On the last day of classes before the holiday break, Life Trustee Nancy Anthony—mother of Drew ’01 and Graham ’03—offered her thoughts on gratitude, as keynote speaker of the morning’s annual Thanksgiving exercises.
“Today, we pause amidst the busyness of our lives to do two things,” began Headmaster Kerry Brennan. “First, to remember what we like to call ‘the first Thanksgiving’—the circumstances, the hardships, the virtues, the rituals, the example of it. And second, to do a bit of thanks-giving ourselves… Gratitude becomes more authentic the more reflective we are—to the extent we take nothing for granted—and the more we practice it, feel it, express it, say thank you. The things for which I believe we ought to be most grateful are ones we receive thanks to Grace. Much of who we are—our intelligence, our physical strengths, our families—we have not earned, we are given.”
Ms. Anthony’s reflections and insight focused in part on the wonder of the senses at this time of year: the joys, both simple and profound, that they elicit, and the memories they constitute. She recalled the sounds and warmth of a lit fireplace, the smells and sights of turkeys cooked over the years—both successfully and less so. (“No one remembers the perfectly-cooked turkeys,” she joked, “only the ones that came out burnt or raw!”) She urged the boys in the audience to pay attention to the sensations, scents and sights that they will recall fondly in years to come.
She called upon the audience members to reflect with gratitude on those friends and family members around the table: “Take time this Thanksgiving to talk with the person in the room that you see the least, and with the oldest person at the table. Ask them questions until they’re exhausted by it! You will learn so much in those conversations.”
Finally, Ms. Anthony shared her gratitude for Roxbury Latin—where, she says, her two sons received an invaluable education, and where she and her husband, Bob, have directed immeasurable support, as Headmaster Brennan said, “in time, talent and treasure,” over the years.
This morning’s Hall exercises also included a special unveiling of Ms. Anthony’s portrait, commissioned by the School, to honor her commitment as “an irreplaceable member of the Roxbury Latin community, one of our School’s wisest advisors and stalwart supporters,” described Headmaster Brennan. This portrait is the first commissioned by Roxbury Latin of a female trustee and School leader.
Nancy Anthony is the President of Fernwood Advisors, which provides investment management, investment advisory, and financial planning services to its clients. She has served as a member of Roxbury Latin’s Board of Trustees since 2003, and was elected a Life Trustee in 2006, and Vice President of the Board soon after. In addition to her impactful volunteer leadership at R.L., Ms. Anthony has been active in several Boston-area medical, social service, public policy, and educational institutions, including Children’s Hospital, McLean Hospital, Massachusetts Historical Society, the Pioneer Institute for Public Policy Research, The Park School, and The Epiphany School. She has also been a devoted member of the Board at her own school, Hathaway Brown in Cleveland.