Yearning for the ‘Altiora’ lifestyle


Do you follow the Elder Motto?

As many of us Elder students know, the Latin word “Altiora” means to “strive for the higher things.”  The word has been Elder’s motto for years, and consequently, has been implemented into the mindset of past, current, and soon future Panthers.

It is more than just a word, it’s a lifestyle.  You can’t just occasionally follow the word’s meaning, you have to live it out.  Striving for the higher things occurs in every aspect of life.  Such things would include going the extra distance in training to improve your fitness for the upcoming season, or studying late at night for the big test the next day while the temptations of video games and TV circulate around you.

Such things as branching out and sitting with new kids you’ve never talked to before at lunch, or considering going to a high-level university for college instead of settling for your local college, are true examples of striving for the higher things.  It is the culture of Elder, current or past, and it will never cease to exist.  The meaning of “Altiora” has been so inspiring to former Elder Panther Louis Faillace (’15), that he took time out of his busy college schedule to share a few words of the meaning of “Altiora.”

“Being an Elder grad, I know that Altiora means ‘to strive for the higher things,” Faillace commented. He took time to reflect and then asked a question that many Elder students, parents, faculty, and alumni continue to ask every day. “So what does it really mean to strive for the higher things?”, Louis questioned.  “To me, it means to never be satisfied.  There is always something I can improve on,” added Louis.

Louis had dealt with great success as a Panther.  As a senior, he had become the leading wide receiver for the 2014 season, and earned the “Most Improved Player” for his senior season.  Truly, he is an example of the “Altiora Man.”  He talked about his improvisations in his life as he mentioned, “Whether it’s school, friendships, faith, etc.  I can always improve in any of those aspects.”

Pullquote Photo

I can’t thank Elder enough for showing me the true meaning of Altiora.”

— Louis Faillace '15

Faillace closed the interview with a message to the current and future Elder students: “Altiora can and should be applied to all areas of life.  Never settle, always have the hunger to better yourself and those around you.”  Louis leads a prime example of a man who has never let the world outside of Elder dictate who he wants to be.  He continues to lead the “Altiora” lifestyle even through his sophomore year of college, and one can bet that he will continue such behavior for as long as he lives.

The “Altiora” mentality is evidently shown through Elder athletics.  The Panthers are particularly known for not owning the most athletic players around, yet they continuously show more heart.  Heart is what continues the prosperity of Elder.  Whether it be a player diving on the ground for a loose ball, a student asking questions out of curiosity, or an alum of Elder donating anonymously to the school, heart is exemplified through all of those actions.

A man who undoubtedly shows unlimited amounts of heart and spirit is senior Connor Sullivan.  As a freshman coming from St. Jude, he wasted no time in engaging himself into the Elder experience, and indulged himself into the true meaning of living up to the word “Altiora.”

Connor was thrilled to talk about his “Altiora” mentality as he said, “Elder has taught me many lessons, but a lesson I will always hold on will be to always give everything you’ve got, no matter how distraught or weakened you may be.”  He continued, “Elder has taught me to always go after in what you believe in, and because of Elder, I continually try to reach the higher things.”

Connor has been involved with student council for all four years along with being a member of the football team, the track team, and several different clubs.  If you want to look at a man who loves Elder and follows after its virtues, Connor is your guy.

If you are an Elder student and you have managed to read all the way down to this paragraph, I encourage you to get a little more from this article than just words on a computer screen.  In every class, listen intently to increase your knowledge.  When you are walking the halls of Elder, take time to say hello to your fellow Panthers.  As you lift or practice, treat it as the last time you wear the five letters across your chest.  We only get four years of high school, and we are fortunate enough to spend those four years at Elder High School.  Live it up, it’ll fly by.