The first week of our 144th year at the Hall was one of celebration and tradition as students returned to campus. Mariachis welcomed our community at the gate and joyful reunions were marked with high-fives, hugs, fist-bumps, and smiles.
The second day marked our Opening Convocation, where we officially welcomed the entire Saint Mary’s Hall community back to school. The room was packed as Chaplain Fredricc Brock gave the opening invocation, and Head of School Len Miller and Board of Trustees Chair Rick Reyna both shared words of inspiration.
Addressing the students, Mr. Miller began the year with a request. “There is one main thing I want to ask of our students. Students, we need you to look out for each other. When someone asks for directions on how to get to a class, don’t point, walk them to their destination. Look around at the lunch tables to make sure that no one is eating alone, even if it means sitting apart from your closest friends. If you don’t know someone, introduce yourself. Ask how their day is going. Be present for one another. Our goal is always to help, and for everyone to feel like they truly belong to this community. EVERY SINGLE ONE OF YOU BELONGS HERE! It’s going to be a great year.”
As is tradition, students from each Division addressed the School community with their own stirring calls to action for the year. Saanvi Goyal ’30, Charlotte Holmgreen ’27, and Patrick Lang ’23 called upon classmates to demonstrate empathy, gratitude, and courageous leadership. The Saint Mary’s Hall Alma Mater has never sounded better than it did as performed by Assistant Band Director David Waterland, and Jackson White ’23 gave a beautiful benediction.
Barons wrapped up the week with an exuberant Blue Tie parade celebrating the Class of 2023, followed by the traditional Blue Tie Ceremony. Each Senior received their blue tie, joining the long blue line of SMH Seniors before them.
As Mr. Miller said in his opening letter to the community: “The first day of school is a really big day, a milestone, and the moments that are most important underscore the meaning behind our School motto - “teach us delight in simple things.” The joy of seeing each other again, the satisfaction of opening a new book, the wonder of learning something new, and the shared experience of beginning again. It occurred to me during lunch in the Dining Hall that this is the first time since I have been here that I have been able to see all of our students in that space, sitting safely together at full tables, enjoying lunch and relishing their days. I am so glad that we begin this year together, face-to-face, with a sense of closeness and camaraderie. We have been prepping for this day for three months, and it was well worth the wait. As Dr. Brock would remind us, “Today was a great day.”