2015 event headlined by a former astronaut
The relationship between a Father and Son is truly remarkable. It is a relationship that should be celebrated.
For 69 years, Malvern has celebrated this relationship with the Father-Son Annual Banquet. This is an evening where Malvern students and their Fathers meet on campus to share conversation, food, and camaraderie. This year, the annual event was held on April 20 in the O’Neill Center. Each year, the Banquet is organized by the Father’s Club.
This year’s chairman was Mr. Zachary C. DeCarlo (father of Zachary DeCarlo ‘15). Mr. DeCarlo said that he and his team searched for a speaker based on three criteria. They were looking for a speaker who would be interesting and appealing to both students and their fathers. An ideal speaker would represent the Augustinian values of Malvern. The third criteria was a speaker who had overcome hurdles in his life and career.
This year’s speaker was retired General Kevin Patrick Chilton. The Father’s Club was thrilled that General Chilton accepted the invitation to speak at Malvern. According to Mr. DeCarlo, General Chilton was “honored that we asked him to speak because he feels that it is his duty to give back in this forum.”
General Chilton is the highest ranking U.S. Astronaut and is a 3-time space shuttle traveler. His speech that focused on the power of teamwork, courage, and leadership.
“You can take the brightest people in the world and give them a problem to solve. If someone doesn’t stand up and be the leader in solving that problem, the problem cannot be solved,” said General Chilton, advising on leadership and taking initiative in a situation.
General Chilton showed the audience a video of his first flight into space on the shuttle Endeavor. It showed his experiences and his training prior to going onto the flight. A theme of the video was the perseverance that is necessary to obtain such high goals.
One of the major themes of General Chilton’s speech was teamwork. He stressed the importance of building a great team before a crisis begins. In the video, he showed a satellite that the team was supposed to capture. The team spent close to two years training for this task. On the actual mission, they spent several hours attempting to corral the satellite without success. He explained that the members of the team were deflated and dejected because they were not immediately successful. Because of their strong bond, they were able to identify the problem and eventually work toward a solution. His speech stressed the importance of competence, confidence, and toughness when presented with a problem.
In addition to the General Chilton’s speech, there were two Loyalty Awards given out at the banquet. The first award was the Fathers’ Club Loyalty Award. This award was given to Tom Locke, parent of Harrison Locke ‘15. This award was presented by Rev. Father Flynn. Mr. Locke has been a member of the Malvern community for 7 years and is the prior president of the Father’s Club. He was recognized for his outstanding loyalty and service to the Malvern community.
The second award of the evening was the Student Loyalty Award. This award was given to Joe Martin ‘15. This award, voted on by Malvern’s faculty, is presented to a student who embraces the values of Malvern and exhibits these values in his everyday life. This award has been given annually since 1947.
The Father-Son Banquet is a remarkable Malvern tradition that has been celebrated for decades. “The Father-Son banquet was so much more than just me having dinner with my two sons,” observed Dr. Robert Satriale, father of Frank ‘15 and Mario ‘20. “It was all the fathers and all their sons coming together that made it remarkable, like one big family.”
“To be inspired by General Chilton, a true ‘Rocket Man,’ left us all thinking about how much further we can all go simply by working together,” said Satriale.