It is truly amazing and scary how quickly time passes. Days turn from months to years to decades in the blink of an eye. Then one day you wake up and realize that a quarter of a century has gone by. This awe is exactly what I felt as I opened my eyes on the day of my 25th high school reunion.
There was a sense of excitement as I prepared for the almost two-hour drive back to my ancestral stomping grounds to return to a place where I took many of my first steps into becoming the man that I am today. After much running around, I finally hopped in the car (an hour and thirty minutes later than scheduled) to begin my journey. The drive was filled with anticipation and frustration. The frustration came from the sheer amount of traffic adding to my anxiety of not making it before it ended. The anticipation came from just the mere wonder of whom I was going to see at this reunion as I have only kept up with less than a handful of people since graduation.
I haven’t lived there since I left for college, but whenever I drive into Baltimore I just feel at home. There is this sort of spiritual rejuvenation that occurs every time, regardless of my reasons for being there. On this day it was even more heightened. As I stepped on the grounds of Mount Saint Joseph for the first time in about 20 years, I was awestruck. So much of the campus was the same. I could see visions of my friends and me playing Magic: The Gathering in the cafeteria over strombolis and waiting in the circle to be picked up. I saw a part of myself that I had not seen in quite some time.
This magic only intensified as I continued to walk through the campus. The nostalgia cascaded as I walked across the footbridge, leaving the old campus and laying my eyes on the more recent, state-of-the-art additions to the Mount. This combination of old and new was the perfect backdrop to a reunion that offered new connections with old friends.
Many of us had not seen each other in twenty-five years. Some looked the same while others did not. Whether we were friends or not while in high school, the reunion solidified one thing that we are brothers; Mount Men. For us, our experiences at Saint Joe set us forth on a path that helped define the men that we became.
It has been a long winding journey since that day of June in 1996 when we received our diplomas and sang the alma mater. There have been many highs, lows, losses, and triumphs since. I am the man that I am today because of Mount Saint Joseph, and this reunion only codified it for me. Hail Mount Saint High, Hail All Hail!