Lt. Christopher Fuqua gives Veterans Day address

Kerry Brennan with Lt. Fuqua and Alex (IV)
Lt. Christopher Fuqua
Jacob Sporn ’18 read Soldiers of Freedom by Katherine Lee Bates.
Gabriel Grajeda ’18 read In Flanders Fields by John McCrae.

Roxbury Latin recognized all veterans, and the day that honors them, in Hall this morning. Lt. Christopher Fuqua, father of Alex in Class IV and a distinguished serviceman, gave the Veterans Day address. Special guests included Bob Powers ’66, Assistant Headmaster Emeritus Bill Chauncey, former Trustee Jack Regan, Thomas Jacoby, and Bill and Susan Sparks—all members of the RL community who have served in the armed forces.


On active duty from 1996 to 2004, Lt. Fuqua spent eight years flying S-3B Vikings as a Naval Flight Officer in the US Navy. He made two deployments on the USS John C. Stennis and served as a Mission Commander during Operation Enduring Freedom. In describing his path to the Naval Academy at Annapolis, Lt. Fuqua said he never really considered joining the military when he was applying to college, despite his family’s deep military roots. But he wanted to swim competitively at a Division I school, and the Academy showed some interest. “I decided to make a visit. It was a trip that forever changed the course of my life.”


His flight training ultimately led him to fly with the Screwbirds of VS-33, a world famous squadron. “I was given my call sign, Frenchy. I met guys named Monkey, Corn, Z-Man, Rock Star, Evil, Grumpy, Willy T, Squishy, Fish, Mantis, Chewy, Potsy, Pie, and a bunch of others who I would still trust my life with today.… We were a well-oiled machine, with the capability of launching and landing 30 aircraft in 30 minutes without a word spoken over the radios, providing freedom of navigation to keep trade moving throughout the world.”


Lt. Fuqua called his years of service “a great way to serve my country and to give back. And like most things involving serving others, it managed to pay me back tenfold in the form of building character, establishing and reinforcing a set of core values, and appreciating all that I have been given.” His extensive experience also provided an education in leadership skills, which he values in his current role in the private sector.


Lt. Fuqua earned his bachelor’s degree in political science from the United States Naval Academy and his MBA from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College. Today, he is senior vice president of marketing for Dunkin Donuts LLC, where he leads on global consumer insights and product innovation.


Headmaster Kerry Brennan gave special notice to RL veterans over all wars, and named recent alumni currently in active duty. WWI saw 250 RL graduates in national service; 330 during WWII. We know of four Civil War casualties that were RL graduates, and RL’s most famous veteran, General Joseph Warren (RL 1755), lost his life at Bunker Hill. Mr. Brennan said, “The inclination to serve our country is a natural extension of Eliot’s admonition to serve as he said, ‘in Church and Commonwealth.’” 



Recent alumni currently in active duty:


Frederick Kenney ’76

William Kennedy ’77 William Bender ’81

Joseph Hanrahan ’87

John C. Gillon ’93

Jeff Adams ’97

Lawrence Sullivan ’04

James Astrue ’05

Zach Ciccolo ’05

Colin Murphy ’05

Matthew Neelon ’09

Ray Henderson ’10

Thomas Buckley ’11

Dante Gaziano ’11

Josh Rivers ’11

Robert Powell ’11

Paul Bodet ’12

Chase Gilmore ’12

Mikey Trainin ’12

Tom Warner ’13