Every day numerous students are greeted at doors by Brian Allen (`19). Allen is known to regularly hold doors open for students and faculty members. He opens doors for others even at the risk of being late to class. Many say by doing this, Allen demonstrates what Gilmour is all about.
The Gilmour mission statement encourages students “to develop the competence to see and the courage to act in creating a more humane and just society.” Allen said that his mission-based acts of kindness actually started when he was in preschool. His mom always dropped him off at school early. He took this opportunity to hold the door open for each student walking in. He said his mom taught him to always hold doors open for people because random acts of kindness could “make you a better person.”
At Gilmour, Allen said, “I hold doors open for people because I feel like I’m making people’s days feel easier. It makes me feel like I have a purpose.” Hearing a person say thank you and providing a smile gives him the rewards attained by his simple acts of kindness.
Br. Andre Bessette (1845-1937), the first officially recognized saint of the Brothers of the Holy Cross, also held doors open for people. Some students and faculty members enjoy Allen’s sincere gestures that are like the notable saint’s. Mr. David Kilkenney, Fine and Performing Arts US Instructor in Music and Allen’s music teacher, said, “Brian relates to Br. Andre because both of them are doormen who try to help people in any way possible.” Sam Meaney (`17), one of Allen’s hockey teammates, agrees. Meaney said, “Brian is a very welcoming person. He’s honest, always has a happy attitude, and is inclusive on and off the ice.”
Many think Allen opens doors for others regardless of what they think. Jack Bujoll (`17) stated, “Brian’s actions are an embodiment of his character, which shows inclusiveness to others at Gilmour and also shows how he isn’t afraid to put himself out there for the good of others.” Allen’s actions appear to inspire students and faculty. Meaney also noted, “Each time I see Brian, I shake his hand, and he immediately puts me in a good mood. This inspires me to do something nice to someone at least once a day.” Brother Andre was also a person who showed inclusiveness to everyone, and according to many, Allen appears to be cut from the same cloth.
Allen wants everyone to understand that a small act can change a person’s outlook on their day. Allen said, “Don’t be afraid to do one good deed for others because you never know what someone else is going through.”