Skip To Main Content

An Episcopal, co-educational 100% boarding school in Middletown, Delaware for grades 9 – 12

School co-president Ford Chapman gives an address at Commencement 2023.
  • Recent Talks
Ford Chapman ’23

School co-president Ford Chapman ’23 gave this talk at Commencement 2023

As I think of the most memorable experiences I’ve had at St. Andrew’s, football naturally comes to mind. Football was the first thing I did on this campus and has permeated every aspect of my life at St. Andrew’s. Once, Coach DiGati told the linebackers to “play for the name on our chests.” Of course, that name was St. Andrew’s. As we graduate, we need to remember the values St. Andrew’s has instilled in us and display them confidently on our chests. I’d like to talk about three values that tie St. Andreans together: accountability, drive, and care. 

Accountability. It is central to every part of life at St. Andrew’s. When we go to breakfast check-in, study hall, or to bed at night, we are expected to hold ourselves accountable to these expectations. We then learn to hold those around us accountable when they fall short, and we can expect our peers to do the same for us. It may come as a shock to many of you, but I love the phone culture here at St. Andrew’s. The strength of that culture relies on every person holding themselves and those around them accountable while being open to others asking more of them—even as the battle against phones is becoming harder to fight. Social media platforms like Instagram and TikTok quickly transform phones from simple conveniences to weapons against attention span, forces that drive invisible space between people. We only have so much time with the people we meet here at St. Andrew’s, so make the most of the time you have with each other by leaving your phone in your room and urging others to do the same.

Next: drive. St. Andreans like you always reach for the next step forward. Especially when things get tough, we carefully mull over our options before making thoughtful and purposeful decisions. I’m not sure anyone exemplifies this more than my roommate Isaac Lawrence, who this past year has dealt with significant adversity. It would have been easy for Isaac to prioritize his comfort over his many responsibilities at school. Instead, he reached far beyond the lofty expectations that people had of him. Isaac’s determination motivates the entire school to be the best they can be. Drive like that will not be forgotten. Isaac is what drive looks like.

Finally: care. At St. Andrew’s, care is figuring out what you love about the community and investing yourself to preserve it. Anyone on Sherwood may have heard my other roommate, Philip, exclaim “I don’t care!” at random times throughout the year. But, actions speak louder than words, and anyone who notices how Philip carries himself knows: Philip cares about building meaningful relationships with those around him. For better or for worse, he is always the first one to disarm a conflict and try to mediate a solution in hopes of cultivating deeper bonds. Philip is what care looks like. 

To finish, thank you to my family for encouraging me to come to St. Andrew’s and encouraging me to be the best person I can be. On behalf of my peers, I’d like to thank all of my classmates' families for motivating all of these wonderful students. Thank you to all of the faculty who have guided me through my time here. A huge thank you to all of my friends. 

I wouldn’t be the man I am without all of you. I would call you my family, but I don’t think even being family could bring us closer than we are now. 

And thank you to the Class of 2023. As we depart from St. Andrew’s, remember to wear the St. Andrew’s name— and the values we have practiced here—proudly on your chest. Thank you.

  • Front Lawn Talks
  • Senior Talks 2023
  • Talks Text