Alumni in the World 2023

New England Edition

The Alumni in the World Crescite Week Trip has become an annual tradition at The Heights in which current high school students have the chance to meet alumni studying and working in different parts of the United States. Past adventures included Atlanta, Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, New York City, Pittsburgh, San Antonio, and San Francisco along with dozens of colleges and universities. This year’s trip traveled through the northeast from a home base near Boston, Massachusetts. During the course of the week we spent time with 35 Heights alumni college students and professionals.  Here are some highlights:

Our first stop on Monday morning was Princeton University, where we visited Theo Clement ‘19, Shane Patrick ‘20, and John Dreiband ‘21. We unfortunately missed soccer player Daniel Diaz-Bonilla ‘19, but he will graduate from Princeton in May and then use his final year of eligibility at Syracuse. After Princeton, we continued on to Seton Hall and walked around with Aidom Tadesse ‘22.  Our final stop of the day was at West Point to see Joe McGiffin ‘10 and Bradley Diller ‘21. Joe, a Captain in the U.S. Army is currently a professor at West Point while Bradley is in his second year as a cadet.

Tuesday began with a visit to Thomas Aquinas College at their Northfield, Massachusetts Campus. Casey Kirk ‘19 gave us a tour of their beautiful snow-covered campus, which included Mass and “Burger Tuesday” in the dining hall. Our next stop was Assumption University, where 90% of the students participate in Division II athletics including Nolan Sheehan ‘19, who plays lacrosse and showed us his locker room and training areas. We also made a brief visit to Holy Cross and saw George Caldwell ‘20. That evening I had the chance to see two members of the class of 2000 living in Boston, Joe Arico ‘00 and John Williams ‘00.  The group also had dinner with former Heights teacher Dwight Duncan  and alumnus Joaquim Brooks ’16, followed by a tour of Harvard with seniors Cloud Barre ‘19, Jacob Cremers ‘19, and Nick Kelly ‘19.

On Wednesday morning we had breakfast with Joe Hardy ‘96 and got a tour of his newest, Central Rock Gym which is nearly completed. Joe spoke to the group about the need to constantly grow and improve yourself.  We used some free time later that morning to do a tour of Fenway Park before meeting Dr. Philip Allen ’12 for lunch. Dr. Allen spoke about his experiences as a cardiac surgery resident at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.  Our next stop was Boston College where we received an in-depth tour of the school with Francisco Serrano ‘19  and Jorge Dickens ‘20. Jorge, who plays Division I soccer for the Eagles showed us his locker room and the various practice and game facilities. That night we were able to attend the Boston Celtics vs Cleveland Cavaliers game, which was incredible.

Thursday began with breakfast and a history lesson in Concord, Massachusetts. We picked up Ramon Cancio ’83, then saw Walden Pond, the Old North Bridge, and the homes of the Transcendentalists. Next we visited Sparhawk Academy, a little brother school of The Heights located in Millis, Massachusetts on 60 wooded acres. Heights alumnus Matthew Reilly ’18 and former Heights teachers J.P. Lechner and Jim Golden work at the school.  After a tour and Mass at Sparhawk, we met Mark O’Donnell ’78, a Boston real estate agent for lunch. Next we headed to downtown Boston and the Liberty Mutual Insurance building. Javier Pluta ’09, Director of Product Analysis for the Global Casualty Office showed us his office and explained the insurance industry to the guys. We then walked through the Public Garden, Boston Commons, and the Statehouse before seeing the Bunker Hill Monument. For dinner at the Warren Tavern (est. 1780) we were joined by Daniel Lulli ’13, Patrick Martin ’13, Gordon Denis ’14, and Brady Hall ’14 who shared their academic and professional experiences. Our last stop of the day was at Mike’s Pastry where we enjoyed their famous cannoli!

Friday, our last full day in New England, was spent in Rhode Island. We began the day at the University of Rhode Island in Kingston with Ben Thomas ’21. Next we had lunch with Rich Weigel ‘79 and Frank Molinari ‘82 in Narragansett, who used to carpool to The Heights in the 70’s!  After lunch we visited Liam Jones ‘21 at Roger Williams University, where he plays Division III lacrosse and soccer for the Hawks. Our last stop in Rhode Island was Providence College where classmates Stephen Perencevich ‘21, Mark Stachura ‘21, and Jimmy Torres ‘21 gave a tour and shared their thoughts on the school. 

After an early departure from our AirBnB in Watertown, we started our return trip. Our final college visit was to Yale, where Ph.D. candidate John Kolesar ’16 gave us a thorough tour of the campus and surrounding sites including St Mary’s Church, where Blessed Michael McGivney, founder of the Knights of Columbus is buried. John, who is working toward his Ph.D. in computer science also showed us the buildings where he teachers and works.  Our last stop before returning to The Heights was for some amazing cheesesteaks at SQ Philip’s in Philadelphia.

New England was great and we look forward to traveling to the Midwest next year! Planned stops include Pittsburgh, Steubenville, Notre Dame, Chicago, and Hillsdale.