Brunswick School began its 109th year as more than 1,000 students, faculty and staff gathered in Dann Gymnasium for the traditional all-school Opening Day assembly. A new tradition was launched when 12th-graders walked hand-in-hand with first-graders as a symbolic "Big Brother/Little Brother" gesture of leadership and friendship.
After a stirring performance of the National anthem, sung by the Men of Brunswick a capella group, Connor BelCastro (last year's president of the Lower School and a rising fifth-grader), Josiah Wilson (last year's president of the Middle School and a rising ninth-grader) and Michael Chronert (this year's president of the School and a rising senior) individually came to the podium to welcome their classmates back to campus.
Headmaster Tom Philip announced 12 members of the senior class who were selected to serve as Senior Prefects. Cameron Biondi, Addison Bennett, Andrew Camel, Luke Esposito, Peter Geithner, Brad Hanson, Carter Johnson, Charles Miller, William Murphy, Richard Salame, Dylan Troy and Jack Voigt will uphold the highest standards of their class, their Upper School division and Brunswick School as large.
"Senior Prefects are relied upon to set both the course and the tone for the year to come," said Headmaster Philip.
His welcome back message emphasized attributes that the Brunswick community would seek from the boys to uphold in the coming school year.
"Our incredible faculty, each and every day, works to see that Brunswick students are gentlemen. They are polite, hold doors for others, have a strong handshake and look people in the eye," he said. "They are respectful and courteous both when people are watching and when people are not. And most importantly, they are not selectively polite. They share common courtesy with everyone they encounter."
Other expected attributes included:
1. "Brunswick students are resilient. Learning from mistakes and disappointments is how to learn to get ahead."
2. "Brunswick students are focused and serious when it is appropriate to be so, but are equally able to see the humor and fun that life can offer and are eager to share that sense of fun with others."
3. "Brunswick students see the world as larger than themselves -- they help others and represent the school in all that they do and wherever they go."
4. "Brunswick students work hard to succeed both individually and as members of a team. In defeat, they are good sports and learn from the experience."
5. "Brunswick students are curious. They like to learn and seek to understand."
"Finally, and most importantly, Brunswick students are honest," he said. "They conduct themselves with honor and tell the truth, even when doing so hurts. They understand that telling the truth, means living a life of honor, and leading a life of honor takes courage."
"So, as is fitting, I end with courage, honor and truth ... our school motto," he concluded. "People who use their manifest talents while guided by a clear moral code can change the world for the better."
With that, Headmaster Philip announced the commencement of the 2011-2012 school year.
"Let's together, make it yours, ours and Brunswick's best."