The Pennington School formally opened its 185th academic year with its annual Convocation ceremony.
A brass quintet played as the students entered by grade, followed by the formal academic procession of faculty and trustees on Sept. 9, according to a press release through the school.
The program began with an invocation from Chaplain David Hallgren, followed by the national anthem. After welcoming remarks from Peter J. Tucci, chair of the Board of Trustees and a 1979 alumnus of the school, there were greetings from various school constituencies, beginning with faculty representative Samantha Stern-Leaphart, assistant dean of students; director of diversity, equity, and inclusion; and teacher of English.
Helena Roque Cohen, Class of 2027, represented the middle school, and Sung Min Hwang, Class of 2023, represented the Upper School.
In his Convocation address, Head of School William S. Hawkey introduced this year’s theme, “The Power of Stories,” and shared a couple of his own favorite anecdotes from around campus.
“For me, the beauty of stories is far-reaching,” Hawkey said. “Stories help to form our beliefs. Stories shape us and help us to see other perspectives. Every emotion under the sun can be experienced through stories, which add richness to our lives.”
Hawkey also took the time to emphasize Pennington’s long-standing traditions and the importance of the school’s core values of honor, virtue, and humility. He invited the community to make their own positive contributions.
“I want to challenge each of you to make a difference while you are here. It could be a small thing or something of great impact, but even the effort, I believe, will be
rewarding,” he said.
The Pennington School is an independent coeducational school for students in grades 6 through 12, in both day and boarding programs. The curriculum is college preparatory, with an emphasis on individual excellence, fostering the development of the whole student through academics, athletics, community service and the creative and performing arts.