Convocation 2021

Headmaster Jonathan Downs ’98 emphasized service, this year’s core value, as he addressed a full house at Flagler Memorial Chapel for Millbrook’s 91st Convocation. Attired in formal dress, students processed by form into the chapel, followed by faculty in order of seniority. There was a welcome return of the traditional ceremonial elements of convocation; flags, bagpipes, and, most of all, a gathering of the entire community within the chapel walls.
After a welcome from prefects Julia Zangre and Jason Weiss and thoughtful words from Rev. Cam Hardy, Leigh Schmitt and Brian Coughlin led the assembled in a sonic creation of a rainstorm to demonstrate the power of small actions in a group dynamic. As the aural thunderstorm subsided, Headmaster Downs addressed the community.
“One drop, one drop, one drop, that makes up the ocean,” said Mr. Downs, “my mother used to say to me, and she borrowed it from Mother Theresa.” He went on to describe the power of individuals and the aggregate strength of the Millbrook community as a force for good while also celebrating the potential, power, and obligation of every student to make a difference.
“Never, never, never allow anyone to stop you from dreaming big,” said Mr. Downs “but dream small, too.” At the end of a warm September day and with (vaccinated and masked) students and faculty shoulder-to-shoulder in the pews and lining the walls, convocation was joyous and restorative. This year, like any other, will undoubtedly bring challenges and Mr. Downs reminded students to take care of themselves as they sought ways to serve the greater good. “The bedrock of a community like Millbrook is our interdependence,” said Mr. Downs, “why live in a community like this if we’re not going accept the benefits that come with it?”
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