A Letter from Victor E Hawk
Dear Charlotte Latin School,
It’s no exaggeration at all to say that for the last half century I’ve had a bird’s eye view of you. Fifty years ago, you came to my part of the world, a place that apparently appealed to practically no human beings at the time – apart from a few exceptional, very wise, courageous, generous humans who were committed to providing an excellent college preparatory education for young people. These remarkable, dedicated humans that you call your Founders pooled their ideas and their resources; and on September 9, 1970, I had more human company than I’d ever had before. And you had a beautiful setting for a new school that would arguably become the most highly regarded school in the area.
As I survey the campus today, I see change, but much of what I saw and sensed in those early days has remained constant throughout the years – starting with mud and construction, that were then and are now signs of progress and success. The campus itself has expanded from the original 50 leased acres then to 128 fully-owned, contiguous acres now. Although there are more buildings now than in 1970, the respect for my habitat has remained a constant – but not the only one – that has never wavered. There are more, many more, meaningful attributes that were intrinsic to this unique place then and that continue now to keep the School vibrant, strong and sought-after by families who from the first day, valued the core values of honor, respect, personal responsibility, leadership, excellence and moral courage and who continue to honor and seek these values to this day.
As I think about it, we have a lot in common. The adults – mothers and fathers, teachers and administrators – nurture, teach and protect our young, but we also encourage them to become all they are meant to be. Your young humans, like our young chicks, are given what they need to rise to a challenge, to fledge and finally to take wing and soar. And eventually, we are left with the ultimate sign of their success and ours – an empty nest!
As I think about the last fifty years, I remember often overhearing in those first days: “We applied at several schools and were accepted by all. But as we looked closely, Latin was the best fit for us, without question.” And what do I hear now? “We applied at several schools and were accepted by all. But as we looked closely, Latin was the best fit for us, without question.” That’s another constant that speaks volumes.
I have noticed that you humans at Charlotte Latin School have had a constant throughout the years that I do not – responsible fiscal stewardship. But it is evident even to me that without this important kind of vigilance, Charlotte Latin School, the home I’ve shared with you for the last half century, might never have been founded, might never have grown and might never be thriving as vibrantly as it does today.
I am often thought of in terms of athletics. I’ve relished that! (GO HAWKS!) But what I have seen consistently since the very first day permeated every aspect of Charlotte Latin School and does so today: strength and courage in the effort and attempt, humility and restraint in victories and triumphs and grace and determination in facing challenges and disappointments.
I could go on and on but will close by telling you how honored I am to be a constant myself and to have been chosen to represent Latin and some of the School’s most notable constants that characterize your School family and community; the humility and nobility of your leadership and your energetic commitment to meeting your goals and fulfilling your promise. I feel awed and fortunate every day to have shared so much with you over the last fifty years and can’t wait to see how awesome the next fifty will be.
Happy Birthday and congratulations to us all!
Your faithful, feathered mascot,
Victor E Hawk