Senior Day at Jesuit High School on Friday (April 28) featured a full slate of events for the Class of 2017, including the farewell address of Student Council president Jack Knipe '17, the awarding of Senior Notables, and the 21st annual Senior-Alumni Luncheon, at which the Class of 2017 joined Jesuit's Alumni Association.
More than 100 alumni accompanied the seniors at the luncheon, which was held for the first time at the Tampa Airport Marriott. The event was highlighted by the honoring of 2016-17 Alumnus of the Year John Oliva '60, who delivered the keynote address, as well as a presentation from Max Campbell '17.
Oliva, who has generously shared his time, talent, and treasure with Jesuit in many capacities through the years (see below), expressed a mixture of gratitude, humility, and humor in receiving the honor. Numerous past Alumnus of the Year winners were in attendance, including Lee Pallardy '69 (2016), Joe Capitano Sr. '56 (2012), Dr. Frank Massari '41 (1997), and Ernest "Cookie" Garcia '50 (2015).
The day began with Knipe's farewell address during Convocation in the gymnasium. Next, the seniors took a class picture at Hyer Family Park (making the shape of a '17 in the outfield that was photographed from the football bleachers and with a drone), ate breakfast in the cafeteria, and then gathered in the MPR. There, Jake Moore '17 hosted the announcement of Senior Notables (see the list of winners below), which was followed by two presentations.
The first presentation, from Knipe, announced the senior class gift, an escutcheon (coat of arms). A limestone shield of the Jesuit Order, the escutcheon will adorn the entrance of the new Chapel of the Holy Cross. School president Fr. Richard C. Hermes, S.J. followed Knipe, speaking to the Class of 2017 about their four years at Jesuit. The class then viewed a special senior video before returning to the gymnasium for Mass and then departing for the luncheon.
Campbell closed the luncheon with his story of being embraced by the Jesuit community when he faced personal adversity, and he encouraged his classmates to give back to the school as alums.
See below a photo slideshow from Senior Day/Senior-Alumni Luncheon; videos of the luncheon presentations by Campbell and Oliva; the list of Senior Notables; and information about the Alumnus of the Year, Oliva.
2017 SENIOR NOTABLES
Most School Spirit
Most Likely To Succeed
JOHN OLIVA '60 - 2016-17 ALUMNUS OF THE YEAR
Since graduating in 1960, John E. Oliva Sr. has been an advocate of Jesuit High School, donating his time, talent, and treasure to supporting his alma mater and the Jesuit High School Alumni Association.
As the roots of a family-tree representing three generations of Jesuit Tigers – his son, Mark, is a 1984 graduate, and Oliva has two grandsons who also are Tigers – he has always been personally connected to the activities of the school.
Throughout the years Oliva has served Jesuit in many capacities, including as a member of the Foundation, Alumni Council, and President’s Steering Committee. He is a current member of the President’s Cabinet in support of the ‘For Greater Glory’ capital campaign (to which he made a $1 million donation) and also is a member of Jesuit High School’s 1899 Bequest Society and Hall of Fame.
Oliva is recognized as one of the world’s foremost tobacco farmers, but his true calling is his passion for helping others. He is an active member of St. Patrick’s Catholic Church and is a loyal supporter of Catholic education, including the Academy of the Holy Names, Christ the King, Incarnation Catholic School, Sacred Heart, St. Joseph’s, St. Lawrence, and Villa Madonna School.
For his many years of outstanding leadership and dedicated support to Jesuit and the Tampa Bay community, Jesuit High School is proud to recognize John Oliva as the 2016-17 Alumnus of the Year!