Looking to help ease the transition between eighth grade and their first day as Academy students, Christian Brothers Academy held “Welcome Night” on Thursday evening for the incoming Class of 2022.
While these students will not officially start at CBA until September, this special night was a perfect opportunity to join the entire Class of 2022 together for a casual social and to formally welcome them to a tradition nearly 60 years in the making.
“The men in this room will be your classmates, your teammates, your best friends, and maybe even your groomsmen at your wedding,” said Director of Admissions Kevin Donahue ’97. “You’re joining a brotherhood that will last a lifetime.”
Held in CBA’s McKay Gym, the night is meant to serve as a precursor to the camaraderie that the soon-to-be freshmen can expect at the Academy. The incoming class will join together again at spring events like the annual CBA BBQ in June, followed by the school’s freshmen orientations in August, and capped in September with the historic “Heath Freshman Run,” a traditional 1.3-mile run/walk across the school’s 157-acre campus.
Principal R. Ross Fales highlighted the myriad of activities available to students from day one in September: over 40 clubs and organizations, 18 interscholastic athletic programs, and a performing arts program that includes award-winning theater, band and chorus groups. The wide-range of activities are in addition to 24 Advanced Placement courses, top-rate facilities, and a service component designed to help students meet their potential.
President Brother Frank Byrne ’75 spoke about the expanding alumni association that these young men will one day be a part of. With nearly 11,000 alumni, CBA has graduates serving as leaders in business, finance, marketing, medicine and technology. The Academy holds regional reunions throughout the country, with Brother Frank mentioning upcoming trips to California, Florida and Washington, D.C.
Finally, current freshman Ryan O’Connor was the keynote speaker of the evening, giving his soon-to-be brothers some insight on being a freshman at CBA.
“There were three main reasons I selected CBA: a strong reputation, academic excellence, but most important, an inclination that CBA was where I belonged,” O’Connor remarked. “One year later, I am on the Academic Team, play in both the Pipes & Drums and Jazz bands, serve as a student ambassador, a member of the Engineering Club, and row on the crew team. It doesn’t take very long to realize the moments you’ll remember most come from being involved in these activities.”
The evening concluded with a short video highlighting the CBA experience from both students, parents and school administrators’ point-of-view.
While the Class of 2022 prepares to join the CBA tradition next September, the Academy will begin the admissions process for the Class of 2023 with the annual Open House on Sunday, October 14th from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m.