Ed. note: History and Global Studies Chair Sarah Klumpp received the Richard C. Gregory Chair during Convocation on September 15, 2017. Dean of Faculty Peter Valine presented the chair and delivered this address.
The new recipient of the Gregory Chair arrived on our campus in the fall of 2001. As an independent school graduate who had also taught for three years in boarding school before coming to Williston, she rapidly immersed herself in all areas of school life.
In the classroom, her energy, enthusiasm, and exceptional organization allow her to successfully transmit her passion for history and teaching. She brings history alive through her student-centered pedagogy. She encourages students to find their own voice through discussions and to challenge their understandings through debate. She asks probing questions about historical issues, and creates engaging projects that require her students to adopt the roles of discoverers and historians. She uses clearly articulated goals and objectives that assist the process of discovery, and then prods her students to apply the knowledge and skills that they gained. Her students feel well supported by her frequent and constructive feedback, her availability for extra help, and her positive reinforcement and praise when their work is well done. Continue reading →
Students, faculty, staff, class of 2018, welcome to Convocation!
I was terrified. Excited, but terrified. No, I am not talking about when I sat down to write this speech. I’m talking about when I was first accepted to Williston the spring before freshman year. I was afraid that I wouldn’t dress the right way; that I wouldn’t be smart enough; that I would fail in athletics; that I wouldn’t know how to be “preppy”; and before the year had even started, I somehow already felt behind. Luckily, that summer I met one girl from Williston that would change all of that. Continue reading →
Williston Northampton Convocation Speech
Dr. Beverly Daniel Tatum
September 15, 2017
A long time ago I read a disturbing story that had a powerful effect on me and I want to begin my talk today by telling it to all of you. Unfortunately I no longer remember where I first read it, but I believe it comes from the Buddhist tradition. It is a story about a king who wanted to create a large bell that could be heard across the country side, one that would be astonishingly beautiful in tone. He commissioned the most highly skilled bell maker he could find, and the bell maker worked diligently to produce a wonderful bell. The first bell he made was good, but not great. The sound quality just wasn’t what the king was looking for. A second bell was cast, and still despite the bell maker’s best efforts, it wasn’t good enough for the king. Finally in frustration, the bell maker told the king that the only way to get the beautiful tone he was looking for would be to sacrifice a young maiden in the casting of the bell. And so the king ordered his soldiers to find a suitable candidate. In a nearby village they found a poor woman with a young daughter, and snatched her away from her pleading mother. She was sacrificed for the bell, and indeed the bell that resulted was both beautiful to see and had an astonishingly pure and lovely tone. All who heard it marveled at the sound, but the poor mother who knew firsthand its terrible history cried with grief each time the bell rang. There was injustice literally baked into that bell, but those who did not know that history never had to think about that injustice. They simply enjoyed its sound. Continue reading →
John M. McCardell Jr., vice-chancellor of Sewanee: The University of the South, president emeritus of Middlebury College, and an eminent historian, delivered the following remarks at Williston Northampton School’s 176th Commencement on May 28, 2017.
“Happy Are Those Who Find Wisdom”
Good morning! It is a pleasure and honor to be with you today, a time of ends and beginnings and a moment to recognize, accept, and perhaps even to celebrate both the continuities and the ambiguities of lives, which always, if kept in proper balance, are poised like the classical figure of Janus (for whom the month of January is named), with one eye fixed on the past, certain, known, remembered, and the other eye trained on the future, uncertain, unknown, anticipated. You stand today athwart the course of what Isaac Watts’s beloved hymn refers to as “time’s ever rolling stream,” which will eventually “bear all our souls away.” Continue reading →
Good morning and welcome, parents, family, friends, trustees, faculty and staff, our honored speaker, and most importantly to the Class of 2017. As we celebrate our 176th Commencement of The Williston Northampton School, you, the Class of 2017 are surrounded by loved ones brimming with pride in all that you have accomplished—in a show of your collective appreciation, please stand and face the audience and join me in extending to them a round of applause.
Williston would be only half complete were it not for the people arrayed behind me. They are your coaches, teachers, dorm parents, advisers, and mentors—so please join me in thanking them! Continue reading →