We have just heard the bell that marks the first loss of life on September 11th, 2001, and the first of the events we remember today. You heard it toll twenty times for the twenty years since that day. You have watched your classmates unfurl the flag and raise it to full staff—quickly to show our country’s resilience and diligence—then lower it to half-staff slowly to show that we mourn those that our nation lost.
As you walk between the open quads and courtyards on campus, in Chapin Hall or the Todd Quad or on this largest quad bounded by Founders, Cox, and the Athletic Center, think about how we here, through friendship and scholarship, argument and agreement, thinking and feeling, are free to work securely on the inside.
For those of you who are avid bikers, runners, or climbers, you will have found yourself at some point going uphill.
We have heard the first tolling of the bell, which marks the moment when the first plane hit the first tower in New York, nineteen tolls, and we have observed a minute of silence. We have seen the flag, which usually flies so high, carefully unfurled and raised, then placed at half-staff as a sign of mourning.
Welcome to all of you. Whether you are gathered here in the Todd Quad or gathered around a screen in class, at home, or at work, we are happy to have you with us. We are assembled here today for two things: a convocation and an investiture.
Upper School Director
Dr. Joel Coleman has more than two decades of experience teaching, coaching, and independent school leadership, serving most recently as Upper School Head at St. Paul’s School in Maryland. In that role, he led several curriculum initiatives, including spearheading changes to the school’s International Baccalaureate program, creating and implementing a K-12 departmental review cycle, and overseeing updates to the upper school’s science, math, arts, and philosophy curricula. As part of this work, he partnered with faculty to create a portrait of a graduate and better define standards of teaching excellence at each grade level. In addition, Dr. Coleman piloted K-12 instructional coaching and mentoring for the faculty and worked to further align curriculum and faculty development with the school’s mission.