William Findlay ’15

Dear Men of Avon,

I can say without a doubt this will be one of the toughest challenges you men will go through in life. Especially for you seniors, to not have that last spring semester to be outside for classes on a beautiful day or running out on the field one last time with your brothers. That is hard and I am deeply sorry. However, you don't know it yet, you are all already prepared, especially seniors, for this challenge; because Avon has prepared you for it.

Let me explain, you might not see it, you may not feel it yet, but there will be a moment where you look back on a time during your journey at Avon where you had to push through a difficult time to cross that finish line. I was just in that position, this fall finishing up my last semester at Hobart and William Smith Colleges. What an incredible time may I say, to step back and remember what Avon had taught me… I was isolated in Upstate New York in the Finger Lakes, where Hobart is, with none of my friends around, all gone. No one to talk to or go to the bars with to just get a drink, especially after a three-and-half-hour lecture class on James Joyce that met three times a week and ended at 10 p.m. Trust me, the drink was needed.

However, what I took from this experience and truly the reason I pushed through that brutal fall semester to graduate, was because Avon taught me, "When you start something you finish it." I know that sounds cliché, but it is the truth. With that saying, there was always one word that would come to mind: integrity. This is something Avon drills in your head. What I took from that word was that when you start something you finish it in the most honorable manner possible. You don't quit. You quit, you'll have Mr. Bourgault yelling at you, “Men of Avon never quit!!” I assure you of that, they fight. Why? Because every man at Avon has a fight in them.

We thank our teachers and coaches for that one. However, we usually see that fight when we are down a point or two vs. Sailsbury and its the last period or quarter and there's a minute on the clock and you tell yourself or your brothers, "We aren't done here, we just started," and it is not until that clock hits 00:00 did we leave everything out there and finish what we started.

My point is that COVID -19 is a huge epidemic in our world today, and as we stay quarantined with our loved ones, is to not forget you have that fight in you, as the hard times will come these next weeks. My suggestion would be to pick up a good book, new hobby, maybe set a workout routine everyday so you want to stay fit through this hard time and be ready for your fall sports. What I am trying to say is, set a goal for yourselves and see it through to the finish line in whatever you choose to pursue. 

To the seniors, good luck this spring and I wish you also the best of luck in your next chapter in life. Again I am deeply sorry for your spring term being taken away from you as we get through this virus. But, this is when you have to dig deep and keep that fight in you and push through until you step into your new classrooms and new fields. As you will begin your next chapter of your life sooner than you know it. I do hope this was helpful and I wish the best of luck to all of you.

To all The Men of Avon, faculty, and Headmaster Detora, take care and be well.


William Findlay '15

Aspirando et Perseverando