On Thursday, May 25, as is tradition, the seniors sat on the stage, facing the faculty and student body, for their final assembly. Speakers included Alumni Board president Sarah Yoselevsky Kaye '95, senior class president Aidan Reid (whose remarks appear below), class-selected faculty member Mylin Johnson and head of school Andy Abbott. Afterward, the JBS Alumni Association hosted a brief reception for the seniors and their parents.
Here are Aidan Reid's prepared remarks, followed by pictures, courtesy of Andrew Newman (fine arts, school photographer).
When Luke Lamb announced the theme of the year, he called on each and every student here to take on the characteristics of the captain, to lead and to unify, to foster growth. This was especially directed at the class of 2017, to use our status as seniors to set the tone for the rest of the school. Today, we begin to conclude that time in our lives, however the most important test of our leadership lies ahead. This final test is of our ability to come together, even as we facing being spread across the country.
I have no doubt that we will excel even in this final challenge, simply because the bonds that we have formed as a class will allow no other option. These bonds, and the trust we share, are one of the most beautiful aspects of this class. If you are on the field or on stage you can trust your classmates to support you. We can rely on each other almost universally and that is not something that will change just because we graduate. Even after June 4, each member of this class can know that Julia Hotaling is there to prompt them, lest they ever forget that the plural of beef is beeves. Should ever a member of the class of 2017 need a flame kindled in the middle of a stream, they can be certain that Zavy is on their side. Should we ever be running late next year, we can rest easy knowing that somehow, somewhere, John Harry is probably later. We can trust in our classmates to be the metaphorical “scrapers” of our lives, to do the dirty job, but the necessary one that can help us get out of our messes.
It has been amazing to watch this class grow and rise to find our place here at Burroughs. Some things have never changed. We have always been resourceful: Diego has proved time and again that Drey Land does not necessitate a change of clothes. Morgan Nelson’s sense of wonder and amazement has constantly brightened my years since even before 7th grade. In some aspects, however, the class that sits behind me is very different than the one that sat at the front of the old Haertter Hall. We have grown and developed immensely, and I’m referring to more than just Joe Tischler’s beard. We became supporters, packing stands and theaters. We became students, with 20 -page study guides and huge stack of notecards. We became friends, bonding and creating memories throughout our journey here. One thing that never changed was our creativity or vision, but only sharpened as time went on. Where others saw just an ordinary power outlet, Paul saw an electrifying new way to store his metal dissecting tools. When others gave up on getting a snow day, this class flushed ice down the toilet, slept in inside out pajamas, and angrily texted Henry Abbott. While we may be facing a crisis of identity now, leaving the place that has helped to define us for the last six years, all of us can rest just a little bit easier knowing that this class leaves a legacy not soon forgotten.
To the students not faced with leaving today, enjoy it while you can. Don’t take for granted the wonderful people around you in this community, students and faculty alike. There is no one in your class that you can’t have a conversation with, and there are many that you will wish you had engaged with more when it is your turn to sit on the stage for Senior Assembly.
To those people here on the stage with me today, the six years I have spent with you have been the best of my life so far and so I would like to thank you. I want to thank you for the late night trips to Herculaneum, for the shoddy ripsticks, and for all the extremely detailed holiday groupchat messages. We still have memories to be made, like our dominating tug-of-war performance tomorrow and our shared experiences during the rest of this farewell summer, but it must be admitted that most of our memories are behind us. So while I cannot pretend to be happy about this being one of our last moments together as a whole class, I can say that I wouldn’t want to share this, or any other of the innumerable moments we have experienced here, with anyone else. As I said before, our last challenge to face together is how we come apart, but I know that each and every one of us is more than prepared. It's an honor to have been your classmate for the last six years and I know that I will carry each and everyone of you with me, far beyond graduation, and will continue to be shaped by this class, the greatest class in Burroughs history, for the rest of my life.