Rick Hart ’18 and his younger brother, Robert ’22, are admittedly very different. They have different personalities, interests, and goals, but one thing the brothers have in common is their decision to attend their father’s alma mater. Robert is a freshman at The Mount, learning to navigate the halls his brother first walked four years previously. As a recent Mount Saint Joseph graduate and a freshman at Morehouse College, Rick is also discovering what is in store for him in his new roles.
While their father, Roderick Hart ’83, is happy and proud to see the paths his two boys are taking, he was sure to let them find their own ways. Roderick cherished his own experiences as a Gael, but knew he had to let his sons figure out for themselves which school would be the right fit.
“It had to be their choice because they’re forging their own future; they’re creating new friendships,” says Roderick. “I would have supported them in whatever decision they made, so I tried to stay neutral. I was excited when they chose Saint Joe, but it was a decision they had to make on their own because it’s their life, it’s their opportunity.”
When it came time for Rick to choose his high school, Mount Saint Joseph was not originally at the top of his list. However, he visited for his shadow day and everything fell into place. “I came here and I felt a very inclusive environment, a sense of brotherhood, a sense that I could form great relationships that would last a long time, and that I could perform well here and really get involved,” he says. And so the Hart family legacy began.
Although, Rick didn’t follow exactly in his father’s footsteps. He made his own unique mark on The Mount, joining a variety of clubs and participating in student activities. “Getting involved was probably what I enjoyed most about my experience,” says Rick. “There was never really a dull moment. I was always doing something. Whether it was Student Council, XBSS, Social Media Ambassadors Club, Leadership Club, Model UN, there was something to look forward to every day.”
When Robert’s turn for high school selection came around, he had already been welcomed into The Mount family. “Everybody is very accepting at Mount Saint Joe. I would come here for football games or just to pick my brother up with my parents, and it just felt like home,” says Robert.
Robert is excited to be playing football for the Gaels like his dad did, but also looks forward to meeting new people and finding his own niche, with advice from a big brother who has had his hand in just about everything the school has to offer. “We both have very different personalities, but I may try some of the activities my brother was involved in,” he says. “I might try to run for Student Council. He told me that I might fit in there and I might like it.”
All three Hart men have the same hope for Robert’s time at Mount Saint Joseph, which is that he creates meaningful, lasting relationships. Robert says, “I hope that I can meet new people and build great relationships like my brother did during my own four years here.” Rick and Roderick give a knowing nod because they have experienced firsthand the lifelong bonds formed with their own classmates.
In four years, as Robert climbs the Tower and signs his name in the space his dad and brother left for him, he will look back on a path that he shaped himself, an experience that is entirely his, but also on a tradition and legacy that he had the privilege of choosing to continue.