The evening’s program followed a format similar to that of the first book release event in February. After an introduction by Rev. Philip G. Judge, S.J. '80, President of Regis, Fr. Andreassi entertained the audience with anecdotes and stories from the first 100 years of Regis. After completing his presentation, Andreassi opened the floor for questions, which led to an interactive and entertaining dialogue with the audience. The event reception continued with Fr. Andreassi greeting guests and signing purchased copies of the book.
The evening’s audience was filled with a diverse mix of alumni, parents, faculty, and students. Sitting front row at the event were Ray Lamb '49, Bernie Tracey '51, and Ken Bailie '60. An official history of Regis has been something these three Regians have been looking forward to for quite some time. "I first learned that Fr. Andreassi was researching the history of Regis in 2010," said Bailie. "I knew right away I wanted to help, and in fact spent some time providing stories and documents for his archives." Undoubtedly, that sort of research was made a bit easier with friends like Bernie Tracey, whose memories of Regis from the late 1940's onward are still very vivid. "Those memories are treasured connections to Regis' past. In fact, I still have all my old copies of The Owl newspaper."
John Morriss '51 P'81 has been serving as an alumni class representative for over 40 years. He, too, was excited to be in attendance for the book reading. "I have been looking forward to this, to learn more about the amazing generosity that founded Regis, and learn how the school has survived through the years. The initial gift from the Foundress was an incredible one, and we are blessed that Regis is still here 100 years later."
For Larry Burke '83 P'13'16'17, whose son Casey studied economics with Fr. Andreassi while a student at Regis, the reasons for attending the book release were obvious. "Walking into the auditorium and seeing these large displays of archived photos on the walls and on the stage is exciting. This was a wonderful opportunity to learn about the rich history of Regis, a history to which I am connected to as a graduate, a parent of an alum, and as a a parent of two current Regis students."
Dan Sullivan '15, currently in his Junior year at Regis, was drawn to learning more about the Founding Family, and how the Regis mission has endured through the century. "It's easy to forget about the past," said Sullivan. "But when you take a moment to reflect on our history, it's surreal to be a student here and realize that kids have sat in these same rooms since 1914. Here we are following in their footsteps 100 years later."
For Randi Balletta P'12'14, there was no missing this last opportunity to hear Fr. Andreassi read from his book. Balletta lightheartedly provided the only criticism of the event. "The evening was too short! The entire audience could have stayed for twice as long listening to Fr. Andreassi's stories, and still have wanted more." On a more serious note, Balletta added, "It truly is extraordinary to learn about the devotion the Foundress and her family had towards Regis, made more extraordinary to recognize that they maintained that devotion for the entirety of their lives."
Perhaps the youngest member of the audience was also most representative of the future of Regis. Nicholas Drury '18, who only just received his acceptance letter to Regis this past January, was excited to attend the book signing event with his parents. The evening was special for Drury as it was his first opportunity to explore Regis history. This Fall, Drury will enter through the 84th street doors for the first time as a freshmen student. "It is humbling to know that everything my classmates and I will go on to do in this building—from attending classes to playing sports to performing on the auditorium's stage—it's all because of an amazing act of generosity over 100 years ago."
Drury is humbled to know that as a member of the class of 2018, he and his classmates will hold the unique distinction of being members the 101st graduating class of Regis High School. Put in a more significant way, they will be the first graduating class of the second century of Regis High School. "It's incredible to think that the Founding Family's legacy is still alive in 2014, said Drury, "and that acts of charity in their memory continue to this day."
Monday evening’s book reading was the latest in a series of Centennial-themed events scheduled to celebrate the rich history of Regis High School, its founding family, and the family of parents, alumni, and friends that have supported the school through its first 100 years.
Later this month, the Regis Centennial celebration will continue with two highly anticipated events. On March 17, a contingent of approximately 250 Regis students, alumni, faculty, and staff will march in the New York City Saint Patrick's Day Parade. The school’s participation in the parade will be the first time Regis has organized a group to march since the late 1940's. Then, on March 22, the Centennial Classroom Revisited will feature an all-star lineup of alumni presenting classes in their areas of expertise (Read More: All Star Lineup Announced for The Centennial's Classroom Revisited).
The year-long celebration will culminate with the Centennial Gala at the Waldorf-Astoria on October 25, followed the next day by a special Centennial Mass at Saint Ignatius Loyola Church. The mass will be celebrated by His Eminence Timothy Michael Cardinal Dolan, and Bishop Frank J. Caggiano '77 will serve as homilist. For more information on these and other Centennial events, please visit regis.org/2014.
Teach Me To Be Generous: The First Century of Regis High School In New York City is currently available for sale in the Regis bookstore for $30. Copies purchased through the Regis bookstore come autographed and include a commemorative Centennial bookmark (while supplies last).
Above: Anthony D. Andreassi, C.O. entertains the audience with reflections on his research for Teach Me To Be Generous: The First Century of Regis High School In New York City.
Above: Frances and Ken Bailie '60 review a passage from the book which references memories from Bailie's time as a student at Regis in the late 1950's.
Above: Accompanied by his parents, Nicholas Drury '18 patiently waited in line for his chance to have his book signed by Fr. Andreassi. Drury and his classmates will begin studies at Regis in the Fall, and will be the first graduating class of the second century of Regis High School.
Above: Fr. Andreassi pens a personal note to Nicholas, one of the newest members of the Regis family.