As Dean of Admission, I am delighted to welcome you to Milton Academy. Your journey through the admission process is behind you, and I am eager to introduce you to your new teachers and classmates. Over 1,000 boys and girls completed the application process at Milton last year, and members of the Admission Committee read each of those folders three or four times as we selected a class of 148 new students. 101 of you are joining us as boarders and 47 as day students.
As a group, your academic credentials were consistently outstanding, with most of you earning straight-A records, and your median SSAT score was in the 91st percentile. Your teachers used phrases like “he radiates joy wherever he goes”, “she is an intellectual force in the classroom, a respected leader and a spirited friend”, “his enthusiasm for new ideas is contagious” and “simply remarkable” to describe you. (How could we not accept applicants like that?!)
You are 148 distinct, interesting and opinionated individuals. Remember that. Celebrate your diversity of thought, creed, ethnicity and style as you get to know one another. Your backgrounds and interests are rich, varied and intriguing, and that’s one of the defining qualities of this wonderful school.
Find the student who spends his summers at circus camp learning to juggle, walk on stilts and ride a unicycle. Spend time getting to know the student who started her own day camp for neighborhood kids complete with a newsletter for the parents. Talk to the classmate who performed with the Boston Ballet or the one that is an internationally ranked squash player. They all sound like they have interesting stories to tell.
At the start of Milton’s 208th academic year, you come together today from 19 states, and 15 countries, places as geographically and culturally diverse as New England and the Pacific Northwest, Switzerland, Indonesia, and Ukraine. At least 20 languages are spoken in your homes, so don’t be surprised if you hear German or Serbian, Mandarin, Farsi or Korean as your new friends call home. 45 percent come to Milton from public schools, and 25 are related to a Milton graduate or have a Milton sibling. With one of you having a relative who graduated all the way back in 1899.
You come to Milton from large cities like London, New York and Jakarta as well as small places like Essex, Massachusetts; Ithaca, New York; and Norwich, Vermont. You come from Downeast Maine and the Upper East Side of Manhattan, among the high-rises of Hong Kong and the beaches of the Bahamas. Your hometowns stretch around the globe from Brookline, Massachusetts to Houston, Texas to Seoul, Korea to Frankfurt, Germany. You hail from Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts and Sugar Hill, New Hampshire; from Portland, Oregon and Portland, ME; from Montreal, Nairobi and Nashville; from Kingston, Jamaica and Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts.
You are the children of an equally diverse group of parents. A police officer, a nurse, an elementary school teacher, a diplomat, and a fashion designer all have children in this class. So does a high school principal, an artist, a dentist, a writer and a reverend.
As you know, Milton’s mission “celebrates diversity in all its forms,” and this diversity was especially evident as I read through your hobbies. Your interests are both eclectic and varied including things like- fencing, scuba diving, knitting, bee keeping, yoga, scrabble, ballroom dancing, archery, fly fishing, baking and robotics. In fact, if I ever have the time and inclination one of you included the plans for building a 12 foot flat bottom boat.
You are drummers who debate, debaters who play football, and football players who write poetry. Seek out these points of distinction. These are the qualities that make Milton “Milton.” Explore them in your classrooms, over lunch in Forbes Dining Room, or while relaxing in the Schwartz Student Center.
This group includes 12 students who served as president of their class, 20 captains of at least one team and 7 who were ranked #1 in their class last year. Stay active. Impress your teachers with provocative, but respectful, dissent. I read all your applications so I know you have opinions. Don’t be shy.
You arrive here today as an impressive compelling group of individuals. Take advantage of all that this vibrant engaging school has to offer. You have each taken your own unique path to reach Milton, and I commend you on your efforts. Now I challenge you to embrace what it means to be an active contributing member of this community. Over the next few years you will identify, pursue, and accomplish a variety of personal goals. I urge you to also never lose sight of what it means to be part of such an interesting and dynamic community. As I’m sure most of you know Milton’s motto is Dare to Be True. As part of the application process, several of you shared personal mottos with the admission office. As you begin your time here at Milton, I thought a few were particularly relevant. So here are some words of wisdom from your peers: “Always be yourself”, “Never give up”, “Make the most of every opportunity”,” Allow change” and my favorite “If you want to have fresh red apples for breakfast, you have to do more than just spend 2 days in the orchard”. So good luck out there in the orchard.
I look forward to following your progress over the next few years as you pursue your passions and explore new opportunities. We are extremely excited to have you join us here at Milton Academy.
Welcome to campus!
Dean of Admission
September 8, 2005