On the morning of Tuesday, August 22, 2017, St. Mark’s School of Texas welcomed 879 boys to campus for its 111th first day of school. Across 10600 Preston Road, students filed into class, greeted their teachers, and got to know their classmates. As the morning got underway, the student body gathered together with the faculty and staff in the W. W. Browning, Jr., Great Hall for this year’s Opening Convocation.
“When I was a student, what made St. Mark’s special were the people: my teachers and classmates,” Board of Trustees President Jon Mosle ’79 said in his welcoming remarks. “My main wish for you is that you come together as a class, as a community, that you build relationships that last a lifetime, and that you treat each other with respect and kindness.”
Student Council President Canyon Kyle ’18 challenged his classmates to get to know all of the people who make up the St. Mark’s community. “As students, we should not be separated by age, background, or friend group. We are brothers, united by something special. We are Marksmen.”
Eugene McDermott Headmaster David Dini reiterated a message he delivered to boys in their class meetings as they prepared to start the year. “Don’t just focus on achievements and contributions in the classroom but think about what your responsibilities are as a Marksman: exhibiting good character, demonstrating integrity, caring for one another at all times, and reaching out to make sure everyone is included. These are all things that are fundamental to who we are as a school.”
Finally, Mr. Dini welcomed special guest speaker Emmanuel Acho ’08, an ESPN college football analyst and veteran NFL linebacker, who shared advice from his time at St. Mark’s. “Worry more about your character than your reputation. Your character is who you really are. Your reputation is simply who people think you are. So I challenge everyone this year to be far more concerned with their character, with who they truly are when no one is looking, than with their reputation.”
Following Convocation, students and teachers enjoyed freshly grilled burgers and hot dogs on the Quad and celebrated the start of the 2017–2018 school year.