"De more." This was a convenient expression to use when making entries in the house diary recording the comings and goings, activities and occurrences of daily life in the Jesuit novitiate in Syracuse, NY when I was there in the mid-1970s. Many days were very much the same as the previous one, so the entry would read in whole or in part, "de more," indicating that all went according to custom, according to what was expected.
I have thought of that expression frequently as I prepared to write this President’s Report for the summer Regis Alumni News, which might appear counter-intuitive given the number of singular events and achievements we celebrated this year: among the most notable the Centennial, a Nobel Prize for Dr. John O’Keefe '57, and the National Book Award for Phil Klay '01. But perhaps not so counter-intuitive when we remember that Regis is a place of sustained excellence and these notable achievements are highlights of a culture which is cultivated and encouraged year after year, from one generation to the next.
"The Hearn had another great weekend" is a very familiar Monday morning announcement on 84th Street and they had many great weekends leading to another New York State Championship, the 26th in 31 years, and were again recognized as one of the top five secondary schools in the nation in speech and debate. Along with consecutive city championships in basketball (their second) and volleyball (their fifth!), plus a second consecutive New York City Regional Science Bowl championship and a first place finish in the New York State round of the CyberPatriot competition the breadth and depth of student achievement becomes all the more evident. And these few items barely scratch the surface.
The Regis culture of sustained excellence is manifest in the 128 members of the recently graduated Class of 2015 and in what they and the underclassmen accomplished academically, in extracurriculars and in retreats and service programs all through the year. We wish the newest alumni and the yet to be alums of the underclassmen years every success as all look ahead to the challenges and opportunities of a new academic year both on 84th Street and on college and university campuses around the country. Also of note is the school’s successful attainment of its first New York State Association for Independent School's (NYSAIS) accreditation and the Board of Trustees, equally successfully, completing a thorough presidential search process in the hiring of Fr. Dan Lahart, S.J. to succeed Fr. Phil Judge, S.J. '80 (with me bridging the gap until Fr. Lahart takes the reins in summer 2016).
Phil's ten years of leadership has left the school not just "strong to endure" but poised to move forward into our second century with a "holy boldness," a hallmark of Jesuits and Jesuit works. Regis continues to be gifted with an outstanding faculty and staff who bring intelligence, skill and commitment to their work in and out of the classroom with a gifted and talented student body. Regis will long be in debt to Phil for his exemplary leadership and we all wish him well in his new duties assisting the Provincial, Fr. John Cecero, S.J., in his leadership of the USA Northeast Province of the Society of Jesus.
Yes, much has changed and we recognize some unique events and accomplishments, but it all fits within that sustained excellence that has long formed such a strong part of the Regis culture. "De more" indeed. But an even more fundamental part of the Regis culture is rooted in the extraordinary generosity of the founding family and the vision of Fr. Hearn, so let our last words always clearly state our profound gratitude for all that has been and all that is yet to be as we look to the next hundred years. Deo gratias!
James Croghan, S.J. President