Ben Davis ’95 shared plenty of baseball stories at Monday’s 65th Annual Father-Son Dinner, regaling his extended Malvern Prep family with funny tales of MLB teammates like Ricky Henderson, John Olerud, Derek Jeter and Jorge Posada. He also spoke fondly of his days in a Friars uniform, including a senior season in which he batted .514 with six home runs and 37 RBIs and was selected second overall in the draft by the San Diego Padres.
But Davis, the recipient of the 2011 Leadership Award, spoke seriously and from the heart on Monday night, imploring the youngsters in the audience to work hard to achieve their goals in life. “I believe this generation does not know the true meaning of hard work. This is my challenge to you. Prove me wrong.”
Davis is no stranger to the annual Father-Son Dinner. In 1995, he won the Loyalty Award, an honor that dates back to 1947. There he was at the podium 16 years later, a father of three who looks like he can still pick up a bat and hit big league pitching. He spoke of how things have changed in the years since he was on campus as a student, and the many technological advances that have brought the world to our fingertips, with both good and bad results. “The Internet can tell you many things,” he said, “but it can’t give you the information that the man sitting next to you can. Tonight is a good night to remember to just talk to your dad, to ask him for advice. Nothing can compare to the power of the love we have for our children.”
Davis also gave some practical advice about the proper way to communicate. “I have heard that in today’s world a guy will break up with a girl by text message. Please promise me that you won’t do that. If things aren’t going well with Sally-Sue, you owe it to her to go over to her house and speak face-to-face about it. That’s called respect.”
Also honored on Monday night were the 2011 Loyalty Award winners. Bill Bell P’12, treasurer of the Father’s Club, was hailed by vice president Tim Valente for his selfless gift of time to the Malvern community. “When we need someone to serve on a committee, to help with an event, to be there for Malvern he is always there,” said Valente.
Brian Swanick ’12, president of the Student Council, received the student Loyalty Award. “There is always some wonder each year about who is going to receive this award,” Fr. Flynn said. “Not this year. This young man has been an outstanding student, friend and leader.”