Special Initiatives

David Astle Memorial Lecture Series

David Astle Memorial Lecture Series

To Inspire 
Each year the David Astle Memorial Lecture is a source of inspiration and motivation for our community. Through sharing their powerful messages with our students, these honored guest speakers show our students both the value of perseverance and the impact service can have on a global scale.

2023 David Astle Memorial Lecture Series Speaker: Andy Dehart '91

Andy Dehart ’91, a dedicated marine conservationist and well-known Shark Advisor for the Discovery Channel’s Shark Week programming, has been selected as the 2023 David Astle Memorial Lecture series speaker. Dehart will address students on the morning of April 6, in a talk titled ‘Live Every Week Like It’s Shark Week.’

Following the student assembly, Dehart will also visit a handful of classes, host a Q&A for interested students and enjoy lunch with students as well.

Dehart currently serves as the President and CEO of Loggerhead Marinelife Center in Juno Beach, FL, a world-class facility that promotes the conservation of ocean ecosystems with a special focus on threatened and endangered sea turtles.  Prior to joining Loggerhead Marinelife Center, Dehart served as the Vice President of Animal Husbandry and Marine Conservation at the Philip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science in Miami, FL. Prior to that, he spent much of his early career at the National Aquarium in Baltimore and Washington, D.C.

He is perhaps most known for his role as a Shark Advisor for the Discovery Channel, a position he landed due to his extensive knowledge of sharks. He has appeared on all national news networks and was featured in seven Shark Week productions for the Discovery Channel.

After graduating from Severn School in 1991, Dehart went on to earn a bachelor's degree in science from the University of Nebraska at Omaha.


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This program is part of our Student Programs category of endowed funds. A gift to this category of funds enables us to invite talented performers, speakers, educators, and activists to Severn so our students learn to examine and appreciate the many perspectives and experiences possible in our world.

You can find more information about endowment giving here.


David Sheridan Astle '92 is the late son of the Honorable and Mrs. John C. Astle, Maryland State Senator (District 30). The 23-year-old died tragically in December 1997, when a deer stepped into the path of a car he was riding in.

A 1992 Severn School alumnus, David was an active member of the school community during his seven years as a student, and a well-liked member of the alumni body. He told his mother shortly before his death that he felt he had developed life-long friends while at Severn School.

He realized Severn taught him more than the basics of education; Severn School helped develop his character by encouraging his own innate sense of integrity, responsibility, honor, and commitment.

The David Astle Memorial Endowment, begun by Senator and Mrs. Astle in 1998, funds this annual lecture series through which knowledgeable and/or inspirational speakers are invited to share their expertise, experiences, and messages with the community.

Lower School

Upper School