Day and Boarding; Grades 6-12


Pennington celebrates beginning of academic year with Convocation ceremony

The Pennington School formally opened its 186th academic year with its annual Convocation ceremony on Friday, September 8. 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, beginning with faculty representative Deborah Fermo, dean of faculty. Francesca Milou ’28 represented the Middle School, and Ishan Gupta ’24 represented the Upper School. 

In his Convocation address, Head of School William S. Hawkey introduced this year’s theme of hope, saying, “Hope is a word that carries immense power. It is a force that propels us forward, even in the face of adversity and challenges. As I look out over this crowd tonight, I am reminded of the incredible potential that resides within each and every one of you. You are tomorrow’s leaders, the architects for our future, the dreamers of what is possible, and the bearers of hope for a better world.” He also shared some of his hopes for the community this year, including academic fulfillment, appreciation for Pennington’s dedicated faculty, and for students to find success in arts and athletics. 

Hawkey also shared highlighted achievements of various students and faculty members and connected the theme of hope to the supportive Pennington community, emphasizing “I believe hope thrives in unity,” and ended his remarks encouraging those in attendance to carry hope with them every day. 

Convocation 2023