint Francis and applied them to change the world. Shawn has been motivated to eradicate poverty. Most recently, he has been raising money to build a medical facility in Haiti. He also provided donated shoes to an orphanage in Tanzania.
Emily Ott has been active in various facets of student life. At Saint Francis, she is part of the theater program, Rally Board, choir, CSF, NHS, TAP and BRIC Chicks. She has also served as a retreat leader, took part on the Brazil immersion trip and was involved with the school’s Challenge Success team.
The final Holy Cross Award winner is Emily Wilson, who also does a lot for the school in front and behind the scenes. She is a yell leader and works with drama, CSF and Rally Board. She also participated in the Holy Cross immersion, has been recognized for her work in English and religious studies, and has won the Brother Eamon Schaffer Award for service.
Much of the assembly focused on one’s character, and Principal Patricia Tennant followed that theme. She explained that respect was a core Christian value and “it is a basic human need to feel loved, needed and to command attention.” She also challenged students to love and offer respect not just to their family and close friends, but enemies and strangers as well. “The only way to demonstrate respect is if it’s practiced,” Mrs. Tennant said. “Show it by doing it.”
The final speaker of the assembly was Katherine Brown ’96, an accomplished graduate who returned to her alma mater to speak on how Saint Francis shaped her and to give her perspective on respect. Ms. Brown, a doctoral candidate at Columbia University, spent several years working in government. She explained how others showing her respect led her to her dream career in foreign policy and political diplomacy. Ms. Brown urged Lancers to take moral values seriously.
“Your resume can get your foot in the door, but character keeps you there,” she said. “Respect is refreshing to people around you.”