"Be A Man"
If you are part of the Xavier community, you have an understanding of the meaning of the Xavier motto – Be A Man - that has been here since the school’s opening in 1963.
Three small words. No context. Let's bring context.
Donna Jaskot has been here full-time since 1989; her three sons each went to school here. Now she is assistant to the headmaster and principal. And, for her, it’s about principles.
“To be a man means to continually strive to be the best human being you can be and to challenge and nurture others to do the same,” Jaskot said.
“I have seen the Xavier school motto in action by witnessing countless young men, including my own sons, and many faculty and staff, male and female, serving others with love and compassion.”
In the 1965 student handbook, there was this: Xavier High School challenges you to be a man … to perfect your mind by studying diligently, your will by doing good, your senses by appreciating things beautiful, your whole being by uniting yourself to God … the one, the true, the good, the beautiful.
Brother Lawrence Harvey, who was leaving Xavier after 12 years, six as principal, said at the 1998 graduation:
"You have graduated from a school whose motto, `Be a Man,' can be thought of as anachronistic to those unfamiliar with Xavier. How outdated that can seem… If you have learned anything during your time at Xavier, however, I hope and pray that you've learned what it is to be a man. Our expectation for you is that you live up to your school motto, for to be a man is to be the person God has created you to be, without excuse, without hesitation. To be a Xavier man is to be a man of service to others, to be a Xavier man is to be a person of compassion, to be a Xavier man is to be a person of integrity.''
Rich Magner has been a student, teacher, coach and guidance counselor here. To him the motto means, “We want young men to grow up and be accountable for their actions. We hope they are good Christians and appreciate the gifts and talents that they have and share with those less fortunate.”
“It is meant to stretch the student, to be a man in fullest sense of what that means,” former Headmaster Brother Brian Davis said. “You are created in God’s image … the school would grow you spiritually, academically and physically to really be a man in all senses of the word.”
Three small words. So much to think about.
(Adapted from an article in the 2018-2019 edition of Xavier Magazine)