Antigonish, Nova Scotia, Canada
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Message from the President

During my final academic year at StFX, 2007-2008, I was asked to speak to prospective students about my time at StFX.  I recently found a copy of the speech I wrote for the occasion, and realize the truths that existed then, continue to exist to this day.  Here is but an excerpt of what I had to say (though I’m sure the full text is just as invigorating as I remember it once was):

In April 2004, I came out to Antigonish with my dad and brother to see the town and university for myself.  The only thing was, I came at the end of exams.  Everything was packed up, all the residences were shut down, all the classrooms were empty, all the students were leaving, and it was snowing.  Yet from my tour, I saw…the passion with which my tour guide offered me glimpses of the school.  A student herself, she recalled her academic and social experiences her community involvement, her favourite memories.  My tour guide was graduating that May, and I could easily see that the tour was not just an introduction to the campus for me, but also part of a loving farewell from her.  I wasn’t the only one she impressed that day either.  I can vividly remember my dad looking at me and telling me, as we walked from Nicholson Tower to the Student Union Building, “If it was up to me, you’d be coming here, but the decision is yours”.

I’m not a guy who likes to make tough decisions.  In fact, I can remember once as a child at Dairy Queen, I took so long to choose between a Dilly Bar and a Dipped Cone that my parents eventually just walked away.  I had been accepted to everywhere I had applied in Ontario, so after my X tour, my mind still wasn’t made up.  To me, the final push came during class one day in May.  One teacher in particular had warned up about the “harsh” environments waiting for us in university.  Mr. McClosky.  He was a big guy, a football coach, with an imposing personality and an in-your-face teaching style.  Despite the exterior though, you knew he cared about his students.  One day, he went around the class, asking where we were thinking about going.  When it came to me, I truthfully answered - it’s between (one Ontario University), (another Ontario University), or StFX.  He looked me right in the eye and said “Don’t go to the (Ontario University) - you’ll come out thinking you know everything.  And don’t go to (the other Ontario University) - you need to get out of here.  Go to StFX - you will get to know people.


This is what X is about.  It’s a place that’s incredibly connected - people know you, who you are, and where you can go.  Forming social networks, meeting new, incredible friends, it’s not even an option:  at this school, you can’t avoid a person if you tried.  It’s far too small, far too much of a community.  It’s well and truly, a home.

You need only to connect with one of our Alumni Chapters spread coast-to-coast, or come back for a homecoming (whether it’s your 1st or your 50th) to see just how much Coach McClosky was right.  As Alumni, the connection to people, and to our place, can bring this home to wherever we find ourselves. 

Connect (or reconnect) with us today.  Volunteer with our chapters, engage with our charity initiatives, and help us continue to make StFX a home for its current students with your time, your passion and any amount of financial support you find yourself able to provide.  For over 125 years our Association has been keeping Xaverians connected. Help us continue to build Canada’s most engaged Alumni network - the very best is still yet to come! 

Hail and Health,

Marc Rodrigue '08

President, StFX Alumni Association

PS - If I could choose again, I think I’d go with the dipped ice cream bar.


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