On May 3, 2022, more than 100 alumni and guests gathered in the Harlan Crow Library, located at the home of Kathy & Harlan Crow in Dallas, for the latest installment of the St. Mark’s Alumni Leadership Speaker Series. The event featured a fireside chat on Civic Responsibility with Dr. David Vanderpool ’78, CEO and Founder of LiveBeyond, and Matt Osborne ’90, Director of International Operations at Operation Underground Railroad. The discussion was moderated by Dr. John Perryman, Director of Civic Responsibility at St. Mark's.
During the program, Dr. Vanderpool and Mr. Osborne shared inspiring stories of how they are impacting communities around the world and how their St. Mark’s experience shaped their perspectives, instilling in them the necessary tools to be successful in their field of service.
“The connection might not seem obvious, but I can still remember the poems Mr. Connolly assigned to us in his English class,” Dr. Vanderpool said, referring to former longtime faculty member J.J. Connolly. “It’s hard to imagine how that led to living and working in Haiti. But the directionality he gave us through his dedication and love for learning really stuck with me to this day.”
The graduates also discussed how St. Mark’s continues to play a critical role in developing young men into servant leaders. While Operation Underground Railroad partners with local law enforcement to pursue human traffickers, Mr. Osborne also focuses on reaching out to and educating men through his volunteer work with the advocacy group New Friends New Life.
“That's what I love about St. Mark's: you're teaching character and leadership. You are teaching boys to be good and decent men,” said Mr. Osbrone. “That's what I think is the long-term solution to many of the issues we face.”
Throughout the evening, Dr. Perryman also shared ways that Marksmen learn about Civic Responsibility. One of the outcomes of the latest strategic plan, Goals for St. Mark’s IV, challenged the School to “develop curriculum for Upper School students to broaden their understanding of civic engagement and leadership.” Under Dr. Perryman’s leadership, Marksmen have had the opportunity to work with and learn from local community leaders and groups, including the African American Museum of Dallas and the Dallas Holocaust and Human Rights Museum. AP Economics students have even connected with members of the Childhood Poverty Action Lab to help study and solve real-world issues. As Dr. Perryman explains, “Our goal is to develop more knowledgeable, skilled, and empathetic citizens of our city, our country, and the larger world.”
The Alumni Association’s Leadership Speaker Series aims to provide Marksmen with lifelong learning opportunities, hearing from guest speakers in a variety of fields and interests. Each year, Marksmen gather at incredible venues across Dallas to hear from distinguished speakers across diverse fields, from sports and science to business and barbeque.