President's Report: The Room Where it Happened
Christian TalbotIt happened in Room 408. I can still picture Mr. Sabatelli pacing about while we sophomores discussed Richard Hofstadter’s American Political Tradition. I can still picture how the desks were arranged. I can still picture my spot in that circle of chairs.

At that desk and in that classroom, I realized how I needed to spend my adult life: I needed to become an educator.

It’s one of those moments whose details you can remember decades later. But why did my future become so clear at that precise time? Mr. Sabatelli, a Regis legend who shaped so many of us, certainly played an important role. My classmates, with their passions and brilliance, inspired me then as they do now. And the excitement for learning ignited by Regis must have factored in, too.

Whatever the precise alchemy, from that point forward the only profession I pursued — vocation, in fact — was that of a Catholic educator. For most of my career, that path has led me back to Regis.

Outside of my parents, Regis has formed me more than any other force in my life. Throughout my four years as a student and my 14 years as a faculty member and administrator, Regis students, teachers, and staff have made me the Ignatian educator I am today. When I left Regis in 2012 to serve as Head of School at Malvern Prep, an independent Catholic school outside of Philadelphia, I found myself regularly thinking of my colleagues, friends, and mentors at Regis, summoning their wisdom (or calling them!) when faced with a difficult decision. More recently, during my six years as a trustee, my admiration deepened for the people who make this life-changing institution a reality.

So the answer was obvious when the Board of Trustees asked me to return to 84th Street to serve as Interim President. I am humbled and honored to help lead this school.

Now, as one of the most unusual school years in Regis history concludes and we look ahead to the next one, we have much to do. We are determined to ensure that the next academic year restores the power of the Regis experience for our students, some of whom have not truly experienced Regis because of the limitations imposed by COVID-19. In addition, the morale of our resilient faculty and staff, who kept the school running for 15 months during a pandemic and unexpected leadership change, is critically important to me. We are also halfway through Regis’ first Strategic Plan, which I had the honor of helping to craft as a trustee. Finally, my colleagues and I are committed to welcoming and caring for each student, regardless of his race or background. (I invite you to read my May 5 letter to the Regis community about the reason why our Jesuit identity and mission demand that we oppose racism.)

We could not do this important work without the profound generosity of the Regis community. Your gifts help Regis to change lives, which is how we change our world. We can’t always identify the precise moments, but we know that on a daily basis — in Room 408 and throughout this building — Catholic young men are being transformed thanks to your commitment to our mission. As our public health situation improves, I look forward to introducing (or re-introducing) myself and thanking you in person over the coming months.


Christian Talbot '93
Interim President


Posted: 6/26/21