Where Has the Year Gone?

Dear Academy Families,

It has been a busy and wonderful week! From Commencement, to our spring concert, to a particularly yeasty ASM, there has been much to celebrate.

For those of you who might not have been able to join us for Commencement, this year’s seemed particularly vibrant. The Senior Breakfast before the ceremony was jovial and bonding, and then the ceremony itself hit a high mark for our showing as a community: for the first time our own Chamber Ensemble performed the processional/recessional; our Chorus sang beautifully; the Greek and Latin Orations were flawless; the Valedictory and Student Addresses merged substance with good humor; and the keynote speaker Dean Hardin Coleman spoke movingly about the responsibilities our students had owing to the “social capital” they had been given. It was my great pleasure to read our Seniors’ names as the Provost awarded them their diplomas. All this good feeling culminated in the Commencement luncheon at the Metcalf Ballroom.

In another BU venue, our Chorus and Chamber Ensemble performed sophisticated pieces at Marsh Chapel later in the week. I’ll remind those of you who have only been at the Academy for a few years that it was not long ago when music was “merely” an extracurricular option, and even once music merged into our curriculum, the Chorus and Chamber Ensemble might have had only 10 or 12 students each in their early years. So to see 20 students each, with a couple faculty in each group, performing at a high level of expertise, confirms how far music at BUA has come, and how well positioned it is to enjoy a new music room being constructed at one end of the Dance Studio this summer!

Finally this week, I used the ASM gathering to discuss “Beyond Censorship,” as we reviewed the community values that were challenged in the recent performances of the Drama class’ 10-minute plays. Our students engaged in the debate respectfully and meaningfully…and I assured them their voices have weight, even while reminding them that a community standard can’t be set by the range of individual opinions they aired, but that I have the final responsibility to assure we identify and maintain community values. You would have been proud of our students in this important and delicate conversation…I was.

So we wrap up classes next week, take final exams the following week, conclude with our Awards Ceremony on June 7 in Marsh Chapel at 1 p.m. (to which you are all invited!), and head off to summer vacation the week after. Where has the year gone? At least this week, with three important examples, I think the year has gone to the growth and development of our wonderful students!

Warm regards,
James S. Berkman
Head of School