Foley Artist, Doppler on Wheels, Celebrity Designer, Islamist Authority, Choreographer, Bestselling Author, Yale Scholar, Extraordinary Hero, Athlete, My Brother: The 2015 Radnor High Hall of Fame Inductees

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Yesterday and now again today: the celebration of the Radnor High 2015 Hall of Famers.

I was privileged to attend yesterday's ceremony—to watch my brother teach a master class to exceptionally bright young mathematicians (and to see him reunite with his favorite high school math teacher, Mrs. Swanson), to listen to the appreciative crowd as the inductees were named in that glossy gymnasium, to see my classmate Josh Wurman after so many years, and to thank some of the many people who make these two days what they are.

This year's inductees are remarkable—Jeffrey Bilhuber, a top designer whose clients include David Bowie and Anna Wintour, the best-selling author Kelly Corrigan, the military hero Mark Gibbons, the essential world affairs analyst and Islamist expert Shadi Hamid, the charming, internationally acclaimed choreographer Austin Hartel, the Yale scholar Maria Rosa Menocal, the multiple Academy Award winning Foley Artist John Roesch (more than a dozen of the films he has worked on have won Academy Awards), the uber athlete Jenepher Shillingford, and the acclaimed scientist, meteorologist, and Discovery Channel storm chaser Josh Wurman.

But the Radnor High students are equally remarkable. Their eagerness to go into the thick of Pascal's Triangle, their respect for Shadi's knowledge, their roar when John's "Dark Knight" and "Frozen" were mentioned, their interest in process, their questions about careers.

Yesterday I asked Shadi if part of his felt responsibility was to offer hope in his analysis of ISIS and great discontent. The act of understanding, Shadi said, is a form of hope—a beautiful response in difficult days. But the students of Radnor High are also a form of hope—their connection to those who have gone before, their appreciation for a couple of hours spent with those who were once rising, questioning, wondering, too.

In a few hours, the second half of the program will commence. I'm dashing down to Penn to give a mini talk, then hurrying back to watch more greatness unfold.

A huge thank you to Mr Skip Shoemaker, Jeanne Lynam, Sharon Reardon, and the many others who create these immeasurable moments.


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