Following in the footsteps of their father and twin sisters, Gavin Mavoides ’23 and Donovan Mavoides ’23 are set to join the prestigious ranks of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point later this summer. The brothers perceive their choice to attend West Point as a seamless progression towards their ultimate objective of serving in the military as Second Lieutenants. Their time at The Peddie School has played a pivotal role in shaping their mental and physical preparedness, with Peddie coaches and teachers imparting valuable lessons in resilience and leadership.
Has West Point always been your goal?
Donovan: We've been familiar with service academies, particularly West Point, from an early age. While I didn’t decide on West Point with certainty until this year, I knew I wanted to pursue a challenging path with a purpose.
Gavin: Our dad is an ’89 West Point grad and our sisters are there now in the Class of 2024, so going to West Point was something we considered for a while. Serving in the military is a logical progression for us. West Point gives us the leadership and military training to be successful as Second Lieutenants in the Army.
Were there any obstacles you had to overcome first?
Donovan: The application process itself is a major hurdle. We started the process at the end of junior year. It involved numerous essays and letters of recommendation, an admission interview, a physical test, a medical qualification and a congressional nomination.
Gavin: Every step required preparation or training — studying, taking the SAT and ACT multiple times and improving physically, including the number of push-ups and pull-ups we could do in two minutes.
What do you hope to accomplish at West Point?
Donovan: I hope to meet the mission of West Point, which is to educate, train and inspire the Corps of Cadets to be commissioned leaders of character. I want to develop into a successful leader after graduation. I am undecided on my major or which Army branch I will pursue.
Gavin: I will work towards gaining a great education and leadership skills in preparation to serve our country as an effective platoon leader. I’m undecided on my major. Infantry or other combat arms branches interest me. Beyond meeting the commitment to serve active duty for five years, I’m not sure of my long-term plans.
How did Peddie contribute to getting you ready for West Point, mentally and physically?
Donovan: For both of us, training with Coach Frank for four years on the wrestling team has taught us a lot about mental toughness, grit and resilience. The confidence gained through wrestling encouraged us to continue on a physically and mentally challenging path, which is expected at the service academy. Coach Frank has been an inspirational role model in terms of goal setting, hard work, physical preparation, aspirational leadership and team building.
Gavin: Mr. Brennan, Peddie’s track coach, has also been a mentor to both of us for the past seven years as the Scoutmaster of Troop 52. Mr. Brennan supported and developed our leadership skills as we earned our Eagle rank and gained outdoor skills in camping and hiking. Most importantly, he’s been a role model for living a life of service by values in the Scout Oath and Law. We are prepared to commit to live by West Point’s values of “Duty, Honor, Country” in service to the nation.