Few weekends would be a better fit for the theme of “passages” than Alumni Weekend, which starts today. Every day this week, already, many alumni have been back at the school contributing to Career Week discussions for the benefit of our current students. This evening in the library we will commemorate thirty-five years of co-education at SMUS – definitely a transformation that qualifies as an important “passage” in the history of the School. Later tonight, all alumni from 1973 and earlier are invited to a reception at our home, Reynolds House, where no doubt recollections of glorious days past will be even more gloriously embellished. The entire SMUS community will be regaled with breakfast courtesy of the Parents’ Auxiliary in the morning. Tomorrow in Chapel those alumni who can find their way to the service, along with the Graduating Class of 2013, will hear me talk about how past and future meet, and hear me tell an “unofficial” story of my time in a school with more than a few similarities to SMUS in former times. In the afternoon we have field hockey and rugby games, then a formal dinner in the Dining Hall for reunion years. The dénouement of the weekend will be the annual Cricket game on Sunday. Past and future meet happily and constructively on Alumni Weekend.
The experiences of students become clear and deep memories when they transform into Alumni. Those memories are of friends, and of teachers and others, of a place where they grew and learned, and to which they will always belong. One of the figures who will leave behind a substantial pile of memories for both students and his colleagues, is John Reid. John has taught Music in both Middle and Senior Schools for twenty-five years, and is retiring this year. He was always a thoughtful, professional, and committed teacher, who expected the best from his students, and was given it by them. John’s concerts were always a wonderful combination of quality, entertainment and fulfillment – fulfillment both for the audience, and for the musicians, the students. This Tuesday our Concert for Concert Bands put the spotlight on John, something he shied away from during his career here, but which is more than deserved at this moment. He will be remembered generously and happily.