A Women’s History Month reflection from Nicholas Fetter ’22

Brotherhood, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, is defined as “an association, society, or community of people linked by a common interest, trade, or religion.” Oftentimes, the term brotherhood is used to unite “mankind” and “humanity,” which, while the names connote otherwise, are not necessarily subject to just men, but rather have an inclusive nature for all. The month of March is designated as Women’s History Month; a time in which we celebrate and recognize the contributions and achievements women have made over not only the course of history but will also continue to create for future generations to come.  

Now, more than ever, it is essential that we as a school community appreciate the women of Hendricken for their significant contributions to our brotherhood. At Bishop Hendricken, women have held fundamental importance in the structure of our school, dating all the way back to 1959 when the school first opened its doors. Over the course of sixty years, female faculty, staff, and neighboring students from St. Mary Academy – Bay View have been assets in enriching the tradition of brotherhood both inside and outside the walls of Hendricken.

As a current senior of the Class of 2022, and as a brother to a graduate of the Class of 2012, I have seen firsthand the generational impact and legacy women have left on the very grounds Bishop Hendricken rests upon. During my brother’s time at Hendricken, he sang in the young men’s choir under the leadership of Mrs. Gambardella. As a student of the arts and member of Varsity Football, my brother always admired Mrs. Gambardella’s dedication to her students, whether it was attending and cheering on her brother Hawks or promoting a trip where the Young Men’s Chorus sang for the Pope. The strong bond my brother and family have developed with Mrs. G demonstrates the intuitive nature of brotherhood that lies within Hendricken.

In my own experience, the bond I have created with the female faculty at Hendricken is an amazing reflection of their own individual impacts on the school, much like Mrs. G did for my brother and my family. As I reflect on the past four years of my high school career, key memories reveal prominent female figures who have encouraged and supported me through not only mine, but my other brother hawks’ experience at Hendricken. Regardless of whether it was a simple laugh in Pre-Calculus, lighthearted conversion in English, or intense debate in Theology, the women of Hendricken are engaged in the lives of students and further exemplify the message of being “called for more.”  

Brotherhood demands that we only view ourselves as strong as each and every member of our family feels loved. This past year, “Hawks for Her” emerged as a new club at Bishop Hendricken, promoting and uplifting female empowerment within the community. As a member of Hawks for Her, the brotherhood fostered in the club is reflective of the fact that women are and forever will be essential to the success of the Hendricken family; a family that recognizes and humbly respects those who have and continue to make a positive impact on the lives of others.