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Convocation Kicks off 139th School Year

Rudy Brandl

The Wardlaw+Hartridge School began its 139th school year with the annual Convocation Ceremony on Friday, September 10. This year’s event was held outdoors under sunny skies on the turf athletic field to allow for proper social distancing and safety protocols.

Andrew Webster, Head of School, Dr. Ayesha Sitlani, President of the Board of Trustees, and Shiv Tickoo ’22, Student Council President, led the senior class procession to Convocation. Students from all three divisions were seated on the turf and joined the faculty and parents in cheering for the Class of 2022. Shiv led the Pledge of Allegiance and MadJazz performed America the Beautiful to begin the festivities.

Mr. Webster provided a hearty welcome to students, faculty and staff, with special recognition of the 134 new students, before Dr. Sitlani and Shiv Tickoo offered their remarks. Dr. Sitlani shared a positive message of hope and expressed confidence that the W+H community is in a much better place than a year ago. Speaking on behalf of the Board, she said, “We as a group are incredibly privileged to come together to serve this amazing school.”

Shiv encouraged his peers to support each other and find ways to enjoy every moment of the school year. He also urged the student body to “take advantage of every opportunity and don’t be afraid to try something new.”

Mr. Webster closed the event with more words of wisdom during which he called on the seniors to emerge as leaders. He encouraged the school community to focus on three important qualities – gentleness, decency and bravery. He added that “the outcome is up to us. If we choose to make the right efforts, we will discover those qualities.” 

“If we can all discover how to act with bravery, decency and kindness – and I see that every day here so I know we can do it –  we’ll make this the sort of community in which people can shine by being truly who they are and that’s a notable triumph. What a gift to give one another. Let’s give it to each other this year.”