Malvern Milestones: Inauguration & Installation

Malvern Milestones: Inauguration & Installation

MP Salinas

Inauguration Stage

On Monday, November 12, 2012 Malvern Preparatory School celebrated the Inauguration of the Third President Rev. James R. Flynn, O.S.A. and the Installation of the Thirteenth Head of School Mr. Christian M. Talbot.

The morning ceremony took place in the O’Neill Center Gymnasium. In attendance were members of the Board of Trustees, members of the Alumni Executive Board, executive leaders from local academic institutions, and members of the Augustinian order, in addition to the students, faculty, staff, and parents of Malvern Prep.

A long red carpet ran from the back of the gym to a stage at the front. Chairs seating parents, seniors, faculty, and members of the Board of Trustees lined the sides of the carpet as the rest of the student body filled the bleachers on each side of the gym. The Liturgical Music Group was stationed to the right of the stage as the Modern Jazz Band was seated to the left.

On stage, Father Flynn and Mr. Talbot sat on the right hand side accompanied by the executive leaders from local academic institutions, the Chairman of the Board of Trustees, and Rev. Anthony M. Genovese, O.S.A. To the left sat the other Friars from the Augustinian order, Mr. James Stewart, members of student council, and the guest speakers for the ceremony.

The ceremony began with an opening prayer by Father Genovese and a Reading from the Rule of St. Augustine by the President of the Mothers’ Club. Then, Father Erdlen provided the audience with a reflection on the ceremony’s significance, and next, Adams Daramy ’13, Student Council President, provided welcoming remarks. The ceremony continued with presentations and remarks from representatives of the faculty, students, parents, staff, alumni, and the Augustinians. Among the speakers were Mr. Paul Hornsleth (who currently has been working at Malvern the longest amongst the faculty), Alex Reber (member of student council class of 2017), Mr. Jeff Kenkelen (Fathers’ Club President), Mrs. Denise Popper (Athletic Office), Mr. Dave Frank (President of the Alumni Association), and Rev. Christopher Drennan (Class of ’73).

Mr. Francis Hallinan, Chairman of the Board of Trustees commenced the official Inauguration of the President, but not before presenting Father Flynn with a special award. On behalf of the Board of Trustees, Father Flynn was awarded an Honorary Degree from Malvern Preparatory School, the highest honor Malvern Prep can give, an honor that Father Flynn now shares with the Rev. David J. Duffy and Mr. James H. Stewart.

Father Flynn addressed the audience, “Of all the degrees I have received in my years of education, this one means the most”. The Presidential Medallion was then awarded to Flynn as a symbol of acceptance to the Office of President, to formally name Rev. James R. Flynn as the 3rd President of Malvern Preparatory School. The medallion (which incorporates the school seal) not only functions as a symbol of the link between presidents, but also is a tribute to the legacy of the late Father David J. Duffy who passed away in January 2006.

Father Flynn expressed his gratitude to the Malvern Community in his Presidential Address. He vowed to do anything for the benefit of the school and dedicated his heart, mind, soul, and time to the institution. He then spoke about Christ as the center of all things Malvern proclaiming “we want our boys to get to Harvard, but more importantly, we want them to get to heaven.”

Flynn then led the Installation of the new Head of School. Mr. Christian M. Talbot was presented with the Malvern Preparatory School Seal, a symbol of faith, knowledge, and charity. The school seal incorporates a hand holding a flaming heart (the symbol of the Augustinian order and the warmth and spreading of Christianity), a lamp (the traditional symbol of learning), an eagle (which functions as a symbol of fortitude of faith and strength of the Constitution), the laurel surrounded by the coat of arms (a denotation of peace), and the circle in which the name of the school appears (a symbol of eternity).

Mr. Talbot then addressed the Malvern Community. He spoke of his son and how his obsession with Star Wars led to him asking the meaning behind Darth Vader’s line “the circle is now complete”. He spoke of the mission of Malvern and how the Malvern Circle surrounding the Seal demonstrates eternity in the search for truth. Mr. Talbot reflected on how his son’s inquiry paralleled curiosity in students, and the search for truth in academic endeavors. Mr. Talbot then spoke of the Malvern Mission and his insight for the future of Malvern Prep. The vision is for Malvern Preparatory School to become the premier independent Catholic school in the Country.

A central theme of Mr. Talbot’s address was the concept that in order to advance in 21st century methods of education, the foundations that made Malvern strong should be enriched and delivered through a 21st century medium. In his address he quoted a novel which summarized his ideology of the school’s mission; “in order for things to remain the same, everything must change”.

The ceremony ended after a Benediction delivered from Father Genovese. The entire Malvern community extended their right hands towards Father Flynn and Mr. Talbot as the blessing took place.

Malvern Preparatory School is grateful to the Alumni Association, the Board of Trustees, the Fathers’ and Mothers’ Clubs, the Arts Department, the Inauguration Committee, the students, faculty, and staff. All helped make this historic event meaningful and truly special. The school is looking ahead to a bright future, as its new leadership fosters growth in faith, education, and solidarity.