Seventeen members of the Class of 2026 received Magis Awards at a ceremony in O’Keefe Commons on June 8 as they celebrated the conclusion of their first year at Prep.
Freshmen nominate their peers annually for these honors to recognize those among them who most embody the Jesuit ideal of the magis—striving toward the “more” or the “greater.”
In his opening remarks, Director of Admissions Mr. John Irvine, ’83, P’11 invited all the attendees to stand and to raise their hands. He then encouraged them to raise their hands even higher.
“You thought you were reaching as high as you could, and yet you found you’re able to go a little bit higher,” he said. “So think about that. If you can reach higher, try harder, do more with someone else, or be a better person, why wouldn’t you?”
As he concluded, he urged the Class of 2026 to view their upcoming sophomore year as an opportunity to set active new goals, not just academically, but beyond the classroom.
“That is the magis. It’s a restless desire to do more, to think bigger, and to work harder. And so that’s the challenge for each of you. Be more active. Challenge yourself.”
The ceremony continued with remarks from Nicolai Mendoza, ’24, his first public ones as newly elected president of Prep’s Student Council.
“It is solely not a matter of the success that you will eventually achieve, but more importantly, the process it takes together,” he said. “To be able to say, despite the failures and challenges I face today, I learned something, something I would carry with me beyond this day and use for later, greater success, is what I deem to be the goal of the magis.”
Newly graduated members of the Class of 2023 then presented the Magis Awards and read aloud portions of peer-submitted nominations, highlighting why each recipient deserved this honor.
We congratulation all this year’s winners:
- Angel Acevedo, ’26 of Jersey City
- Aedan Amato, ’26 of Secaucus
- Tyler Barksdale, ’26 of Piscataway
- Hulbert Belvis, ’26 of Jersey City
- Andrew Breihof, ’26 of Nutley
- Patrick Cansino, ’26 of Jersey City
- Cyrus Cheng, ’26 of Secaucus
- Evan Donath, ’26 of Jersey City
- Tiago Enright, ’26 of Westfield
- Thomas Fecowycz, ’26 of Westfield
- Zane Fritz, ’26 of Union City
- Sebastian Gray, ’26 of Weehawken
- Jay Johnson, ’26 of Jersey City
- Theodore Leon, ’26 of Basking Ridge
- Conor Naughton, ’26 of South Orange
- Liam O’Neil, ’26 of Livingston
- Joakim Pagcu, ’26 of Cedar Grove
Prep Principal Mr. Chris Caulfield, ’03 then offered words of advice.
“I am so impressed with the fact that so many of you have distinguished yourselves as leaders, even in your first year at Prep. As I look out over the many faces in front of me, I see a great deal of potential, potential to make your mark for three more years….” he said. “It is on you to write your own Prep success story. So make today a new chapter that will bring you to heights you may never have imagined for yourself.”
The day, and freshmen year for the Class of 2026, finally concluded with a prayer from Fr. John Mullin, S.J. and Director of Campus Ministry Dr. Susan Woolever.
“We thank you for the many sacrifices we have made in order to succeed academically, to make our teams the best they could be, and to animate all our activities this past year. Help us to be young men of competence, conscience, and compassion.”