Welcome from the President
Dear Prep Community,
It is an honor and privilege to lead our nation's oldest Jesuit educational institution, especially as Georgetown Prep celebrates its 226th year of forming men of faith, men for others.
As I think back upon my first year at Georgetown Prep, I am reminded of an address that Pope Francis gave recently to students at Jesuit high schools in Italy. He instructed them that “following St. Ignatius, the principle element of school is to learn to be magnanimous.” After asking the question, what does it mean to be magnanimous, our Jesuit Pope suggested that “it means to have a big heart, to have a great spirit; it means to have great ideals, the desire to do great things, to respond to that which God asks of us . . . doing everyday small things with a big heart open to God and others.”
These sentiments strike me as an apt description of the people whom I have encountered this year at Prep, especially our students. In the course of the year, I witnessed our students consistently interact in big-hearted ways with each other, our faculty and people whom they serve. This was particularly true in the moments when our community faced challenges. The young men of Georgetown Prep are a consistent source of inspiration and consolation. This is a tribute to their parents, our faculty and the vibrant mission of our great Catholic and Jesuit school.
I have also had the privilege of meeting many Prep alumni across the United States and around the world. They, too, have big hearts and great spirits. This is especially obvious when they talk about the formative years they spent at Prep. Their passion for their alma mater is contagious. Whether they live as close as Kensington or as far away as Hong Kong, Prep has a very special hold on their affections. The sixteenth-century Jesuit poet, St. Robert Southwell, writes, “not where I breathe, but where I love, I live.” A big part of every alumnus whom I’ve met will always live on our campus.
Among the many significant Prep achievements this year, I am especially grateful for the way in which the community supported our Strategic Planning process. The plan, officially approved by our Board of Trustees in May 2015, provides us with a compass by which we can steer the course of Prep’s future. It is appropriately ambitious for the flagship American Jesuit school. Looking forward, our plan will require the Prep community to pursue the magis, the restless desire for excellence in all things that has animated Prep since 1789. After a year at Prep, I am confident that together we can meet the challenges that lie ahead.
As we begin an exciting and, surely busy school year, I ask that you pray for Georgetown Prep, especially for our students.
God Bless and Hoya Saxa,
Scott Pilarz, S.J.