Opening of RL’s 375th Anniversary Year
“Not every institution gets to celebrate its 375th anniversary,” began Headmaster Brennan at the Opening of Fall Term Hall on the morning of August 28. “This year it is our privilege and our pleasure to do that very thing on behalf of the idea, the history, and the school that binds us together—and binds us to countless boys, teachers, and staff who have constituted Roxbury Latin in its earlier, various incarnations.”
Under sunny, blue skies, the faculty and staff welcomed 305 boys—new and returning—to campus, as we launched the 375th academic year of Roxbury Latin. The traditional Hall—which included the singing of America the Beautiful, Gaudeamus Igitur, and The Founder’s Song—featured a reading of excerpts from Tony Jarvis’s book Schola Illustris, on the history of Roxbury Latin, delivered by Collin Bergstrom, Class I President. In addition to welcoming new students, introducing new faculty and staff, and honoring those adults celebrating noteworthy RL anniversaries, Mr. Brennan delivered an address that spoke to Roxbury Latin’s long history, as well as the place that admirable and longstanding institutions have in our world:
“Around the world and in our own country there are plenty of organizations founded before 1645, but not many of them have been continuously sustained. We laugh at that obligatory phrase ‘in continuous existence,’ but it does speak of a characteristic of the school not to be minimized, and that is its enduring, resilient nature. Our school is emblematic not just of the kind of commitment made to education in the early years of our nation, but has been successful at honoring our often distinguished past with reverence for history and traditions, while imagining a modern school, one that prepares its students for meaningful lives and the possibility of affecting positively the communities in which they will live.”
Mr. Brennan asked the audience to “pause to consider a few phrases that are part of our distinctive catechism,” and that “inform who we are today and who we wish to become.” He expounded upon those phrases that are in some cases emblazoned on the walls around campus, and in every case etched on the hearts of those who hold Roxbury Latin dear: Known and Loved. Democratically Gathered. Diligent Use of One’s Talent. Leading and Serving. You can read Headmaster Brennan’s full address here.
The opening day ceremonies concluded with the traditional all-school handshake, which serves to welcome people new to the RL community, and with everyone receiving a “RL Nation – 1645” anniversary t-shirt to wear with pride this year. View photos from the day.