Three things: Clare Copeland, St. Michaels Centenary, Keep the Beat


Clare Copeland
Two weeks ago today, Clare Copeland, one of the influential pillars of the last fifty years at the school, died. The Copeland Lecture Theatre, in the Crothall Centre, was named in honour of Clare’s contribution. During the late 60s and 70s Clare was on the Board of University School and then St. Michaels University School after the amalgamation of the two schools. Clare liked to tell the story of University School in the few years before amalgamation, when at the end of the year the hat was passed among the Board members to make up the school’s budget shortfall – the late 60s were tough times for independent schools across North America. But things looked up. In 1976 and 1977, Clare was instrumental in bringing John Schaffter in as Head, a change that altered the course of the school, as John transformed it into the very fine co-educational institution we know today. Clare remained active in the school right until he died, and spent more than a few moments in my office talking about how important it was for him to support the school, and especially how important it was to him and his wife, Barbara, to financially support students who would not otherwise be able to attend SMUS. Clare was always positive, full of energy, and made good, happy friends of nearly everyone he spent time with. He is very fondly remembered. Vivat.

St. Michael’s Centenary
This year marks the hundredth anniversary of the founding of St. Michael’s School, one of our two founding schools. The official event will be taking place next weekend, with the gathering of St. Michael’s alumni on two campuses, as well as a dinner and a conference on global responsibility. The keynote speaker is one of the more illustrious St. Michael’s alumni, Tony Quainton, former director of counter-terrorism under President Jimmy Carter, and director of the United States Foreign Service under President Bill Clinton. The St. Michael’s commemoration on Friday will recognize the great work of the Symons family in founding and leading the school over a period of seventy-five years. From St. Michael’s School we get our outstanding motto – nil magnum nisi bonum: nothing is great unless it is good.

Keep the Beat
As I write this, the Senior and Middle Schools are holding their event, Keep the Beat, a day of music, concerts and service events that raises money for War Child Canada. Videographers are on campus today also, since we are one of the largest fundraisers for this organization – people may remember the Chantal Kreviazuk concert held at the school last June in honour of our contribution to this cause.

I have remarked before how music permeates our school. A good thing: the discipline, hard work and mental dexterity – to say nothing of the creativity – of music elevate so many moments around the school. And here is one of our most elevated moments, from last week’s Cross-campus Band Concert, held at University of Victoria. Enjoy!



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