Come graduation day, Prep students are very familiar with the Greek theme of nostos (νόστος). It means a return home and is most famously depicted in Homer’s Odyssey. When I graduated from the Prep in 2002, the President at the time, Fr. David Sauter, S.J., sent the graduating class a letter. It closed with the line, “come back often, for the Prep is your home.” I think those few words perfectly summarize the Prep experience. Whether from Jersey, Northeast Philly, or Montgomery County, the Prep is and forever will be our home away from home. This school prepares us to go out and set the world on fire, but every year it welcomes alumni back home.
This past Saturday, the Prep hosted the classes of 1968, 1973, 1978, 1983, 1988, 1993, 1998, 2003, and 2008 for their reunion. Fittingly, the theme of the evening was A Taste of Philly complete with Campo’s cheesesteaks and hoagies, soft pretzels, Tastykakes, and Wawa iced tea. Over 350 Prep alumni came back to 17th & Girard to reconnect with old classmates, show off their beloved alma mater to wives and girlfriends, and mingle with their favorite teachers and administrators.
|A Taste of Philly|
In the shadow of the Gesu church - the only building familiar to every graduate since 1888 - it was a truly amazing sight to see so many people from different walks of life all together and united by one common thread: the Prep. At my own 10 year reunion last year, I ran into classmates I hadn't seen since graduation and it was as if nothing had changed. It was the kind of experience you have when spending time with family members after a long absence. I couldn't help but think about those sage words heard 10 years earlier:
Come back often, for the Prep is your home…
This blog past was written by Mr. Kevin Gilbert '02, Associate Director of Annual Giving.