New man on campus

SMUS-Views-Bob

Friday evening we had an affecting event to kick off Alumni Weekend: the unveiling of the Wenman statue. Reg Wenman was a student at the school from 1912 to 21, and then taught at the school from 1925 to 1971. He is an icon of good schoolmastering to hundreds of students who went through the school during those decades, whose memories all ascribe to Reg an impressive power to shape their character. He did so in the classroom, in the dorm and on the playing field. The bronze statue stands beside the Wenman pavilion, and to those who knew him it is a remarkable likeness, dressed in cricket pads and bat, now looking over the cricket pitch that he loved. We owe this particular tribute to five donors: Brian Graves ’42, Mike Throne ’72, Tony Souza ’72, Eric Heffernan ’72 and staff member Peter Gardiner (Peter himself was feted on Thursday night for his forty years of service to the school). Reg’s son, Jim, spoke movingly at the unveiling; two hundred people were in the chairs on the field in the sunlight witnessing it. Vivat.

SHARE
Bob Snowden
Bob Snowden was Head of School at St. Michaels University School for 22 years, from 1995-2017.

3 COMMENTS

  1. Thanks for these comments. I think the concern about the cost of the statue might be misplaced. The cost was covered entirely by donors who felt how important it was to recognize this icon of the school’s beliefs about teaching. It may interest you to know that these donors, largely because of the influence of teachers like Reg Wenman, have supported the school through other donations over twenty times greater than the donations for this particular statue. So they are genuine believers, and have made exceptional contributions to those projects that have benefitted students through financial aid, athletics and academics. Although he was not a donor to this particular statue, Bill Monkman, donor of the Athletic Complex, spoke specifically about the influence of Reg Wenman at the opening of the Athletic Complex, indicating that is was largely due to this teacher that he felt such a commitment to the school and its future. So I think it’s fair to say that Reg has earned his place on campus. At this point I couldn’t release the cost of the statue because I don’t have the agreement of the donors, but it is modest in comparison with the other donations made by these people.

  2. I understand that there was a good deal of consideration and care that went into the installation of the Reg Wenman statue, there is a worry within the school community that the statue may represent a lack of understanding on the part of the school as to what the student body would consider more relevant or important purchases.

    Perhaps the cost of the monument may be offset by the influx of donations by sentimental alumni; In the interest of transparency, could you release the cost of this project?

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here