Officially kicking off the school year and the first day of classes, Convocation featured speeches from co-head monitors Emma Tung ’22 and Jack Burton ’22 urging students to take risks and care for one another.
Tung noted the excitement of celebrating Convocation in person after the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the past 18 months. She shared a story about facing her fear of heights and jumping into a lake from a 30-foot cliff, relating it to each grade in the Upper School: facing uncertainty like Class IV students, growing in confidence like Class III students, embracing new challenges like Class II students, and treasuring each moment like Class I students.
“These past three years have gone by so quickly,” Tung said. “I wish I could rewind time just to live it all over again. To the entire Milton community, don’t be afraid to jump into your own lake. Trust me, you will not regret it. Step outside your comfort zone, support your friends, and create your own story.”
“Our community has a lot of perspective to give and life lessons to learn,” Burton said, recognizing the challenges of the past two years and congratulating students on “making it through, together.” The most important thing students can do this year is develop and nurture relationships, he said.
“When I think about creating something that has purpose and meaning in high school, I think about creating relationships, creating memories,” Burton said. “Think about what legacy you want to leave during your time at Milton. It doesn’t need to be groundbreaking. If you show up for each other, seek unity in our community, and do something that has meaning for you, you’ll have a great experience.”
“Think about what legacy you want to leave during your time at Milton. It doesn’t need to be groundbreaking. If you show up for each other, seek unity in our community, and do something that has meaning for you, you’ll have a great experience.”
– Jack Burton ’22
Upper School Principal David Ball reflected on the lessons of the pandemic, telling students, “Life is not a series of tasks to be completed, but a series of virtues to be nurtured within ourselves.”
Ball and Head of School Todd Bland each recognized Jake Thibeault ’22, a Goodwin House senior who recently suffered a spinal injury in a club hockey game. Thibeault’s courage and energy as he begins his physical rehabilitation are inspiring, both said.
Ball presented Burton and Tung with the 56th James S. Willis Memorial Award, given annually to each new head monitor and named in memory of James Willis ’50, a leader in his Milton class.