A site for all Williston Northampton speeches and reflections.

Natalie Aquadro ’17 on the ‘Williston Magic’

Natalie Aquadro '17
Natalie Aquadro ’17

Five years ago when I came to Williston, 2017 seemed like generations away, and now it’s just around the corner. Five years ago I was 12 years old, it was 2011, and I was only about 2 inches shorter. Five years ago I never thought that I would be on this side of the stage. I hardly even had the courage to stand up and present in front of a class, and now here I am talking to the entire school. But that’s just what happens at Williston: you become someone that you only ever dreamed of being. Whether you’re in seventh grade, ninth grade, a PG, or anywhere in between, I guarantee that at some point in your time at Williston, you will feel the Williston magic. Williston is what I believe to be the friendliest place on earth. If you haven’t noticed it yet, I’m sure you will in just a matter of time. I’m somewhat convinced that to be enrolled in Williston you have to constantly be smiling, and I think that might be the first thing the admissions office checks when you come to visit campus. Continue reading

Convocation Address by Head of School Robert W. Hill III

Ed. note: Head of School Robert W. Hill III welcomed the audience to Convocation, officially opening the 176th school year, during a ceremony on the Quadrangle on September 16, 2016.


Head of School Robert W. Hill III at Convocation
Head of School Robert W. Hill III at Convocation

Good afternoon Williston and welcome to our 176th Convocation, our traditional ceremony that marks the official start and welcome to the academic year. Welcome to the Classes of 2022 to the great class of 2017.

And welcome also to Dr. Austin Sarat, whom I will say more about later, but who graciously came to our rescue when Dr. Beverly Tatum informed us yesterday of a death in her family preventing her from being here. Continue reading

2016 Convocation Speech by Austin Sarat

Ed. note: This speech was given by Convocation keynote Austin Sarat, the William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Jurisprudence and Political Science and Associate Dean of the Faculty of Amherst College. Prof. Sarat graciously accepted our invitation to speak after our scheduled speaker, Dr. Beverly Tatum, had to cancel because of a death in the family.


Convocation keynote Professor Austin Sarat
Convocation keynote Professor Austin Sarat

Today I want to ask you to think about two quotations, the first from the great physicist Albert Einstein…

“Imagination,” Einstein said, “is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.”

The second quotation is attributed to the American author John C. Maxwell who said.

“Students don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care” Continue reading

Ward Metal Recipient Ed Michael Reggie ’71

Ed. note: Ed Michael Reggie ’71 received the Ward Medal at a special assembly on May 13, 2016, in the Phillips Stevens Chapel. Read more here.

Ward Metal Winner Ed Michael Reggie '71//Photo by Joanna Chattman
Ward Metal Winner Ed Michael Reggie ’71//Photo by Joanna Chattman

I am here to talk to you today about “Doing Good Well.” But I would like to say upfront that when it comes to giving back, I say no. And I encourage you to say no.

That’s right—I am saying don’t give back. So does that make me a heartless capitalist? How can I tell you not to give back? And with an attitude like mine, how did I even end up here before you this morning? Well, it wasn’t always a sure thing that I’d graduate from Williston much less end up here accepting this award. Let me tell you why.

I arrived at Williston from a small Cajun town in Louisiana when I was 15-years-old. If ever there was a fish out of water, I was it. Some of you here no doubt know the feeling. Continue reading

Baccalaureate Poem: Remembering Not to Forget

Delivered at Baccalaureate Service, Williston Northampton School
May 28, 2016
By Sideya Dill ’16

 

Like a vapor in the wind

Or the falling of a leaf

Like snow hitting your skin

So many moments are so brief

Some would say it felt like it all started an eternity ago

Some would say it feels like it all started yesterday

Some would say that time here has gone by so slow

But it all went too fast is what others would say.

But here we are about to transition out of this phase of our lives

Here we are trying to figure out what comes next

Trying to piece together how to keep these Williston memories alive

Trying to remember not to forget.

There was that time skated on or swam in the pond

That time we got kicked out of the library

That time we got an email and decided not to respond

And that time that we had too many packages to carry.

When we nailed it in the dance concert

When we painted something beautiful

When the dining hall had that good dessert

Or that thing that time that wasn’t really chewable.

Having gone to our favorite classes

Or having gave the victory bell a ring

In the winter, having smelled the molasses

Or relaxed on the quad in the beautiful spring.

Beating Suffield or really any other school

Hanging with our best friends every day

Going to get mount toms ice cream to keep cool

Or hiking out to Galbraith because we had games to play.

Having fun going to Willy Gras each spring

Heading to the theater to watch a production

Going to assembly and being forced to sing

Playing games on the surface then realizing you missed the instruction.

Being excited and somewhat sad on Senior days

Sitting in the dining hall too long on weekend nights

Clearing the boards to put up new art displays

Or getting ready to play on Sawyer under the lights.

Doing fun things or sleeping on the weekends

Parking in the day student lot

Filling out white sheets to go off with friends

Or running to check in because you forgot!

Acing that test you studied hard for

Making honors and feeling proud

Painting the lion a whole new color

Or winning big in front of a Williston crowd.

So slow down and take time to fill yourself with sweet memories

They say the older you get the quicker time will pass

And if you think that to not be true, you better believe

Because tomorrow we will be the graduating class.

Many of these memories cannot be repeated and this I will bet

So take some time to stop and remember all the things you don’t want to forget.

 

 

 

 

A site for all Williston Northampton speeches and reflections.