The Royal Way: Interview with Timmy Gray '18

March 13, 2018

Today’s reflection comes as a result of an interview I did with senior lacrosse player Timmy Gray '18. 

Throughout our conversation, I asked Timmy to reflect on questions pertaining to the blessings and challenges of being formed in the Ignatian charism that is a hallmark of a University of Scranton education.  For student-athletes at the University, this formation program is called “The Royal Way.” It helps them strive for excellence on and off their place of competition while forming them to be women and men of good conscience and character.  
Timmy Gray '18 is an Exercise Science major and a goalie on our men’s lacrosse team.

Fr. Patrick: So, Timmy, what is “The Royal Way?”

Timmy: It’s a program for all athletes here at the University, and it's a program that helps student-athletes come together as a team through the building-up of character. “The Royal Way” is not only about competing hard and giving it your best shot every day, but about how we do things on our teams.  One of the touchstones of “The Royal Way” states, “We demand mutual respect, tough love and total care from one another.” Those values are hard to live up to sometimes, but they remind us that doing the right thing, while it is often very tough, is worth it in the end.

Fr. Patrick: Does every student-athlete have to participate?

Timmy: Yeah, as far as I know every athlete signs the large “Royal Way” Touchstone poster at the beginning of the year and in doing so pledges to do their best to live up to these high ideals.  That signed document hangs in the Long Center gym, which is great because everyone in our community can see it.  When I look at it I am reminded that we are called to seek the magis (the more) in all that we do because we represent more than ourselves or our team, we represent our community.

Fr. Patrick: Is there one aspect of “The Royal Way” that you find particularly appealing?

Timmy: Yes, and it’s the last part.  At the bottom of the document, it says, “Wherever we go, whatever we do- WE ARE ROYALS.” I feel blessed to represent the University and am honored to wear a Scranton uniform because we really are one community.

Fr. Patrick: How do you and your team engage “The Royal Way?”

Timmy: Well, we often talk about Jesuit values in our team meetings and, like all the other teams here at the University, we do community service. We regularly participate in the Thanksgiving Food Drive run by the Friends of the Poor, and the guys love it.  “The Royal Way” is much more than community service, though, because we want to honor God in all that we do.  Think about it - we are able to put AMDG (Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam, For the Greater Glory of God) on our basketball court and on our jerseys!  We can literally wear our values on our sleeves, and that means a lot to me.

Fr. Patrick: What value represented in “The Royal Way” most resonates with you?

Timmy: That’s easy: “We compete with an attitude of gratitude and greatness, striving to win each day our way." As a senior, I’m grateful for all that I have because I know that I didn’t get to where I am on my own.  My parents, coaches, friends, and teammates have all helped shape me as a person. Competing with my teammates is great because they are awesome guys, and I feel blessed to be on the team.

Fr. Patrick: Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Timmy.  Good luck with the season!

Timmy: Thanks, Fr. Patrick!

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