Keeping Capelluto at Horace Mann
by Matt Joseleff, Horace Mann Record, Vol. 104, Issue 26. Check out The Record online.
Former Valedictorian Alex Capelluto ’04 “believed really strongly that privilege was really not the same as entitlement” his mother, Karen Capelluto said.
A truck killed Alex while he was biking back from crew practice, nearly a year ago. The Capelluto family has established a program in his name, involving a community service grant for juniors as well as a lecture series. The program’s aim is to highlight and encourage Alex’s qualities in the community, his parents said.
“Its very important to us to nominate someone who has some of Alex’s qualities; who is very committed and very passionate about helping the world–who’s a good person who has a lot of integrity,” Mrs. Capelluto said.
“We wanted to honor Alexander in a way that would be important and meaningful at HM, and something that would’ve been important to him and so we came up with the idea of a community service program for juniors,” she continued.
“This is a reflection of Alexander and how he impacted the school. One of his traits was to think beyond the class work and grades and beyond getting into the right college–he was always aware of what was going on around him, and what we hope to achieve through this program is to provide a vehicle for the students of HM to look beyond their immediate environments and attempt in a practical way to improve a community of their choice,” Jacques Capelluto, Alex’s father said.
Along with the community service program, the Capellutos have established a lecture series in Alex’s name, inviting speakers to address the school community annually. The series’ inaugural speaker, George Stephanopoulos, will appear on May 22nd.
“The class of 2006 had a meeting to choose their class gift, and one by one different people stood up and said how Alexander had made a difference in their lives.” Mrs. Capelluto said. “A vast majority of the class voted to honor him by using their class gift to endow this lecture series.”
“Our goal for the Lecture Series is to have it reflect some of Alexander’s principal interests by getting leaders in these fields, such as government, world affairs, music and movies to address HM students, which is why we’re particularly grateful to George Stephanopoulos for agreeing to be the inaugural speaker,” Mr. Capelluto said.
The Capellutos noted the community’s positive response to the inception of the program. “After we announced it to the teachers, many came up to us and said they were so happy because the school was trying to expand the consciousness of the students to be come citizens of the world and that this was the first tangible opportunity to become more aware of the problems in the world,” Mrs. Capelluto said.
“We want this to be very meaningful for the school community,” she said.