The Brunswick community convened on Thursday, Sept. 14, for its Annual Meeting & Dinner — the traditional, opening-of-school gathering of parents and faculty held in Burke Field House during the first full week of the school year.
Chairman of the Board of Trustees W. Robert Berkley, Jr. ’91 (P ’21, ’23) began the evening by stating that all in attendance — parents, teachers, administration, and staff — are connected in pursuit of Brunswick’s common mission.
“For us, a true education means developing a well-rounded person — in the classroom, on the playing field, in the theater or the art studio, and beyond — intellectually, culturally, and socially.
“This is what defines and distinguishes the Brunswick experience and prepares our sons to survive and thrive whatever the future may hold.”
Head of School Thomas W. Philip noted that, in our ever-changing world, these are contentious, divisive times — and that there seems less and less opportunity for compromise and civil discourse.
Philip, though, chose to center his remarks on the realities of life and learning on which parents and teachers at Brunswick can all agree, using the metaphor of a garden to do so and focusing on a Gaelic blessing he heard long ago: “May you bloom where you are planted; may you flourish wherever you go.”
“No matter what our profession or calling, if we’re doing things right, we’re all gardeners in our own way,” Philip said. “Gardens need constant attention and care. Those attributes of an all-encompassing focus and vision apply to most successful vocations and careers — and they apply to parenting and excellent schooling as well.
“In many ways, Brunswick serves as a garden of sorts for all of our boys. All of us here nurture the development of these boys. We watch them grow and thrive — and endeavor to provide a safe and secure setting within which to do so.
“We’re here together because we share an abiding love for the boys in our garden — these are the bonds that unite us.”
And, to emphasize the word “unity,” Philip highlighted and gave voice to many of the simple and strong fundamentals and foundations upon which Brunswick is built.
“Whether a parent or a teacher, there are few jobs more significant than ours,” Philip concluded.
“May we together plant with care, water with abandon, and tend our precious crop with love and patience.
“Plants and children alike take time to fully blossom. Coupling high expectations with a clear, loving, and unambiguous message of Courage, Honor, and Truth shows our boys that they matter.”