Valedictorian and Salutatorian Speeches

Posted: June 2, 2015


Co-Valedictorian Address By Giuliano Capicchioni ’15

            Good afternoon Brother Rice administration, faculty and staff, all the Brother Rice community families and my fellow graduates. For a while I was thinking to myself what kind of speech would I give at graduation… Would it be funny? Would I inspire the audience? It is difficult to put into words the tremendous experience Rice has to offer, so eventually, I just stopped thinking and wrote what first came to my mind and heart, so here it is.

First, it is an honor to be able to speak on behalf of the class of 2015. We truly have an amazing class of seniors and I am proud to be among them. I hope that in this speech I am able to articulate the thoughts and feelings of our class as a whole, but I feel confident knowing I have 170 brothers here with me that have my back, and I have theirs.

I would like to begin by thanking God for the plan he has for all of us, he led us to Brother Rice and will continue to guide us in our futures. Thank you to my family, especially my parents who always work tirelessly for my benefit, and my brother for motivating me and always being a role model in my life. Thank you to the many wonderful teachers for making a difference in our lives by teaching us not only how to be good students, but also more importantly, how to be good men. And thank you to my classmates and brothers who are graduating with me today, for making Brother Rice so awesome and memorable.

So what does it mean to be a Brother Rice Warrior? What makes Brother Rice so special from the other schools?

A person who has never been a part of the Brother Rice community might say that Brother Rice High School is solely about athletics with little regard about anything else, but these claims are utterly false because it is so much more than that.

To me a Brother Rice Warrior is a well-rounded man in the pursuit of excellence in all he does, and Brother Rice as an institution is set apart from the others because we continue to achieve and produce more complete men on an annual basis. Understand that I am not trying to put Brother Rice on a pedestal above everybody else, I am just trying to say that I am proud to be a warrior and I am thankful every day for what Brother Rice has done for me.

As students, we all share in the same struggles of class work and bond over getting through tough projects and tests. As friends, we enjoy our school’s sports, celebrate our achievements, and create lasting memories of our own that will pass the test of time. And as brothers we come together to form the community that is Brother Rice.

And through it all, there are countless memories that I could talk about for hours, from winning a Catholic League title, to going on a mission trip with MR. C and Coach Hall, to learning from some amazing teachers and listening to their life lessons… oh and Kairos, don’t even get me started on Kairos, that was amazing… But it all adds up, and the result is that the students become Brother Rice Warriors.

And so I am reminded of a quote from our very own Coach Rayles, and no it is not the statement that we had to write on a piece of paper and have our parents sign which stated, “Coach Rayles does not round up!” Rather the quote I am referring to is – whenever a shadow came to visit freshmen year, Coach Rayles would say, “hopefully he is not just a warrior for the day, but a warrior for life”, and this phrase stuck with me. So this is how I will end. My fellow classmates, friends and brothers, we were not just a warrior for a day, nor were we warriors for just four years. We are Warriors for life. We will carry our Brother Rice experience with us for the rest of our lives. The lessons we learned in our short four years will inevitably have a positive impact on our lives in the future.

This is it guys. Time to hand over the torch and lead our own lives. We will continue to grow and be men of excellence throughout our lives because of Brother Rice. And never forget that you are a part of the Rice family now. The community we share at Brother Rice is very real and tangible, and I feel blessed to be a part of it. We really are a Band of Brothers. Thank you again, God bless everyone, and one last time…



Co-Valedictorian Address By John Penington ’15

Thank you Brother Segvich and good afternoon President Birney, Father Yost, Brother Rice Board members, Brother Rice Faculty, Parents, Classmates, Family members, especially m119354835y younger brother Robert (who will be losing his chauffeur next year), and my parents (Julie and Richard).

I am honored to be graduating today with the greatest class in the history of Brother Rice and to have this special opportunity to speak with you today.  Many of you may not know this, but I have always been an avid distance runner and the mile is my favorite race.  Looking back over the last four years here a Brother Rice reminds me of running the mile – four laps around the track and each lap presents a new challenge.

Lap 1/Freshman Year

Before the gun goes off, you are both nervous and excited.  You are sizing up the competition and they are sizing up you.. You are wondering, have I trained enough for this race and how will I do?  Will I achieve my goals? After the gun goes off, you are no longer nervous.  You feel as though you have been shot out of a cannon.  Everyone is jostling for position and there is no turning back.

On the first day of Freshman year, you are nervous and wondering if you have prepared yourself for high school.  There are a few familiar faces but you do not know most of your classmates and they come from varied backgrounds and schools. How will I do? You wonder.  Once school goes into full swing, you feel welcome and quickly become comfortable with the pace.

