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Brian's Speech - 2022


Good morning everyone - I would like to thank Father Brown, Mr. Kernion, and Mr. Delatte for having me here this morning. I’m Brian Freese. I’m a graduate of the Class of ‘83 and this year’s Turkey Drive captain. It’s great to be here with you this morning to kick off the 2022 Thanksgiving Drive.  

I came to Jesuit over 40 years ago as a Pre-freshman. My family was from New York originally so, unlike many of you, I didn’t have any family members or relatives that were graduates of Jesuit. 

All I knew about Jesuit was that it was “hard.” I knew nothing of its history, tradition, or mission. Full disclosure - it was not my choice to come to Jesuit. I wanted to go to another school. Now l won’t name names, but it was tonight’s opponent. My parents CHOSE Jesuit for me and I will tell you, in the spirit of this Thanksgiving season, that I am forever thankful to them for choosing to send me to here.    

I got my introduction to what Jesuit was all about on orientation day of my 8th grade year. The great Father Harry Thompson, our principal at that time, spoke to our class in the auditorium. Father was a  larger-than-life personality, with a booming voice and was a dynamic public speaker. His speech was vintage Father Thompson…short, to the point, and inspirational. 

When he was done I was ready to run through a brick wall for my new school. 

That speech was the first time I heard the motto of  being “men for others”. We hear that a lot in our time here at Jesuit.  That’s the ideal, right? Father
laid it out for us - it’s the giving of ourselves, our time, our abilities, to help those in need.    

And that’s the beauty of Jesuit High School. Whether you were a student here in 1933, 1983, or here now in 2022, that mission of service, of being men for others, is still the same. This is what we’re taught at Jesuit - what it means to be a Blue Jay. 

When you’re an upperclassmen you live this motto through your service project. But what’s so cool about the Thanksgiving Drive is that it is the collective effort of the entire Jesuit Community. Students of all grade levels, faculty, alumni, and parents working together. Taking the ideal of being “men for others” from the abstract to tangible, putting those words into actions. 
From the donating of canned goods, shopping for groceries at Robért’s, packing the baskets, and delivering Thanksgivings meals to families in need.   

To quote my 83’ classmate - local Blue Jay legend Vince Liberto - “Jesuit is about the service… It’s always about the service”       

The Class of ‘83 is committed to service. The mission to provide Turkeys for the thanksgiving drive is now fully-funded and now we look to the future with a new venture, Project ‘83.  

We’ll be working with Jesuit to provide funding for student-led service projects for all grade levels. I know that it’s something we’re excited about and you’ll be hearing more about Project ‘83 in the coming months.      
Gentleman, it’s been great to be back on campus this morning and spend a few minutes with you. God Bless you, Happy Thanksgiving, and beat Rummel.       

Brian Freese
2022 Turkey Captain

Class of 83 Thanksgiving Drive -> Project 83

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