The Pennington School formally opened its 184th academic year with its annual Convocation ceremony on Friday, September 10. A brass quintet played as the students entered by grade, followed by the formal academic procession of faculty and trustees.
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: Margo Andrews, teacher of environmental science, represented the faculty; Ella Sichel ’26 represented the Middle School; and Akshay Arun ’22 represented the Upper School.
In his Convocation address, Head of School William S. Hawkey introduced this year’s theme, “Community,” and he encouraged students to consider how they can make a unique contribution to the School’s community. “I think about Pennington’s long 184-year history often, and it’s exciting for me to think about how each of you will leave your mark on this historic institution,” said Hawkey. “Don’t underestimate the power that each of you brings to this School and to our world. Pennington students past and present are making an impact locally and globally all of the time.”
Reflecting upon the challenges of the past year, Hawkey shared his admiration of the resilience of the Pennington community and his hopes for the school year ahead: “This year’s Convocation ceremony is very special to me because it marks a return to a more traditional year—and despite whatever challenges may still lie ahead, I believe our community has proved we thrive together and make each other stronger.”