Message from Scott Cowie, Senior Division head
Friday, Oct. 16: “Friday Night Lights” junior varsity football game at 5:30 p.m. and varsity football game at 7:30 p.m.
Tuesday, Oct. 20: Prep and Upper School professional development afternoon; early dismissal for students at 1:15 p.m.
Thursday, Oct. 22 and Friday, Oct. 23: IB2 CanGrad photos (All IB2 students need to sign up for an appointment with Linda Carvalho in the main office reception area.)
I realize there are differing views on granting awards and prizes, especially in a school setting, but I’ve come to understand that doing so is an important historical tradition here at the College.
Given our school motto of “Palmam qui meruit ferat (Let he who merited the palm bear it),” one could surmise that celebrating student achievement through honours and awards is an integral part of UCC culture. With this in mind, I’d like to congratulate all of the award winners who were recognized last week at our annual Prize Day ceremonies. I truly admire the ability, dedication and work ethic of the recipients who won curricular and co-curricular prizes across an array of disciplines and activities here at the College.
While the highlight of the ceremony is considered by most to be the presentation of the awards, I thought that the simple, powerful address delivered by guest speaker Patrick Iaboni was certainly worthy of honourable mention. As founder of the Berkley Group, a company that holds more than $400 million of income-producing assets, and an adjunct professor of real estate at the Schulich School of Business, Iaboni is a man who knows much about success. He’s earned many awards, including ones for his outstanding academic achievements as a student as well as esteemed honours for his teaching excellence. However, instead of talking to his audience about winning awards, he conveyed a modest yet profound message in which he unveiled his secret to leading a truly fulfilling life.
Iaboni talked about the importance of developing meaningful relationships and how one’s “worth” in life is truly measured by the positive impact we have on others. In the conclusion to his talk, he read a letter written by a young girl who expressed her immeasurable gratitude for her parents for the unconditional love they gave her throughout her life. In an emotional final sentence, Iaboni proudly disclosed that the author of the letter was his teenage daughter whom he and his wife adopted as a young child.
As parents, we all want our children to achieve high levels of academic success. I never won an academic prize myself, but I know that if my daughters ever win a school award, academic or otherwise, I’ll be boasting about it to anyone who will listen. Yet, if we want our kids to experience a truly rewarding life, we’ll need to encourage them to work toward goals that go beyond the realm of scholastic recognition. I don’t know if folks like Gandhi or Mother Theresa ever won any high school awards, but they certainly aren’t remembered for doing so. Their legacies have been defined by the relationships they made and the positive impact they had on members of their community and beyond.
It is unlikely that any of us will replicate the magnitude of impact that figures like Gandhi or Mother Teresa had on their worlds, but through striving to strike the right balance between the pursuit of personal goals and being other-minded, we can all experience a rich life full of meaningful reward.
Thanks for reading,