In the next few days seniors and underclassmen alike will gather for annual ceremonies in which people march around in strange clothes, ring bells, and so on. Some of what we do is easily explained. We process to Highland bagpipes because back in the 1950s, Headmaster Phillips Stevens liked pipe bands. Some is less obvious, but believe it or not, there is meaning to all of this.
There are two main events: Baccalaureate and Commencement. Baccalaureate – the name has nothing to do with the Roman god Bacchus; rather it is from the same root as the word “bachelor,” from medieval times when young men, on the evening before they became knights, kept an all-night prayer vigil in church. So the Baccalaureate service, while not especially religious here at secular Williston, is a serious event concerning our seniors’ transition to adulthood. I’ve been asked why graduation, the final moment of the school year, is called “Commencement.” There was a popular cliché in the seventies that actually applies here. Seniors: Sunday will be the first day of the rest of your lives.Continue reading →
On Monday, February 22, the Williston Northampton School celebrates Founders Day, which celebrates the school’s founding 175 years ago. The event kicks off on Sunday night, February 21, with a screening of the film 1 Revolution about paralympian Chris Waddell. In addition, Mr. Waddell will speak the next morning at Assembly.
The entire school will come together Monday to celebrate with a program of community-building exercises. After the all-school Assembly, students will break into different workshops and advisory groups throughout the day. Founders Day will conclude with a birthday dinner at which a new Williston-themed ice cream flavor, whipped up for the occasion by Mt. Tom’s Homemade Ice Cream, will make its debut.
In celebration of the school’s 175th birthday, Williston asks that you consider making a Founders Day gift to the Williston Northampton Fund or the Parents’ Fund. Our goal is to inspire 175 alumni, parents, and friends to come together and pledge their support during the course of 24 hours; if we reach that goal, an anonymous donor will give $25,000 to Williston! The challenge kicks off at midnight and runs until 11:59 p.m. on February 22 (for more details, check out this video, and this page on our website). Watch our Facebook page and our website for updates throughout the day. We thank you for your generosity! Questions may be directed to Traci Wolfe in the Advancement office.
On February 3, 2016, four Williston senior athletes signed letters of intent to play college-level sports: Emily MacDonald ’16, of Ludlow, MA, signed to play soccer with Assumption College in Worcester, MA; Caroline Wysocki ’16, of Agawam, MA, signed to play soccer with the University of New Hampshire in Durham, NH; Aaron James ’16, of Amherst, MA, signed to play soccer with the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, VA; and Nick Garofano ’16, of Yorktown Heights, NY, signed to play lacrosse with the United States Military Academy in West Point, NY.