As everyone tucked into dessert and coffee, the evening’s program continued. Dr. Michael Letteney, dean of the California campus, honored Dr. David Appleby for 20 years of service as a member of the teaching faculty. Formerly a tenured professor of history at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, Dr. Appleby embraced the challenges of teaching at the College with characteristic humor and aplomb, aided throughout by his wife, Marilyn. In recognition of their dedication, Dr. Letteney presented the Applebys with a bottle of wine, flowers, and a commemorative medallion. “From gatekeeper on up, this is a great community to be a part of,” said Dr. Appleby. “It’s a second home.”
Dr. Paul O’Reilly then delivered a reflection on the virtue of gratitude, weaving Scripture and St. Thomas with the thoughts of Lincoln and Washington in an eloquent reminder that “there is always a need to acknowledge our blessings.”
Among those many blessings was a musical performance by student choral group Chrysostomos, whose rendition of classic hymns rounded out the festivities.
Chaplain Rev. John Chung closed the evening with a prayer, after which all dispersed — to study and to sleep — with the event’s thoughts and music on their minds.
In New England, students gathered with faculty in Bl. Pier Giorgio Frassati Student Center, conversing with their tutors and playing with their tutors’ children, before everyone took their seats. Head Chaplain Rev. Greg Markey opened the night with prayer, after which Christopher McCann (’24) led the community in the Pledge of Allegiance and Trinity Duggan (’24) in the National Anthem. As counterpart to Dr. Strader in California, Tutor Dr. Peter Cross (’11) read Lincoln’s Proclamation.