Author and historian, Professor the Lord Hennessy of Nympsfield, was the guest of honour at Stonyhurst College’s prize-giving this year.
In his speech, Peter Hennessy encouraged Stonyhurst’s pupils always to enjoy learning for its own sake. “Remember Einstein’s words – ‘Never lose a holy curiosity’”, he said. “The little grey cells do not recognise society’s obsession with status and social class.” The Headmaster, Andrew Johnson said in his speech that good pastoral care and concern for young people’s well-being are more important than ever, as they face the increasing pressures and pace of modern life: “Important though academic success undoubtedly is, the development of character is equally essential, and this is something which distinguishes us here”, he said. The Head Boy and Head Girl, Victor Keunen and Olivia Haworth, also gave speeches, in which they thanked staff and parents for their support, and remembered key events and milestones over their time at Stonyhurst.
Prize-giving took place at Stonyhurst’s ‘Great Academies’ weekend - two days of events attended by parents, including drama, dance and musical performances, exhibitions, talks and sporting fixtures. Great Academies also marks the departure of students in their final year: the Leavers’ Mass in St Peter’s Church drew the entire school community together, and was a moving and very poignant occasion. The chief celebrant, Fr Gerard Hughes SJ, spoke about the central principle of Jesuit education, which is to enable each individual to find, develop and use their unique talents for the good of others. As ever, Stonyhurst’s powerful singing raised the roof, and mass was followed by an emotional and lengthy photo session outside the church afterwards.
Fr Gerard Hughes SJ, the headmaster Andrew Johnson, Peter Hennessy and Fr John Twist SJ. (s)
Important though academic success undoubtedly is, the development of character is equally essential, and this is something which distinguishes us hereHeadmaster Andrew Johnson