200 Years On, "Honor and Achievement" Remain Guiding Principles for English High Graduates
Updated: Feb 17
In September of 1851 , John Pierpont Morgan (JPM), after passing the entrance exam, enrolled into the English High School. After graduating in 1854 , JPM went on to become a fabulously successful global banker and financier. In today’s dollars it is estimated his fortune would be worth more than $2 Billion!
Recently the Morgan Library & Museum in New York, kindly passed on to us two essays JPM wrote while he was studying at English. The first one, a draft, is entitled “Thoughts, Resolutions and Resolves on entering the English High School.” JPM reveals in his first essay that even at that early age he was committed to becoming a successful businessman. He believed he knew the best rules to be successful in business, and set up “resolutions” of conduct to live by while at English. The second essay was about how history would judge “Napoleon.”
Fast forward 170 years to today and English High Senior Thomas Thermidor and his college admission essay. Thomas, originally from Haiti, is just as committed as JPM was to have a successful career in business. “For as long as I can remember, my parents raised me in the realm of business. Being in that environment persuaded me to become a businessman. My father would regularly instruct me on the essence of being an effective communicator and the value of being a listener.”
Thomas, who believes “character and good manners are important in business and all aspects of life,” was especially impressed with JPM’s insistence on truth as a key to success in business. “Truth is essential in all business,” JPM wrote. “…we should stick to, and never swerve from absolute truth. If we do not our word is never trusted, wherever we may go, whatever we say is put no confidence in.” In our interview with Thomas he repeated JPM’s admonishment on not being trustworthy, “Once detected always suspected.”
“Truth is essential in all business,” JPM wrote. “…we should stick to, and never swerve from, absolute truth. If we do not our word is never trusted, wherever we may go, whatever we say is put no confidence in.”
Similar to JPM’s early commitment to a career in business spelled out in his essay, Thomas also wrote in his essay, “On my 17th birthday I set a goal to find the best ways for me to make money and have an impact on society.”
While Thomas is interested in becoming financially successful he is just as committed to building and investing in companies that “help make people’s lives better” and can “impact the planet forever!” “I think about the human race, I see a race that’s always seeking opportunities to improve on the overall quality of life. I want to be part of the new implementation like technology and help our race to move forward not backward.”
“I think about the human race, I see a race that’s always seeking opportunities to improve on the overall quality of life. I want to be part of the new implementation like technology and help our race to move forward not backward.”
Thomas says he has enjoyed his four years at English and the education he has received from teachers and the tutoring center. He sees the school improving every year.
He has also played football, basketball and ran track while at English and looks forward to the soccer season his favorite sport . He’s even played the tuba for the school.
Thomas has been part of the student government, a corporal in the JROTC manages a mentor group for the EHS freshman class.
Thomas also aims to have a positive impact outside of English High. He has joined the Boston the Boston Student Advisory Council, a citywide body of elected student leaders representing most Boston Public High Schools. The Council works to identify and address pertinent student issues, putting students at the center of the decisions that affect them the most. He is also in the Boston University Upward Bound program and is a Bam Scholar (Becoming A Man).
Thomas has applied to a number of local and national college and universities. We are confident he will succeed as a leader wherever he goes and whatever he does.
All of us at The English High School Association send Thomas Thermidor and the entire English High School Class of 2021 our very best wishes as a new generation of English men and women begin their adult lives and careers.