Highlights included:

  • Joining the Band of Brothers and high school sports
  • Being taught and coached by the legends: Mr. Hickey, Mr Rademacher, Mr. Filo, Mr. Hoch, Mrs. Johnson,  Magister, Coach Fracassa, and Coach Stark, just to name a few
  • Some of us had the experience of witnessing Mrs. Lauer dancing on a desk

The first year goes by fast and there is not looking back.

Lap 2 Sophomore Year

In the second lap of the mile, you are getting into the groove of the race.  You begin to re-evaluate your strategy.  Should I remain the front runner or hang back and come from behind at the end of the race?  What do I want to do over the next 3 laps?

In our Sophomore year, we arrive at school and at least know where our locker is, even if we still do not know our combination.  We feel more confident, especially when we see the baby-faced freshman who seemed to get smaller every year.  We are no longer freshmen and at the bottom of the totem pole.  We begin to explore more opportunities and extra-curricular activities.  We watched one too many disgusting videos in health class.  But, Sophomore year will always be remembered by Delano Madison’s infamous lateral to Jason Alessi in the state championship game.

Lap 3 Junior Year

The third lap of the mile is known as the “dog” lap, you are halfway done but your legs begin to stiffen.  You are hitting a wall and it is now “mind over matter.”  You faintly hear Mr. Wile yelling out random splits and your parents screaming at you to push harder (no Mom, I think I will take it easy now).

This is the most difficult lap that makes or breaks the race and separates the boys from the men.  When Junior year begins, you know it will be a grind.  Classes become more difficult and require more attention.  This is the last year to pump up your GPA.  Junior year is a blur.  You are staying up later, not because you want to, but because you have to study harder for school AND prepare for the SAT and ACT!  The third year ends with great anticipation of being a senior.

Lap 4 Senior Year

The fourth and final lap of the mile is the “gut it out” lap.  You know the race is almost over and with it, the pain. Fatigue makes it more difficult to focus on the race, you just want to get it over with.  You wonder how much do I have “left in the tank.” When you arrive at school , you are looking forward to being a senior and graduating You quickly learn that classes continue to become harder and the pile of college applications taunts you.  Halfway through the school year, it is more difficult to focus on school due to senioritis.  Will this year ever end? It drags on just like this speech.  Highlights of the last year included:

  • Visiting college campuses
  • Constantly checking your email for acceptances…or rejections
  • Kairos where the true bond of brotherhood emerges

As a class, we collectively won 12 State Championships and counting.  Maybe we can finally get one in Track.  Hey, I am allowed to dream.

The Finish Line/Graduation Day

Well here we are today…crossing the Finish Line…Graduation Day.  Have we accomplished all of our goals?  Well don’t worry. These last four years were only a warm-up.  Now, the marathon begins.  We are all well prepared because Brother Rice provided us with:

  • A great education
  • An understanding and love of God
  • Strong values
  • Strong work ethic
  • Good friends and a large network of brothers

Brother Rice was able to provide this preparation due to a:

  • Faculty who cared about the students
  • A strong curriculum
  • A commitment to athletics and
  • Students who had a strong bond as brothers who would do anything for each other

Thank you Brother Rice for preparing us for the marathon called LIFE. Thank you to our parents for giving us the opportunity to attend Brother Rice and for their love and support over the years.  The one think I learned from running all these years is that I always need to “run my own race.”

Congratulations class of 2015!  It is time to “run your own race.”


Salutatorian Address By Michael Roney ’15

I’d be lying if I said I was excited to leave.  I could never truly put into words the experiences, the memories I’ve had at this school and with these guys.  It’s just indescribable.  So instead I’m going to ask a question.  What did we learn at Brother Rice?  I know a lot of guys are probably like uhhh well nothing.  But we learned a lot.  Whether it was how to get a better grade, how to run a better route (thanks Grant), the joy of winning (which we did a lot I might add) the pain of losing, how to be a better teammate, how to be a better friend, how to be a better son, nephew, grandson, how to be a better brother.  From late nights at Nicos, to the Leo’s on Telegraph with my gvt boys, from dodge ball in the gym to gooning at basketball games to field day, from football to Kairos to 118089188Punta, Brother Rice has made me the man I am today.  You guys have made me the man I am today.  So where are we?  17 or 18 and in some cases 19, moving on with our lives.  Headed for the next step.  But as you walk this journey that is your life, don’t forget to look back every once in a while.  See the times that we’ve had, the memories we’ve make. Because, not everyone in this world is going to have your back, but we will.  We always will. Thank you guys so much for everything.

I love you boys.