Presented by history and global studies teacher Diane Williams on June 10, 2012.
I want to start by saying how honored I am to be on this panel with so many people that inspire and motivate me to work in the field of social justice, sports, and politics. I am going to talk mostly about Title IX, but I am happy to discuss the decrease of women in sport media later.
I am a “Title IX baby.” I am of a generation of girls and women, born after Title IX , who had opportunities to play sports in school. I started playing in high school—volleyball, basketball, and track and field, and never looked back.
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Presented by Head of School Robert W. Hill III in the Williston Theatre on June 9, 2012 during Reunion.
Before I begin, I’d like to give a warm welcome to all alumni: NSFG alumni, Williston alumni, and of course, Williston Northampton School alumni. As I was considering remarks for today, I was thinking about how schools change, but also how they stay the same. Emblematic of this duality is the ceremony that we will hold later this afternoon; the dedication of the newly installed Angelus on the terrace behind 194 Main Street.
The Angelus was the bell which called NSFG students to a moment of daily reflection, a practice that we have memorialized and adapted to Williston Northampton’s convocation and commencement exercises. I invite all of you who are interested in this NSFG symbol to come to the dedication at 4 pm.
Being head of school in the 21st century presents some unique challenges relative to other distinct periods of recent history. While we can look to the past for direction, it also appears that we are in a period of flux every bit as dramatic as that of the late 1960s and early 1970s when we experienced landscape-shifting changes. It is not a surprise to me, looking back as a quasi-historian, that coeducation for schools and colleges took hold during the social upheavals of the Vietnam era.
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Presented during a Cultural Identity Event on February 9, 2012 in Williston Northampton School’s Cox Room.
By Yoonji Kim ’15
I have had many valuable experiences throughout my fourteen years of life. Because I love to travel, I’ve been to distant countries that most children my age do not desire to visit.
My trip to India stands out in my memory. I went to India with my mother when I was in the fifth grade. At that time, I had never experienced or known about people in need. I merely thought that, in India, a lot of conflict occurred because of religious tension with Pakistan. When I first arrived in India, the noxious smell of the river and streets was overwhelming. Therefore, due to the poor environment, I thought a lot of children didn’t have a proper education.
After I visited an Indian school, my thoughts totally changed. Despite the steamy, hot weather, students were studying on the floor without any desks or fans. Children ranging from ages five to fifteen were studying math together in a dingy classroom. Even more surprising was the fact that no one was complaining about his or her environment. From their eyes, which gleamed with the joy of learning, I could feel that they were hungry for knowledge.
Because of this experience, I realized two things. First, we can experience happiness because of our circumstances. Second, we can also find joy within ourselves. This means that not only the things around us bring happiness and satisfaction, but also simply our choice to be happy can give us great pleasure. Due to these reasons, my trip to India was the turning point of my life.
Thank you Bob, Board of Trustees, faculty and staff for the invitation to take part in today’s celebration. I am deeply honored and thrilled for the opportunity to address the Class of 2012, accompanied by family and friends.
When I received the invitation from the Head of School Bob Hill. I said “yes” without hesitation. I have deep respect for this institution, not to mention my daughter is now a senior here. Like most parents, I have visited the Williston community many times, observed student-teacher interaction in class, attended competitive sporting events and been mesmerized by many thespian productions. Cafeteria food also brought back memories.
There is no better way to describe Williston than the way Steve Porter, Class of ’97, did. His production “Williston Is,” featuring the Willistonians, describes the spirit, diversity, characters and values of Williston. Friends and family, if you haven’t seen the video, do check it out on YouTube or the Williston website. It will make you proud, it will assure you that our future is in good hands.
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Baccalaureate Speech on June 1, 2012 by Glenn Swanson
We gather here this evening to participate in a traditional ceremony that dates to the Middle Ages when institutions were formed to pursue academic learning under the guidance of the Christian church in Europe. It was called a Baccalaureate Service. Tomorrow we have what we have traditionally called a Commencement. Many of us who work in schools are fascinated, to varying degrees, with words. Commencement, meaning a beginning, is actually our closing ceremony, but seniors– you understand even now that while it will be an ending of this segment of your life it is merely a transition to a new segment. It is more of a joyous occasion, a celebration with speeches, diplomas, hugs and tears that all signify a good-bye.
But tonight is really a solemn occasion, a reflection on the past, befitting the end of one era and the realization that tomorrow is really appropriately a commencement of a new era. These two events are bookends of a very brief period of time, perhaps 16 hours, but there is certainly at least one more bookend on the beginning of this shelf of experiences, whether you started as a 7th grader or a 12th grader. A few of you seniors, but also including most others in the audience, and my colleagues in attendance, have already had a commencement at the end of your high school career, but I think you will find, if not now then later, that this one will have at least as much meaning as the previous one.
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