Trustee Welcome by Bill McNamara '75, Commencement 2010

Thank you to the class of 2010 for bringing us all together.

I'm so pleased to be here today with so many people who share a love for Millbrook School and who wish to honor the senior class. I bring you warm and special congratulations from the Millbrook School Board of Trustees on this proud and ceremonial day. The school has experienced a remarkable and positive year, and I want to convey to you - the seniors - our heartfelt thanks for the way you have conducted yourselves and for the strong way that you have led the school. 
In a few weeks I will be attending my 35th reunion along with others from the Millbrook class of 1975. We will gather to enjoy each others company, taking note of graying hair, rounder figures, and grown-up children. We will walk around this campus among buildings old and new, we'll get back to our dorm rooms and practice fields, notice the familiar smells, and soak up the wonderful natural setting that is Millbrook. Most significant, however, will be our memories of the people who guided us through this place in our lives, the faculty, an extraordinary group of people in 1975 and an extraordinary group of people today. Their impact on me had as much to do with who they were, and how they lived, as what they taught.

The faculty and staff at Millbrook are our most cherished assets. Our trustee meetings are not so much about money and buildings as they are about keeping our ideals of respect, intellectual curiosity, stewardship, and service to others burning bright. This can only happen with a capable headmaster leading a committed faculty. At Millbrook, I think we have the best - on both fronts. Of special note today is the fact that our headmaster, Drew Casertano, is completing his 20th year of service, and I want to pause and recognize his good work on behalf of Millbrook School.

What I didn't know in 1975 was that life is not about what you get but what you give, that sacrifice is not an unanticipated bit of unpleasantness, but the highest form of expressed humanity - truly man at his best. I must admit that life will always be mysterious to me, certainly more mysterious than it was 35 years ago when I thought I knew exactly what things I wanted and in what quantities. Today, when I see people working hard to give of themselves, I recognize it as something special, something spiritual. I see this a lot at Millbrook. The greatest tribute we can give our teachers is to adopt their model and find a cause, a helping cause, something hard. It is through these efforts that we find ourselves and our lives.

Your family and friends have watched with loving eyes as you've grown into the sensitive, mature, capable young adults you are today. The growth you've experienced here has occurred in large part because of your relationships with the adults in this community. Take time today to think about these wonderful people and let them know how you feel. I guarantee that your fondness for them will turn into wonderful memories that will only grow stronger and more joyous as you return for your 35th reunion.

Congratulations to the class of 2010. We wish you well.