November 11th of this year marked the one-year anniversary of the passing of beloved Saint Paul’s student, William Cooper Hall. Saint Paul’s employed many methods to celebrate Hall’s life, and many students spent the week remembering their friend, Hall.
Hall, a Saint Paul’s sophomore, was a bright young man who lit up every room he walked into, and his friends find peace remembering his character and admirable qualities.
One of Hall’s most apparent traits was his vast intelligence; he was easily one of the smartest people in his grade. Hall had incredibly high standards for himself and would only accept his best while taking the most challenging classes, and this motivated him to work his hardest in school. Moreover, most of his talent was effortless. He did not need to work as hard as he did; the high grades would have come naturally. However, this did not stop him from giving it his all.
A second attribute Hall possessed was the kindness he showed to all, especially those closest to him. He put everyone around him before himself and made sure to help those who needed it.
Saint Paul’s junior Aidan Hayes noted and appreciated moments that Hall’s kindness showed: “Last year, in math, I remember whenever we had extra time; Hall would take time out of doing his own homework to help me understand the lesson.” This demonstrates who Hall was as a person.
All of Hall’s friends would agree that another admirable characteristic of Hall was how much of a joy he was to be around. His friends could not stop talking about how fun it was to hang out with him, and they reminisced on the laughs they shared: “We would always walk through the neighborhood late at night and joke around; these times and meeting Cooper are some of the happiest moments of my life.”
Saint Paul’s graciously permitted juniors Aidan Hayes and Shawn Cooney, two of Hall’s best friends, to put together a prayer service in Hall’s honor. Starting on November 10th and continuing through November 11th, Mr. Luke Barwick and Mr. Fred Escher’s junior religion classes prayed in the chapel for the repose of Hall’s soul and those who loved him.
Along with this prayer service, Saint Paul’s employed various ways of spreading awareness of mental health.
During President’s assemblies, Brother Raymond Bulliard, F.S.C. has included many slides imploring the students to ask for help from any faculty members. This is to encourage students to not keep their feelings inside, especially when Saint Paul’s has some of the most understanding and caring counselors of any school.
In addition, on November 30th, Saint Paul’s hosted Teen Life Counts speaker, Robyn Williams, to discuss the importance of suicide awareness and prevention.
To anyone struggling, you are not alone. There are so many people who can and want to help. Talk to someone. You are seen. You are loved.