The 2017 academic year has officially commenced and the annual Service to commemorate this event for our students was held at St Peter’s Cathedral, Adelaide on Sunday 26th February.
Current students, parents, alumni and friends of St Mark’s all came together to celebrate the start of a new year whilst students were given the opportunity to reflect on their first week at St Mark’s and the friendships and relationships they have started to form. The students have embarked on the extraordinary experience and education of the ‘whole person’ which will develop them to be more academically, socially, mentally, spiritually and physically successful throughout the rest of their lives.
During his commencement sermon, Chaplain The Rev’d Grant Moore shared some wonderful stories and his personal reflection about the immense “treasure waiting to be discovered right here at St Mark’s … the treasure of a life-long friendship.” He quoted the likes of highly successful US theology professor, Paul Stevens who said “Unquestionably my primary theological education has been from people, from relationships”, and another extremely productive and well-known academic, Professor C. S. Lewis, who once acknowledged; “everything he’d done in his life wouldn’t have mattered much at all, if he hadn’t had friends to share it with.”
The Master’s opening address continued the theme of friendship and reflected on O’Week as “a week of fun filled activities with the express purpose of helping you feel part of the College … Whatever your background, you are all in this transition together, united in a new beginning, open to a new community and a new family at St Mark’s. During the year, seek advice and perspective from friends and mentors. Find communities of support within the greater St Mark’s Community. Make connections that will allow you to thrive.”
The Master continued to share valuable guidance about nurturing the friendships and relationships formed at College over the years and to “Live each day as if you will live forever. That means, first and foremost, that you should treat the people around you as if they too will be around for a very long time to come as you’ll get the best returns in life from investing your time in building durable friendships and long-lasting relationships.”
As the Master reflected on our new and returning students she highlighted one of the key reasons students return to St Mark’s year after year, “because they have found a group of friends to sustain them along the way, and those friendships will continue… I remember sitting here thirty three years ago and the friends with whom I sat on this day and for the following years have been my friends for life. They have been the people that encouraged me when I lacked confidence, they are my children’s Godparents, they were there for me during difficult times – because at College we were bound by a spirit of tradition, camaraderie, affection and shared experiences of a time that would never be repeated.
The closing words of the Master’s address summed up the St Mark’s experience well, “make the most of your time at St Mark’s – for this is a place where you will belong for life.”
St Mark’s College invests so much in the future of its students, providing an opportunity and environment that develops and challenges young adults to be their true self, broaden their horizons and preparing them for the next phase of their life as they complete university and enter the workforce. We provide the foundation for students to continue developing the capability, social skills, professionalism, maturity and networks to be highly employable and sought after in the workforce and to be upstanding and outstanding members of our communities.