Photo by David Robaina ’25
By David Robaina ’25
Jesuit high schools all across America recognize students who exemplify the five Graduate at Graduation qualities during the end of a school year. These characteristics – Open to Growth, Intellectually Competent, Religious, Loving, and Committed to Doing Justice – are the pillars on which Brophy is built.
Brophy hopes that every student demonstrates all five Grad at Grad qualities in spades, but I’ve always wondered if a student could only practice a singular Grad at Grad, which would be the most important?
To find an answer, I interviewed five faculty members on Brophy’s campus, each with different jobs and areas of expertise. Principal Mr. James Bopp, freshman football coach Mr. Scott Heideman, Director of Equity and Inclusion Ms. Deena Sellers, and Chaplain Fr. Juan Pablo Marrufo del Toro believe that Loving is the most important pillar.
Many of the arguments for Loving described it as a Grad at Grad quality through which all others flow.
“I think Loving is the foundation of them all,” said Fr. del Toro. “This is what the Gospel and what Jesus says: ‘I have one commandment for you – to love one another as I love you.’”
Mr. Bopp reiterated that Love is the foundation of every Grad at Grad. In regards to Openness to Growth, he said, “Being open to growth means having to take the risks and be more connected and loving to other people, because it’s risky to love.”
On the other hand, English teacher Mr. Scott Middlemist ’87 views Committed to Doing Justice as the “most tangible, important Grad at Grad that we can help students develop before they go to college.”
“I think that if we really make an impact on students about how important community justice is,” Mr. Middlemist said, “ it’ll have a really lasting effect.”
Middlemist was not the only Brophy faculty member who emphasized the importance of Committed to Justice.
“I did wrestle with whether I thought Committed to Justice was the most important,” Mr. Bopp said, “but again I think if you have that disposition of being loving as willing the good of others then being committed to justice is a part of that.”
One thing that everyone agreed on, however, is that there are many ways to demonstrate the Grad at Grad concept of being Loving.
“Being loving isn’t just being good to a romantic partner or to your mom,” Ms. Sellers said. “It’s about loving yourself. It’s about wanting what’s best for you.”
“When you see me on campus,” Coach Heideman said, right before ab-checking me, “I’m just spreading the love.”