The lawn in front of Middle House became filled with the spirit of community on Friday, September 9 as the entire school and senior families gathered to celebrate the start of a new year in an annual practice called Convocation. A yearly tradition at Moses Brown reaching back decades, Convocation, which literally means a “calling together,” is held the first week of school. The event bookends the school year with Commencement, and provides a moment of reflection before students embark on a new year — and for seniors, on the last leg of their Moses Brown education.
The event kicked off with the traditional procession of the senior class from the gate on Lloyd Avenue to the Front Circle in front of Middle House. On their way, they walked past their families who lined the sides of the main drive to cheer them on. The seniors then turned into the circle where the entire MB community awaited to welcome and celebrate them. The Class of 2023, the new leaders of our school, lined the walkway in front of Middle House, encircling the lower, middle, and upper schoolers who were observing from the grassy center.
The first speaker to welcome the crowd was fourth grader Krishnav V. ’31. [Watch Krishnav here.] Krishnav read the MB Mission Statement and asked for a moment of silence, a practice those of Moses Brown, a Quaker school, know well.
Next, Board Co-Clerks Reza Taleghani ’90 P ’21 ’23 and Jane Ritson-Parsons P ’17 ’21 took to the podium to give their best wishes and support to the school as we embarked on a new year. [Watch their remarks here.] “To be able to see all of you here with such enthusiasm to be together again after the past couple of years we’ve had, it really warms my heart. I want to welcome you and wish you a wonderful school year.”
Eighth grader Emmy M. ’27 addressed the school and offered us all a challenge. [Watch her speech here.] “In the words of Herb Brooks, legendary olympic hockey coach, ‘Be better than you are. Set a goal that seems unattainable, and when you reach that goal, set another one even higher.’ Whether it’s being a little nicer or challenging yourself in an unfamiliar subject I hope that everyone sets a goal for themselves.”
Interim Head of School, Ron Dalgliesh P ’21, invited the Upper School Senate Tri-Clerks to share their reflections with our community. [Watch their full speeches here.] Salter A. ’23 gave advice to his fellow classmates, “to seek gratitude actively… Senior year sneaks up on you, and you’ll wish you had spent more time and energy on the relationships that last a lifetime.”
Charlotte L. ’23 called upon us to “try new things, meet new friends, and always, always, be kind… It is the life we live that is the lesson we teach, and this makes our ability to change the world infinite.” And Jaeson D. ’23 reflected on his 14 years at MB, having started here as nursery school student. “I don’t think I will ever experience anything close to the magic of the Moses Brown community. So immerse yourself in it, as it is a place that can transform you into someone that you had never thought you had the confidence to be.”
Ron Dalgliesh P ’21, in his first speech as Interim Head of School, expressed his enthusiasm for what this new school year meant to him and the MB community. [Watch full video now] He encouraged everyone to dive into the next 279 days with our full selves, and to take advantage of every opportunity that comes our way. He asked us all to ponder a powerful question: What does it mean to be MB?
“There is a unique culture and sense of community that has defined this school for generations. Each of us in this circle will define the culture this year. It is our responsibility. I encourage us to put the past few years behind us. To take shared accountability for reaffirming who we are and who we want to be… to reaffirm what it means to “be MB.”
In a new tradition this year, a faculty member was invited to the podium to ring the bell, symbolizing the start of the new school year. Adolphe Coulibaly, winner of the Rufus S.D. Bilodeau Faculty Award, took to the podium to ring in the year. This signaled to the seniors to continue to process up the steps of Middle House, leading the rest of the school through the doors to their classrooms. The year is now officially underway!
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To read the full speeches from the event, click here.