Governor Charlie Baker Helps Celebrate Founder’s Day and 90 Years in West Roxbury

On Thursday, 26 October, Governor Charlie Baker delivered the keynote Hall address to students, faculty, trustees, and guests, as the honored speaker for Roxbury Latin’s 2017 Founder’s Day celebration. Founded by John Eliot in 1645, Roxbury Latin is the oldest school in continuous existence in North America, and this year the school celebrates, in particular, its 90th year in West Roxbury.


In his remarks, Governor Baker told the boys that greatness comes in not shying away from discomfort. “If you truly want to be great,” he said, “in whatever field of endeavor, the likelihood that you will get there without a few setbacks is very small.” Governor Baker drew upon the experience of his first gubernatorial race, which he lost to Deval Patrick in 2010. After lots of consideration, and after facing uncomfortable realities about why that campaign wasn’t successful, he ran again and won the 2014 race by a slim margin. In that victory, Governor Baker was aware that half the electorate had voted for someone else, and he knew he had to prove himself to those constituents. “So, we built a bipartisan cabinet,” he said. “We went out of our way to talk to those people who worked for our opponents, and we chose the best people for the job, regardless of the letter at the end of their name.”


Governor Baker urged the boys to allow for the possibility of failure, and then to learn from that failure. “I hope when you come to those forks in the road you will choose the tough road. Because not only will you be better for it, so will we.”


Following Governor Baker’s remarks, students and faculty took part in special programming that drew on the School’s rich history. The Reverend F. Washington Jarvis—who served as Roxbury Latin’s headmaster from 1974 to 2004—delivered an historic presentation on the School’s evolution, dating back to the charter John Eliot received from King Charles I. Students then toured the campus in small groups, visiting faculty docents located at sites commemorating important figures in the School’s 373-year history. Finally, the boys visited Roxbury Latin’s neighboring St. Theresa of Avila in West Roxbury, to learn about the church’s art and architecture. 


The celebration continued into the evening, as alumni, faculty and friends gathered at Clery’s in Boston for the annual Founder’s Day Pub Night. See photos from the day here.See photos from Pub Night here.