"Bravely, Faithfully, Joyfully"

Eight years ago, Beau Wilson Jr. ’72 came to Episcopal to speak at the last Chapel service of the year. In his talk, he spoke of a life-changing injury. While he recovered, he kept returning to these three words: “Fortiter, Fideliter, Feliciter,” the Latin motto of our School. Every year since, we’ve invited an alumnus or alumna and a graduating senior to speak about Episcopal’s impact on their lives.

Alumnus Address
This year, we welcomed Connor Gallegos ’11 back to The Holy Hill. He delivered a heartfelt address commending the Class of 2023 for their resilience and encouraged them to embrace courageous decisions and lean on the Episcopal community’s support. 

“Your class has embraced change. You became masters of resilience, finding innovative ways to stay engaged, collaborate with your peers, and continue your pursuit of knowledge,” he told the audience in Callaway Chapel. “Your dedication to your studies, teachers, and each other carried you through the darkest times, proving that the Episcopal community cannot be dampened.” 

Reminiscing about his own time after graduating from the School, Gallegos openly shared the challenges he had while attending Georgetown University, where health issues and academic struggles left him at a low point. “I started coaching lacrosse at Episcopal alongside my former advisor and coach, Mr. Conklin. This community helped me heal when I was at my worst; I returned to work at Episcopal, hoping I would become who I was.” He credited the strong bonds and close-knit relationships here on The Holy Hill with helping him find joy and purpose again. 

Gallegos concluded by urging the graduates to rely on the Episcopal community during challenging times, assuring them that their roommates, advisors, teachers, and coaches will always be there to offer support.

Senior Address
Senior speaker Carrie Yan Yin Feng ’23 captivated the audience with her journey of how the words “Fortiter, Fideliter, Feliciter” defined her time at Episcopal and shaped her identity. 

As an international student arriving during the peak of a global pandemic, Feng faced criticism from friends about her parents' decision to send her to a foreign country. Despite initially feeling overwhelmed and disconnected from her culture, she found solace by engaging with the Episcopal community. “I learned to appreciate small moments and treasure my family away from my family,” she said. “Although it was difficult at times, I stayed true to myself and embraced the strength that came with having faith that this journey would lead me to success.”

As their time on The Holy Hill came to an end, Feng encouraged her fellow classmates to take the initiative, explore new opportunities, and nurture their goals with patience and curiosity. “By creating your opportunities, you shape your future,” she explained to her classmates. Reflecting on her Episcopal experiences, she shared how her involvement in ceramics unexpectedly became a pivotal part of her high school journey. Through the support of her teacher Ms. Vorlicek, Feng developed her passion and creativity, ultimately becoming a skilled potter with a personal portfolio. 

“Through ceramics, I found my joy and peace at Episcopal,” she said. “We all deserve to find joy and peace as we take our next step. To the Class of 2023, thank you for the best three years on the Hill. We’ve come a long way, and I’m proud of us. It’s never too late to say it, but I’m proud to call this place my home away from home.”

View the full service here.