Head of School Dr. Mary Halpin Carter welcomed visitors, students, faculty, and staff to the first in-person Grandfriends Day celebration since the fall of 2019. The assembly, which included the Founders’ Scholar Address, as well as musical performances by the choir and the band, was followed by an open house, where students guided their visitors around the campus, introducing them to their teachers, and showing off class projects and favorite haunts.
Dr. Carter opened with a speech that highlighted the core strengths of the Derryfield educational philosophy:
“Here at Derryfield, we are constantly thinking about the past and contemplating the future. We continually re-interpret the school’s mission to serve the children and graduates of today, to be even better at inspiring bright, motivated students to be their best and to be exceptional members of any community. This dynamic thinking powered us through the last few years during the pandemic, and we have come through it as a stronger community.”
Dr. Carter then introduced Ellie Cochran ‘69, past parent, past trustee, and current Trustee Emeritus. Cochran retold her own Derryfield history–her days as one of the first students–her memories of the campus as it grew–her experiences as a long-time fundraiser for the school she has always loved and continues to support. Cochran noted that Derryfield is “all about the stories.”
The program shifted back to Dr. Carter, who gave an explanation of Founders’ Day. “Founders’ Day gives our school a moment to pause and think about the remarkable people who came together and started our school in 1964. Founders’ day gives us time to reflect on the founding of our School, and each year a new Founders’ Scholar is named. The Peter and Ellie Freedman Founders’ Scholar Awar is given to a junior who exhibits high scholarship, character, and contribution to the Derryfield community.”
The 2021 Founder’s Scholar, Eliza Lamont ‘22, was next to the podium, with a speech that centered around the five songs that best defined her five years at Derryfield. In eighth grade, when Lamont pushed herself outside her comfort zone to “enter a new school with new teachers,” ’Learn to Fly’ by the Foo Fighters rang true. During her freshman year, she sought solace in ’Overnight,’ by Maggie Rogers. Lamont joked that Sting’s words of advice (’Don’t Stand So Close to Me’) seemed especially relevant during her sophomore year, due to the arrival of Covid. Now in the final weeks of her senior year, Taylor Swift was capturing Lamont’s mood in ’It’s Time to Go,’ and ’Long Live.’
“These songs both deal with the idea of moving on. ’It’s Time to Go’ is more of a complete goodbye, of realizing that it’s time to move on with your life, that you’re ready for what’s next. This is how I’ve felt for most of my senior year. I’m ready for what’s next - Derryfield has prepared me, and I’m ready to learn to fly in a new place again.”
At the conclusion of the program, Lamont announced the name of the 2022 Founders’ Day Scholar, Jack Schroeder, whom his advisor characterized as, “ambitious, a good listener, curious, thoughtful, driven, competitive, and motivated.” As is tradition, Schroeder will give his reflection speech at the spring 2023 Founders’ Day celebration.