Judge Brett Kavanaugh, President Donald Trump’s pick to succeed retiring Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy on the Supreme Court, is a graduate of Georgetown Preparatory School, a Jesuit high school, in a suburb north of Washington, D.C.
Should he be confirmed, he’ll be the second graduate of the school on the nation’s highest court. Justice Neil Gorsuch, appointed to the court by Mr. Trump last year, was graduated from Georgetown Prep two years behind Mr. Kavanaugh. Also an alumnus of the school is Jerome Powell, chairman of the Federal Reserve.
What is unique about the school is the school’s motto: “Men for others.” And its graduates who have been imbued by that motto make them unique
In brief remarks accepting Mr. Trump’s nomination to the Supreme Court Monday night, Mr. Kavanaugh invoked the school motto, said The Wall Street Journal, saying it taught him to be “a man for others.”
Along with other graduates Mr. Kavanaugh said their experience at Georgetown Prep instilled a desire in them to volunteer, to give of themselves, that it pushed them to take on volunteer activities, undertake service trips and consider public service.
“That has thrust the school, long known around Washington for its work ethic and religious emphasis, into an unusual role in Republican politics,” said the Journal. “Where Sidwell Friends, another private school in the Washington area, has served the children of Democratic scions — Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama sent daughters there — the Jesuit high school is developing a record of turning out conservative government officials.”
Graduates, said the Journal, “say that is no coincidence since the student body, largely Catholic, tends to skew politically conservative. But it is the school’s emphasis on service, informed by Jesuit teaching, that has resulted in many of its graduates entering government or military service, they say.”
Thomas Hogan, a senior judge on the U.S. District court for the District of Columbia and a 1956 graduate of Georgetown Prep said, “They taught us not only to be competent, but to be compassionate — they were very serious about that.”
Boys must attend Mass, and each class opens with a prayer of the teacher’s choosing, continued the Journal. “On Wednesday afternoons, boys participate in a seven-minute silent reflection known as ‘ex-amen,’ where they are asked about ways they have been kind to others in the past week and the world has been kind in return.”
Jason Longwell, a 1993 graduate and a Navy physician, said teachers push students and don’t let them off easily. He said a French teacher demanded that students who didn’t know the answer to questions jump out of the first floor window and run laps around the school.
“The message was if you’re not going to participate academically, you’re going to participate physically. You’re not going to skate,” he said.
Steve Ochs, a history teacher who has taught at the school for 41 years, said Messrs. Gorsuch and Kavanaugh reflect the goal of being at once successful and humble. “With both Neil and with Brett, you have two people who really genuinely believe it’s really not all about them,” he said.
Wednesday night after he was tapped for the Supreme Court, Mr. Kavanaugh was serving food as a volunteer with St. Maria’s Meals program which serves hot dinner to the capital’s poor outside Catholic Charities in downtown Washington.
“Judge Kavanaugh,” said the Journal, “has stayed connected with his high school, inviting students each year to his chambers for private conversations. Of the school’s motto, he said, ‘I’ve tried to live that creed.’”