Our annual Faculty-Trustee Dinner is a great opportunity for St. Sebastian's employees and board members to spend time together and to celebrate outstanding service to our School. On Thursday, November 7, Dean of Students Brendan Sullivan P’25 and faculty member Steve Dagdigian P’09 were honored for their 25 years of service to St. Sebastian's. Faculty member Jim Ferguson, who was unable to attend the dinner, was also recognized for achieving this great milestone.
The formal program began with an opening prayer from Fr. John Arens and welcoming remarks from Headmaster Burke. Board of Trustees President Jim Elcock '77, P'08 also spoke, thanking the faculty and staff for all they do to support and build up St. Sebastian's. Tim Connelly P’17,’19 then took the podium to share that he and his wife, Amie, have generously endowed the Tim and Amie Connelly Distinguished Chair in Classics at St. Sebastian's. Sean Albertson is so very honored to be the first to hold the title.
After a delicious dinner, Headmaster Burke spoke about the evening’s two honorees, sharing comments and memories from past and current faculty members, as well as thoughts from his own sons who were taught and coached by Brendan and Steve during their days as Arrows.
Among the remarks shared about Steve, beloved history teacher and former hockey coach, were the following words from Will Burke ‘95: “Didge is a man who always inspires his students and players with a unique blend of intensity and levity, with a roaring fire in his belly and a joyful twinkle in his eye.” Denis Cleary, chair of the history department, praised his fellow faculty member, saying: “His classes are upbeat, his observations of his students show a real concern not only for their academic progress, but for their emotional stability as well. He is a wonderful advocate for the kids he’s assigned.”
Remarks about Brendan highlighted his dedication to the School community, and in particular, to our students. Beginning his career at St. Sebastian’s as a biology teacher and coach, he transitioned to his role as Dean of Students in 2006 and has been an exceptional leader and mentor for the boys. Nancy Sanderson noted: “Brendan's patience is unmatched. He proves that on a daily basis. There are thousands of examples...” Headmaster Burke added “I could poll them all – every member of the St. Sebastian’s family – and we’d hear the same story. A humble servant of the truth, a trusted friend, a tireless laborer in the vineyard, a happy, healthy, holy, truly good family man of faith and honor, dignity and respect.” Brendan himself also shared some heartfelt remarks about his 25 years at St. Sebastian’s. He individually recognized many past and current faculty and staff, as well as members of his own family, who have served as wonderful role models and advisors in his role as Dean of Students.
From all of us at St. Sebastian's, we thank Brendan and Steve, as well as Jim Ferguson, for their many years of devoted service to our School.