Fifth Formers Jaelyn Bennett & Jack Patel Chosen 2023 Aurelian Speakers

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Fifth Formers Jaelyn Bennett & Jack Patel Chosen 2023 Aurelian Speakers

From The Lawrence

Jaelyn Bennett ’23 and Jack Patel ’23 have been chosen as this year’s Aurelian Speakers by the Fifth Form. The Aurelian Speaker is a class-voted student who best demonstrates sterling character, high scholarship, and forceful leadership as well as being held in high regard by their fellow Lawrentians. Patel and Bennett will address their classmates before Commencement on May 28.

Bennett has been involved in a number of activities on campus, including Student Council Diversity Representative and co-head of “Let’s Talk About It,” as well as a member of the girls’ varsity indoor track and lacrosse teams.

“Fostering bonds in our community is the unifier between my extracurriculars, and I’ve found that my exposure to various facets of campus life through these roles has allowed me to understand the school- and our class in particular - very well,” she said.

Upon receiving the news, Bennett felt “incredibly honored” to know that such a “dynamic and multi-talented group of people” had selected her to address them. “Having experienced these past four years alongside my classmates, I can only hope that my short address carries the same character and uniqueness our class has repeatedly demonstrated,” she continued.

In her speech, Bennett wants to emphasize the ability of her class to “meet both victory and adversity with poise and mentality.” She is confident that, though they will all go their separate ways next year, her class will “take [their] resilience with [them] while leaving room for the joy [they] encounter everywhere.”

On her experience being part of the Class of 2023, Bennett said, “This class is the most capable and resilient group I’ve ever been a part of, and that capacity to take various challenges in stride while celebrating our victories is an essential life skill.” She feels that, as a group, they have modeled the “power of togetherness” through the “difficulties [they’ve] encountered in [their] time here.” “I hope future classes understand that fostering a supportive, interdependent community is one of the greatest strengths imaginable.”

Patel has also held a number of roles on campus, most notably as a Hutchins Scholar in Science Research, Raymond House Prefect, and captain of the boys’ swimming and diving team.

“I have always committed myself to the goal of improving the wellbeing and Lawrenceville experience of those around me…these pursuits have also been filled with invaluable learning experiences and life-long friendships,” he said.

When he received the news of his selection as co-Aurelian Speaker, he felt an “overwhelming sense of excitement” in addition to gratitude towards the Class of 2023 for giving him this opportunity. While Patel hasn’t decided specifically what he wants to write his speech on, he received a few words of advice from Director of Student Life Ian August. “He recommended that I let my experience this spring guide me in shaping my speech and I plan to do just that,” Patel elaborated.

Reflecting on his time at Lawrenceville, Patel said, “when you wake up in the morning, be sure to look at the world through a service lens. No matter how busy you might believe yourself to be, there is always time to start a project with the intention of bringing about positive change in the lives of others.” Whether this be helping a friend or taking the time to “pause and ask a Housemate or a teacher how they are doing,” he urges students to always approach life at Lawrenceville with a service mindset.

For additional information, contact Lisa M. Gillard H'17, director of public relations, at lgillard@lawrenceville.org.