The Williston Northampton School will celebrate the opening of the 171st academic year with a Convocation ceremony to be held Friday, September 16, at 5:00 p.m. in the Quad in front of the Reed Campus Center. Our distinguished speaker this year is Professor Shamus Khan of Columbia University. The program also includes a welcome from Senior Class President Adrian Mendoza ’12, the awarding of faculty chairs, and recognition of faculty members who have served the school for 25 years.
Shamus Khan is an assistant professor in the department of sociology at Columbia. He was the inaugural scholar in residence at the Institute for Social and Economic Research and Policy and directs the culture in the social sciences group, the business and politics group, and the elite research network at Columbia University. Khan is currently researching the history of elites in New York City, the structure of fame, and deliberative decision-making in multiethnic groups.
With a primary focus on inequality, Khan’s first book, Privilege, explored the life of an elite boarding school. Khan has also written on the development of gender theory and political decision-making. He is editing a book on research methodology, The Practice of Research (Oxford) and a monograph titled Exceptional: Elite New York and the Story of American Inequality. In 2011-2012 Khan will be in residence at the Cullman Center of the New York Public Library, where he is the Andrew W. Mellon Fellow.
Students are asked to dress formally for Convocation and will be seated by class in Assembly order. Following Convocation, seniors will take part in the traditional Senior Dinner at 6:15 p.m. in the Birch Dining Commons. All other students will attend class dinners in assigned locations.
In addition to their dinner, seniors and faculty members will be addressed by this year’s guest speaker, United States Marine Corps Captain Colin D’Amour, a member of Williston’s Class of 2003. Captain D’Amour served in Afghanistan from March 2010 to February 2011. He will share what leadership means to him personally and in the context of the modern United States military.