Convocation Officially Marks the Beginning of the New Academic Year

Officially commemorating the beginning of their senior year, Convocation brings together students, parents, faculty and staff, administrators, trustees, and guests to honor seniors and reflect on ways in which everyone can contribute to the life of the school. While the Class of 2021 and official dignitaries gathered on the Todd Quad grounds for this time-honored tradition, fellow students, parents, teachers, and friends experienced the event through live streaming.  

Leading the processional on campus was St. Ann's of Hampton Pipes & Drums. Upper School Director Dr. Joel Coleman then gave welcoming remarks, noting that the meaning of convocation as, “a gathering or an assembly, but a special kind. Its root words from Medieval French and Latin mean together and voice, and those roots teach us what we are doing here today. We are raising our voices together, reciting pledges and oaths as one. However, that does not mean that we all think alike, that we are always going to say the same things or believe the same things. What it does mean is that we can come together, speak together, and be a community together. Not just today, but in all the days to come. As the ancient Isaiah said, ‘Come now, and let us reason together.’ That is what convocation means and why we are here today.” 

Following Dr. Coleman, Laura Howard ‘21 read Kobi Yamada’s inspiring and instructive children’s book, What Do You Do With A Problem? Then, delivering his Convocation address, Head of School Sid Rowell underscored the wisdom of Yamada’s book asking, “What do you do with a problem? Like many of us, it took the main character time to finally deal with it. Now this was not easy, as he needed to first overcome his fears. Yet through this process, he discovers that problems we face don’t always turn out to be the ones we think they are. Furthermore, some only come along once. But if we can find the opportunity for good that lies within, there is a chance for us to learn and grow. You just have to look for it, and it requires courage to do so. Courage, one of our core values.” 

Convocation is also a time to recognize new school leadership, and GSB Board of Trustee Chair Doug Matthews P ‘16, ‘18, ‘24 officially inducted our newest trustee, Reema Puri P ‘19, ‘21. Afterward, leading the Senior Investiture Ceremony, Director of College Guidance Kerri Ann Small and Dean of Student Life David Pasquale had each senior sign the Senior Registry and pledge to, “Work at all time for the good of the school, and strive to exemplify the characteristics of faith, honor, and consideration in keeping with our school’s worthy traditions.”  

The ceremony concluded with playing of the time-honored GSB Alma Mater. Best wishes to the Class of 2021, and to all, as we begin the new academic year!

View a gallery of photo's from Convocation 2020.