This should be straightforward, but for me it will not be easy. I am surely not alone in wishing for just a little more time with this tremendous class. Time for one more game, one more play, one more concert, photograph, drawing, dance or song—time for, yes, one more class or at least one more conversation (oh my!)…but that time is past. So I am left with words for you and yet words fail because, to paraphrase Lincoln, what we say here matters little in comparison with what you, the Class of 2014, have done here. So, I will endeavor to try to say some words about a crucial dimension of your Williston experience—but my words may linger because I am not alone in realizing that such greatness as the Class of 2014 comes rarely and should be celebrated fully.
We now honor the finest scholars in the Class of 2014 with their public induction in to the Williston Northampton chapter of the Cum Laude Society. In electing these young women and men as members of the Cum Laude Society, Williston celebrates their academic accomplishment and, in a broader sense, the fundamental mission of our school. These young people show what can be accomplished by an academic life inspired with purpose, passion and integrity.
Editor’s note: These remarks were delivered at the Williston Northampton School’s Senior Dinner on May 10, 2013, by history and global studies teacher Peter Gunn.
I am grateful to be part of a community defined by the devotion of Robert Ward, the kindness of Dan and Jane Carpenter and by the goodness of the Class of 2013. While I never knew Bob Ward personally, his conviction that people can do good well compels me as much as Abraham Lincoln’s faith in government by the people and Elizabeth Cady Stanton’s belief that all women and men are created equal. We don’t need to know someone to share their vision—great ideas can bridge and bind generations.
Editor’s Note: Peter Gunn, history and global studies teacher, presented the following during the Cum Laude Society Induction Ceremony on Friday, January 11.
We gather this morning to honor ten seniors who we will induct into the Cum Laude Society. We celebrate their academic accomplishment and, in so doing, the fundamental mission of the Williston Northampton School. Think of this as the academic counterpart to the Athletic Awards – only for the best of the best.
The Cum Laude Society is a national Honor Society modeled on Phi Beta Kappa. Williston Academy joined the society in 1921. The Northampton School for Girls received its charter in 1951. In 1971 the society granted the merged Williston Northampton School a new charter. Membership into the Cum Laude Society is the highest academic award that Williston Northampton can bestow.
Presented by history and global studies teacher Peter Gunn during The Williston Northampton School’s all-school meeting on September 19, 2012.
Good morning. A few of you have already heard what I am about to share, but I believe the two anniversaries of this week deserve a wider audience—and a moment of silent reflection and appreciation in our community.
On September 17th, 1787 thirty-seven American delegates signed the US Constitution and sent it to the states for ratification by convention. Rarely are countries born out of and built upon a set of ideas. The United States is one such country. While less familiar to our ear than Thomas Jefferson’s affirmation in the Declaration of Independence “that all men are created equal”, the preamble written by James Madison includes a sweeping expression of American ideals:
We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
Over the past 225 years this document has served our nation well and contributed to positive political developments around the world.