Expo weekend welcomes visitors, celebrates MB community

The MB community turned out in enthusiastic force on October 15 and 16 for Harvest Dinner, Open House, and Homecoming, opening its doors to a record number of current and prospective families for this annual Expo celebration.

[See photo galleries for: Harvest Dinner | Open House/Homecoming]

Happy to be together again

Hundreds of guests joined together on Friday for MB’s beloved Harvest Dinner on the Front Circle, followed by the annual Homecoming bonfire. Addressing the crowd during dinner, Head of School Matt Glendinning said “To me, this event embodies the Quaker principle of community — the way each of us is part of a larger whole at MB, and how that whole nurtures and sustains each of us.”

Right after, guests enjoyed a surprise flash mob–style performance of “Let Love Rule” by MB faculty and students from all divisions, led by music director and teacher Justin Peters.

An emphasis on learning

On Saturday morning, as part of our annual admissions Open House, faculty and students showed how MB helps students discover what they want to be and the gifts they have to bring to the world. As middle school’s Maureen Nagle said when describing MB’s curriculum, “The faculty here work with kids to create a program and an experience that lets their gifts shine. This is a vital time for our students to discover and share gifts and talents and find new ones.”

Drama instructor Steve Kidd, also the head of the Performing Arts Department, described empathy as a guiding value in his program. At MB, theatre starts in second grade and is an intentional part of the school’s building of community, as students imagine what it’s like to live someone else’s experience and challenges. “We believe that art can help make change,” he asserted.

Theatre students also have the benefit of MB’s state-of-the-art Woodman Center — something visiting families were able to experience first-hand through an immersive student-led experience of Hamlet. In a whirlwind 7 minutes, visitors got a taste of the play and also what it is like to be on stage at Moses Brown.

Tours helped emphasize other distinctive spaces on campus, helping visitors see how excellent facilities help support excellent learning. Lower School families got a sneak peek of our new Lower School renovation, while middle and upper school families saw how our Y-Lab — the largest maker space on the East Coast — is used across grade levels, from exploring the mechanics of bridges at the lower school level to robotics competition in the upper school.

Doing the project is the vehicle for learning to happen,” said upper school math teacher Nathaniel Shaw, while fifth grade teacher Lance Evans acknowledged the power of the Y-lab itself. “Spaces transform,” he said, “even at old schools. It’s amazing what schools can do when they keep moving forward.”

Out on our campus grounds, music ensembles of all ages and types entertained the community – strings, wind instruments, chorus — while samples of student visual artworks brightened the tour path.

Student voices

Later on Saturday, new Head of Upper School Laura Twichell led a Q&A forum session with upper school visitors in our Walter Jones Library. In response to a visiting parent who asked what an incoming high school student might experience, a student emphasized the peer guidance given to 9th graders by seniors, helping them adjust smoothly and joyfully to Moses Brown.

Another student added that people at MB are “super kind and it’s a warm environment.”

A third student offered that he felt a “level of comfort in being myself in a social setting,” adding that at MB “we rely on the Inner Light within our community” — a term we use to indicate each person’s innate value — which made him feel empowered to be himself.

Luke Anderson, MB’s new DEI director, echoed these sentiments when he greeted families at the day’s first tour stop: “I’m inspired by how welcomed and embraced I’ve been here,” he says. “There is something to the power of this place.”

(Photos by Peter Goldberg and David O’Connor)

(Read a sports roundup of the weekend)