Congrats on the 50th and I have been following the great stories.
In 1970, I was 10 years old and because my brother, Paul Steinhardt, could not attend, I had the honor of sitting in for him (though I was about 4 feet tall at the time) and accepting the General Scholarship award on his behalf. I was only 10 and I vividly remember it as one of the proudest moments for our entire family. Not only was I proud of Paul but just having my picture on the front page of the Miami Herald holding his award gave me a chance to tell everyone about it.
I am writing to you now because I read about the 50th Anniversary Silver Knight Award and some of the human interest stories surrounding that event. Because my brother Paul is one of the most humble persons I know which is also why I am sending this email to you -- I guess you could say I am filling in for him again. For a moment, please let me share with you a few notes about my brother and then the reason why I am sending this to you.
Our father passed away I was 4 month old and Paul was 8. Without much financial resources, our mother purchased a house across from Ponce Junior High, where Paul attended and then went on to graduate with a 5.0 GPA (yes -- 5.0, not a typo) from Coral Gables High in 1970. After being awarded the Silver Knight in General Scholarship, he went on to Caltech, then PHD from Harvard. Scary to be his brother, wouldnt you think? But ask him any question about his work and he loves to share it in the most animated of ways with respect, patience and understanding. Paul Steinhardt was awarded the Einstein chair at Princeton University and his most recent book The Endless Universe is a well regarded theory on the Big Bang and was selected by the Wall Street Journal for best summer reading list.
So why am I writing to you about this? Certainly, many of the Silver Knight winners went on to well deserved success. From an outsiders view, my view, the elegance of the Silver Knight Award is that the honor itself, even if it were only the nomination, brings with it a coronation from adolescence to adulthood. The Silver Knight acts as the very last award which validates years of hard work during their childhood -- which will now be multiplied as they go on to adulthood with all the success that awaits them. Perhaps this is why when our had mother passed away, the only sentimental thing Paul asked for was his Silver Knight Award from 1970. This was very easy to find because until my mothers death, it was always proudly on view in her home and in our family hearts as well.
Thanks for the great articles and I thank the Herald for maintaining the integrity of the awards.
My name is Rev. Alejandro Roque, OMI and I was the recipient for the Silver Knight Award honorary mention in Art 1971, representing Miami Senior High.
The reason why I write is that, although I did not win the Silver Knight for Art that year (I came in second -- with a huge standing ovation) getting the honor of the nomination and receiving the Honorable Mention Award in Art really made a difference in my own life and choice of profession. Also to hear Dr. Joyce Brother's encouraging words the night of the awards touched me deeply and I do know that I am a Silver Knight success story in its own right!
The fact that I excelled in my art and academic studies (graduated with honors) in order to be nominated and, that part of the requirement of the Silver Knight was community involvement and service, it made me get involved in the world that surrounded me.