On June 3, Juan Maldonado ’03, an Assistant District Attorney at the Manhattan DA’s office, addressed the Class of 2022 as they prepared for graduation, soon to face the very beginning of their post-Regis endeavors. The tenor of Maldonado’s address was at once inspiring and tasking, coalescing around a simple yet powerful message: that life beyond Regis is not life without Regis.
Born in Peru, Maldonado emigrated to the United States after his father, who had left Peru several years prior, settled in New York City. The name “Regis” was not even on his or his family’s radar until days before Regis’ entrance exam, at which time Director of Admissions Eric DiMichele invited Maldonado to take the test. Not long after, Maldonado told the Class of ‘22, “my life completely changed.”
After graduating from Regis, Maldonado went on to earn his undergraduate degree from Boston College and a law degree from Fordham Law School. But as Maldonado stressed to the soon-to-be alumni, his experience at Regis—in particular, the intuitive grasp of justice and responsibility Regis cultivates—continues to inflect his career in law. “I fundamentally believe in the idea of justice,” Maldonado said. “Regians understand the truth of such intangible ideas. You’ve spent four years learning, having your minds molded, and thinking of your own ways of conceiving of justice. … It’s something that you can strive for tangibly.”
In this way, Maldonado told the seniors, one’s time at Regis remains morally and intellectually relevant to professional life, necessitating a sustained connection to the community long after graduates step outside 55 East 84th Street for the final time as students. “I am sure you are going to be leaders in whatever fields you choose. It’s important for you to be a moral center for those fields, to anchor those fields to a sense of core values. Nothing will help you maintain that going forward in your life more than your Regis relationships,” Maldonado said.
But perhaps most importantly, Maldanado spoke to the enduring fraternal spirit that would bind the Class of 2022 together for the decades to come, counseling the seniors not to lose sight of the continued personal enrichment alumni can gain from relationships with their Regian peers as future professionals. “Your Regis brothers are always going to be the people that will allow you to be yourselves intellectually and spiritually—that will be honest and give you the unvarnished truth when you need to be challenged,” he said.