Matthew Gorbaty '24 and Mr. Arvites '04 Excel in the Albert H. Small Normandy Institute Program

July 10, 2023 - Holy Cross is proud to announce that Matthew Gorbaty '24 and Mr. Arvites '04 recently participated in the highly competitive Albert H. Small Normandy Institute program facilitated through George Washington University. The program, which took place from June 20th to July 3rd, brought together 14 student-teacher pairs from around the country to delve into the historical significance of World War II.

As part of the program, Matthew Gorbaty and Mr. Arvites embarked on a two-week journey that included visits to Washington D.C., and Normandy, France. Gorbaty conducted extensive research on John C. Berlin, a soldier from New Orleans who tragically lost his life during the D-Day invasions on June 6, 1944. Matthew's dedication and research culminated in a compelling briefing on the battle at Pegasus Bridge and a heartfelt eulogy for John C. Berlin at the American Cemetery in Normandy.

Matthew's discoveries shed light on John C. Berlin's life and service. Berlin attended Holy Cross from 1936 to 1939 and enlisted in the airborne in 1942. He served as a radio technician in the 501st PIR of the 101st Airborne. Berlin's interests included painting, and he was an altar boy during his childhood. Additionally, his best friend was Louis Frey, an HC graduate of 1940, and they both enlisted in the Army on the same day in 1941.

During their time in Normandy, Matthew had the opportunity to hear from college professors and explore the historical sites that played a significant role in World War II. As a result of his remarkable journey, Matthew will be giving three presentations on his soldier and his experiences. The first presentation will be recorded on the HC WWII Class podcast, Tigers by the Fire, scheduled to be released in August.

The Albert H. Small Normandy Institute program is just one of the many extraordinary opportunities provided to Holy Cross students to deepen their understanding of the Second World War. Mr. Arvites, a dedicated and innovative teacher, leads the World War II History Honors course at Holy Cross, which includes weekly visits to the National Museum. Mr. Arvites also incorporates several international trips and encourages students to engage in podcasting to enhance their learning experience.
Holy Cross School is an independent, Catholic, college preparatory school founded in 1849 by the Congregation of Holy Cross to educate young men in the greater New Orleans community. Holy Cross is fully approved by the Louisiana State Department of Education and is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools as a college preparatory school for boys in grades PK-12.