On Saturday, Jan. 21, more than 350 Priory sons and dads gathered at the Missouri Athletic Club for an evening of comradery and celebration. Andy Geisse ’75 was the guest speaker and shared memories of his time at Priory and the impact the monks, especially Father Luke, had on his life. He highlighted how perseverance played a major role throughout his career. His remarks made an impression on all in attendance. One Priory senior highlighted what he took away from the evening - his remarks are below.
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Reflection by senior Tejas Sekhar
Now a senior at Priory, I have attended the Father/Son Banquet for the past four years. The previous three speakers have all been tremendously successful, each possessing a wealth of knowledge and expertise in their respective fields. Priory has set an increasingly high standard for the keynote speaker every subsequent Father/Son Banquet. This year’s speaker, Mr. Andy Geisse ‘75, didn’t just meet the standard, he raised it. Mr. Geisse’s ability to connect, not only the parents, but with the entire Priory community was impressive. I really felt like Mr. Geisse didn’t try to talk down to those in attendance, but rather tried to engage the audience in a meaningful way.
To lighten the mood, Mr. Geisse opened up with a number of stories. I found the story about him and his wife meeting the Clintons and the Bushes to be the most amusing anecdote of the evening. Mr. Geisse’s storytelling ability coupled with his unique point-of-view provided for a memorable experience. Surprisingly, I was able to find numerous instances and scenarios that were similar to my own life, and perhaps in my future as a graduate of Priory. It is not often that you get the chance to hear from someone of your community who has achieved such astounding success who, simultaneously, is so relatable.
Mr. Geisse didn’t only attempt to entertain with his speech, but also to inspire. The story about his perseverance in his professional life despite various disappointments encouraged me to turn my own failures into successes. I have now realized that we cannot win every battle, so to speak. But, that doesn’t mean that we cannot win the whole war. One single failure does not detract from a lifetime of true success. If we let ourselves to simply be complacent with our losses, we will never be able to utilize our full potential. Through his speech and his life story, Mr. Geisse showed me the importance of allowing our downfalls to shape our triumphs to make us better than we ever were before.
Mr. Geisse’s speech also affirmed what I have learned throughout my Priory career; meaningful relationships are the key to true success. We are defined by our treatment of others and we must remember to give credit where credit is due. No matter how talented or amazing we appear to be, we are all products of various sources of influence by the efforts of numerous people. There is not a single person has done anything great without help from others. We must learn to be humble, despite our incredible privilege. Mr. Geisse has taught me how important it is to retain this humility in everything that we do.
I will take what I have learned from Mr. Geisse and attempt to apply it to my life not only at Priory, but well beyond too. I am incredibly lucky to have been able to have been a part of the Priory community and know that my experience here has shaped who I am today. With my Priory education and the motivation to strive to be the best that I can be, I am sure that nothing can stop me. As the saying goes – “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you'll land among the stars.”