With a foundation solidly built upon love, truth, and justice, Bellarmine has prepared us to create a future worth caring about.
In writing my reflection, I pondered what has made Bellarmine education feel unique to me. As I considered the various ways in which my high school experience formed me as an individual, I realized that the people associated with the school – both the teachers and the students who came before me – have made my four years special and directly informed my personal growth. However, I then wondered what factor intrinsic to Bellarmine could attract and form the people who, in turn, formed me. I found my answer to that question in the school’s mission.
Throughout my time at Bellarmine, I had heard phrases like Ad Maiorem Dei Gloriam and Men for and with Others discussed with great emphasis, and at first I dismissed them as trite religious platitudes. When I looked back upon them as a senior, however, I noticed that I had incorporated these ideas into my outlook on life. I noticed that, at their core, these phrases encouraged Bellarmine students to direct their talents, resources, and efforts into pursuits and causes that they feel are worth caring about. I noticed that teachers at Bellarmine had done more than just discuss these phrases with us. One of the Ignatian concepts that deeply struck me was cura personalis, care of the person. Bellarmine’s faculty and staff fully espouse the idea that by investing themselves into their students, they cultivate individuals who will care for the people around them. Members of the Bellarmine Class of 2019 embody that kind of care in many different ways from engaging in passionate activism and organizing therapy dogs on campus to finding immense academic and co-curricular success.
One of the most far-reaching challenges of our generation is a broad culture of ignorant detachment and apathy. Today, many feel as if the difficult questions of life are not worth caring about – not worth answering. The past four years have prepared us to encounter the world with compassionate hearts that seek answers to those questions honestly and openly. The sense of brotherhood at Bellarmine allowed us to form ourselves; however, with graduation, the Class of 2019 must now apply the lessons we have learned on our own. I am so very excited to see that happen. With a foundation solidly built upon love, truth, and justice, Bellarmine has prepared us to create a future worth caring about.
~ Ashwin Pillai
Valedictorian, Class of 2019