Another school year has begun at Dana Hall, and the community came together on Tuesday, September 3, to usher in the 139th academic year with Opening Convocation.
Head of School Katherine Bradley shared some Dana Hall history, which included the formerly radical idea of educating women. “At the time, girls schools were almost all finishing schools, that is, they prepared girls to be good wives and hostesses. Dana Hall, on the other hand, was established as a “fitting school,” a college preparatory school with a curriculum similar to the all-boys prep schools.” Bradley said. “So, you, as part of the 139th group of girls to begin a school year here, belong to a tradition that has always valued your strength and capability.”
M. Guoji ’20 performed Ballade No.1 in g minor, Op. 23 by Frederic Chopin, editing the piece herself to fit into four minutes of playing time. Following her performance, All-School Co-Presidents K. Atiegha ’20 and A. Litvak ’20 introduced the student theme for the school year—All Stones Create Ripples—which speaks to how to any student can make a difference in our school community. Middle School Co-Presidents N. Harwell ’24 and B. Targete ’24 welcomed the new Middle School students and faculty members.
This year’s student speaker, S. Syed ’20, spoke about embracing new experiences this year, whether a brand-new student, as she was two years ago, or a Dana end-to-ender. “Make Dana the place where you challenge yourself,” she said. “Take a few steps out of your comfort zone. Because if we all do that this year, then the ‘Dana bubble’ will stretch to be a little wider and more expansive.”
As has become tradition in recent years, Director of Choral Music David Coleman led the school in learning his original Convocation song, Dana Hall Fight Song
. The event closed with the singing of the Alma Mater.
This school year, the Dana Hall student body includes 472 girls from 12 states (California, Connecticut, Georgia, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Texas, and Vermont) and 15 countries (Canada, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Iraq, Jamaica, Japan, Mexico, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, United States of America, and Vietnam).
The Middle School embarked on its all-grades retreat Thursday, September 5, and the Upper School took part in class retreats Friday, September 6. The all-school Harbor Cruise will set sail Monday, September 16.