A heartfelt standing ovation for Head of School Maureen Fonseca, who is in her final year at Masters, was one highlight of the annual Convocation ceremony on October 18. Students, faculty and staff, trustees, families and guests all stood to recognize and honor the many accomplishments achieved during Dr. Fonseca's 15-year tenure.
The Invocation was delivered by Jane Rechtman, Henry Sloane Coffin Chair in Religion Emerita.Co-Chairs of Community Government Serena Wessely '15 and Brandon Schneider '15, offered remarks to open the program. The Glee Club performed "Do It With They Might," a medley of historic school songs arranged by Barton Green for chorus and orchestra.
The program moved to an emotional address by Dr. Amanda Kemp '84, Research Associate in Africana Studies at Franklin & Marshall College. Dr. Kemp read the poem "Wild Geese" by Mary Oliver. She encouraged students and faculty to use the poem as a touchstone on "that walk, that journey" as they delve into the topic of diversity, Masters' year-long, school-wide theme.
“Wild Geese” by Mary Oliver
You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
For a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about your despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting --
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.
Dr. Kemp stated, "Instead of defending and protecting, let's get soft. Breathe. When you hit a hard moment, drop into your body and breathe. We want to move out of the win-loss paradigm. We have shared responsibilities and possibilities. You can't force your way through conflicts or differences. Turn your attention to love what you love."
In the end, she appealed to the audience:"You have to let the authentic you love and be loved." The audience responded with a standing ovation.
Board Chair Tracy Tang Limpe '80, P'18, closed the program by announcing the Hamill Family Foundation gift to name the MAAC natatorium in honor of Joan Smith Hamill '34.
Caption for lead photo (left to right):
Trustee Shan Zhu P'16, Jane Rechtman, Board Chair Tracy Tang Limpe '80, P'18, Dr. Amanda Kemp '84, Dr. Maureen Fonseca, Brandon Schneider '15, Serena Wessely '15, Academic Dean Chris Goulian, and Trustee Keith Morgan P'17.