On Friday, 26 January, the mats, courts and rink of Roxbury Latin were abuzz with healthy competition and RL spirit. On an historic evening, three varsity contests were complemented by the dedication of the Hennessy Rink, named in honor of Jack Hennessy ’54 and his wife, Margarita.
Cheered on by fans of all ages during Winter Family Day, varsity wrestling came out victorious over Nobles, 48-25. Varsity hockey, taking the ice against Groton, tied 4-4 in an exciting game. Meanwhile, junior varsity basketball went into double overtime against Nobles, ultimately falling short by one point, 52-53. Finally, varsity basketball topped Nobles 44-42.
Central to the evening’s celebration was the Hennessy Rink dedication ceremony, which drew boys and their families; faculty and staff; RL alumni from more than six decades; and honored guests including several members of the Hennessy family, former Headmaster Tony Jarvis, and both the former and current board presidents, Dennis Kanin ’64 and Bob O’Connor '85.
Headmaster Kerry Brennan emceed the ceremony, offering a brief history of RL hockey, and chronicling the school’s “rinks” of the past: “In 1934, hockey-playing boys—who to that point played the rare pick-up game on some local pond—would get a hockey rink…of a sort. Cobbled together by two-inch pipe, volunteer post-diggers, and old track used for boards, a ramshackle outdoor rink served Roxbury Latin’s hockey team on what became the football practice field and is, in fact, the very site we occupy this evening.”
On an evening honoring and thanking Jack and Margarita Hennessy—two of Roxbury Latin’s most generous benefactors—Mr. Brennan described “the boy whom many thought to be the School’s best athlete [of the time], Jack Hennessy. In Jack’s senior year there were not enough boys to form a hockey team. Despite the precarious nature of this sport then, the lessons of competition, fair play, and leadership resonated powerfully in young Jack’s noggin’ and he would go on to apply this knowledge to a life of commerce, service, and philanthropy.”
Following remarks from Mr. Hennessy himself, hockey co-captains Jimmy Duffy and Zach Milton presented him with an RL hockey jersey featuring the name Hennessy over the number 54. “At Roxbury Latin, we’re always taught to play for the name on the front of the jersey,” began Zach, “but today, Mr. Hennessy, we play in honor of the name on the back of yours.”
Headmaster Brennan referenced the Hennessys’ ongoing support of various programs—like the Hennessy Scholars, who for fourteen years have represented RL for a gap year at England’s Eton College; the annual Jarvis Lecture, which has brought to the School distinguished speakers on world affairs; the boys and faculty who have experienced the world through the Hennessys’ support of travel abroad; and the boys on financial aid who are sponsored as Hennessy Scholars. “The Hennessys have made Jack’s school appreciably better thanks to their gifts,” continued Mr. Brennan, “but I have a hunch that their benefaction of this rink may be the most enduring monument to RL’s inveterate spirit and the loyalty and generosity of its alumni.”