Tokarski ’20 Named Aurelian Speaker
Last Friday, the V Form chose Andrew Tokarski ’20 as its Aurelian Speaker.
Last Friday, the V Form chose Andrew Tokarski ’20 as its Aurelian Speaker. The Aurelian Speaker is a student of “sterling character, high scholarship, and forceful leadership” who is held in “the highest regard” by their peers and is elected by a graduating class to serve as one of their Commencement speakers. Under normal circumstances, he would deliver his speech during the Baccalaureate dinner the night before Commencement; however, because this year’s graduation will be virtual, he will instead address the V Form during an online Senior School Meeting on May 29.
Tokarski serves as the Vice President of Academics on Student Council, a day student prefect in Kennedy House, and a captain of the Boys Varsity Crew and Boys Varsity Squash teams. He is also a Hutchins Scholar and a part of the School’s Eglin and McClellan societies. Upon learning of his selection, his first reaction was to “think of [his] classmates and the prospect of having all of [them] together again.” While he was saddened that they could not be together for their graduation, he “has hope that [they] can reunite and…say goodbye one last time.”
To him, the Aurelian Speaker’s closing speech is often used to provide “a little bit of closure, which is especially meaningful because the students get to choose whom they want to get this final message from.” However, in his speech, Tokarski intends to “provide a little bit of hope about the future” due to the circumstances of COVID-19, as well as to bring the class together and help them understand that they’re still united as the Class of 2020, regardless of if they are online or on campus.
Regarding his time at Lawrenceville, Tokarski reminisced about some of his most important memories. He said, “I think my proudest moment…was my Academic Representative speech from my junior year. When I got up there and saw a lot of people laugh and smile…that’s what made me know I was doing something right…that was the big moment when everything just seemed to come together.” It made him truly understand how truly unified and welcoming the Lawrenceville community is and furthered his excitement for the role as Academic Representative.
Giving some advice for newer students, Tokarski said that he understands how “It’s not easy being a freshman: you’re new, the campus seems huge, and there’s so many kids,” but he noted that as he moved through Lawrenceville, he was able to find “a sense of belonging,” and by senior year, “the campus feels a whole lot smaller, and you feel like you know everybody.”
One of Tokarski’s favorite things about being both the Academic Representative and a prefect is “seeing people smile or laugh, and just trying to brighten their day… one little goal [he] had set for [himself] each day was to try and make someone smile,” which is the legacy that he hopes to leave at Lawrenceville.