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

Charlie Lunsford ’24
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Tara Lennon

Co-President Charlie Lunsford ’24 explored the meaning of success at St. Andrew’s in his speech at Commencement 2024

I feel so much pride and joy to be standing up here today representing the Class of 2024. 

To all the teachers and faculty who have helped me along the way, my advisor, my friends, my family, thank you for pushing me to be the man I’ve grown into today, and most of all for believing in me. 

To my friends, thank you for teaching me how to laugh so hard that I cry, and for the memories we have made here. 

To my siblings, Liza, Will, and Jordan, thank you for making mistakes first, so I did not have to make them. I love you three. 

And finally to my mom and dad, I love you and truly cannot thank you enough for every single thing you have done for me. 

One of my favorite freshman boys, Barack Tillard ’27, comes up to me every single day with a new question. “Hey, Charlie, is my tennis forehand form correct?” “What's for lunch?” “Can you take me fishing?” He drives me insane, but I still love him. 

One day, though, he asked me a peculiar question that I pondered for a while. He asked me, “Charlie, how do I be successful at St. Andrew’s?” At first, I laughed, not really knowing how to answer, but then I realized the importance of his question. 

How do we define success at St. Andrew’s? Now, I think this may differ for many people, but I will tell you why I’ve found myself to have actually had much success at St. Andrew’s. Being here, we tend to obsess over the numbers or the letters, whether it is ACT SAT scores, quarter grades, passing or failing, As or Bs, or 12% acceptance rates. We might obsess over the numbers and letters that initially we believe define us. I’m guilty of this, as well, as I have found myself many times stressing over these numbers that I think are miniature reflections of myself. 

But when I ask myself, why did I come to St. Andrew’s, I remember it was never for the numbers or the letters. I came to St. Andrew’s to build connections, to find another home, to foster relationships between friends that would last a lifetime. I came to St. Andrew’s to figure out how to be a better man and to take steps to better myself. Numbers never contributed to this. 

I have 78 people who I love with my whole heart, an advisor who is like another father to me, teachers who I think would take a bullet for me, teammates and coaches that have pushed me towards my limits ever since my first practices here, roommates that will be best friends for life and one who will likely be my best man at my potential wedding. 

To me, this is success. I define success not by letters or numbers that are printed onto a piece of paper every two-and-a-half months, but instead by relationships I built here that will last a lifetime. 

So yes, strive to be the best you can be academically and work hard in class, but ask yourself, what does it mean to be successful at St. Andrew’s? Underclassmen, your time here will fly by, and soon enough you’ll be at your own Commencement like us. I hope you are all able to look back on your four years like I have and say success. Thank you. 

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