Victoria is a sophomore at the University of Notre Dame.
Fenwick Graduation: 2016
Hometown: Elmwood Park
Grade School: St. Vincent Ferrer
Current School: University of Notre Dame
Current Major: Biochemistry, with a minor in Liturgical Music Ministry
What you’re involved in on campus: I’m in a bacteria research lab at Notre Dame, and I play piano for dorm mass. I enjoyed helping with Welcome Weekend for the freshmen in my dorm this year. I am going to study abroad in Dublin next fall.
Career Aspirations: I would like to go either to graduate school and have a career in biological/biochemical research or to medical school and become a general practitioner or anesthesiologist.
Fenwick Achievements/Activities: TEAMS and WYSE my junior and senior years, Friar Mentors and Write Place tutor, Kairos leader
Fenwick teacher who had the most influence on you: Mr. Schoeph and Mr. Gallo are great role models to me because they are so caring and kind. But all my Fenwick teachers impacted me in different ways, and they all helped so much to prepare me for college.
Fenwick class that had the most influence on you: Sophomore year chemistry with Mr. Farran because it was the class that first made me interested in chemistry and because Mr. Farran is also very inspirational to me as a person.
Best Fenwick experience/the one you would like to live again: My favorite thing about Fenwick was making friendships that will last my whole life.
What Fenwick experience changed you the most: Kairos because it made me more aware of all the blessings I have in life.
Robert is a freshman at the College of William and Mary in Virginia.
Fenwick Graduation: 2017
Hometown: Bloomingdale, IL
Grade School: Westfield Middle School
Current School: College of William and Mary (Williamsburg, VA)
Current Major: English & Philosophy
Career aspirations: Professor of English Literature
Fenwick Achievements/Activities: Public Forum Debate Team (captain), The Wick (editor of two years), Write Place tutor, Friar Mentor, WYSE (sectional champion in English) and National Honor Society (vice president)
Fenwick teacher who had the most influence on you: All Fenwick teachers have had positive influence on me in some way. It was during an open house my family and I met Dr. Lordan, who spoke of the compassion and Dominican style of instructors at the school; particularly, he easily influenced me to attend Fenwick. His lectures from World History class freshman year still chime in my head: take our study of five major Occidental philosophies, mental health and even, in one instance, a Gaussian distribution.
I think my favorite is his link between Erikson’s model of human development and [Paul] Kennedy’s The Rise and Fall of Great Powers. To be exposed so young to concepts sometimes abstract requires a devoted focus and gentle wisdom. In this vein, we cannot periodize history: We participate in it. History breathes and the past haunts us. Extend this to Fenwick’s own rich history — I found in every classroom in which I stepped, to be a Thomist scholar is to commit a tradition of excellence to habit.
Fenwick class that had the most influence on you: Mr. Sullivan’s English class freshman year — the rigor of the curriculum and competence of the teacher instilled in me a want to do better. Great Expectations remains my favorite novel though I may not have done so well on the first research paper! My development stemming from this class was constitutional. I submitted to the Great Sonnet Contest for the first time via Mr. Sullivan and won an award [which] I would garner again sophomore and junior year. I suppose these incidents created my identity, one that I rather liked, and perhaps one that engendered my current career aspirations of becoming a professor. Since that time, I molded an identity consistent with an artful creativity — I still write poetry almost every day. In a Homeric way, my muse, whenever I need to invoke it, would be my struggles and victories in Room 12.
Best Fenwick experience — the one you would like to live again: Many at Fenwick know Mr. Borsch or will soon know him. He is a fairly stoic gentleman. I had arrived at his office after being admitted to the school to which I currently go, and the happiest expression engulfed his face; it was the most earnest congratulations I had received because it culminated my work into a blissful moment — I was not so proud that I had been admitted than I was to see the excitement my counselor had, a fair representation of all faculty and staff at Fenwick.
The Fenwick experience that changed you the most: It was not a singular moment. The process changed me.
Would you be where you are today without Fenwick? The answer is, strictly, no. At the very demanding university I attend, most students come from a background of good work ethic and appreciation for learning. Fenwick distinguishes itself in ways of the spirit and how Dominican values pervade personal routine.
Advice to current and future Friars: I would encourage more Fenwick students to apply to William and Mary; its people are only kind, warmer than the slicing winds of the Midwest!