A Unique End To A Unique Year

One of the most unique years in Eaglebrook School’s 99-year history has come to a close. The school year was certainly challenging given the pandemic, but the resilience of the entire community made it a successful one. The end-of-year is always an important time at Eaglebrook. We say goodbye to the graduating class and look ahead to next year’s Sixth Form leaders. The culminating events at the end-of-year are designed to allow students to feel a deserved sense of accomplishment and a warm spirit of camaraderie. The majority of the traditional end-of-year events were celebrated during the last few days of school, concluding with Eaglebrook School’s 99th Commencement on Wednesday, May 26. 

The end-of-year events began on Wednesday, May 12, with the first annual Brookie Bash. The event allowed the community to decompress, reflect, relax, and enjoy a spring day on the Hill. The event began with an all-school appreciations ceremony led by Head of School Andrew Chase and the DEI Committee on the Infirmary Field hillside. Following the ceremony, students gathered in dorm groups on Memorial and Varsity Field where dorm groups grilled out and played games including a can jam tournament, spikeball tournament, Kubb, soccer, lacrosse, and archery at Kipling Cabin. As the games wrapped up, students competed in an Eaglebrook trivia game by advisee group on Varsity Field followed by dessert. Students then proceeded to the first annual Eaglebrook Stickball Tournament championship game to spectate or participate. See photos from the Brookie Bash here

The spring play, Check Please!, written by Jonathan Rand and directed by Ms. Emily Landau was presented on the evening of Wednesday, May 12 to Day Students and their families, and again on Friday, May 14 and Saturday, May 15. This was the first live theatre production of the year due to COVID-19 restrictions. Watch the recording of the play here, and take a look at some photos here.

During the week of May 17, the Art Department hosted a year-end art show in the Chiang Atrium. Eaglebrook has a diverse set of course offerings in the Visual Arts Department that include Printmaking, Woodworking, Altered Clothing, Stained Glass, and Stone Carving. Over the course of the year, students created impressive visual art pieces and the exhibition was a great way to showcase their work. The majority of the artwork shown was created during the spring trimester, but there were a handful of pieces from the fall and winter trimesters. Find photos from the exhibit here

On Saturday, May 22, the Class of 2021 Baccalaureate service was held. The service, usually held at the First Church of Deerfield, was held atop the Easton Ski Area this year. The Sixth Form gathered on Memorial Field before heading up the chairlift to Amy’s Run where the ceremony was held. The Underformers made their way from their dorms to the top of the ski hill and were anxiously waiting to welcome the Sixth Formers to the ceremony. The event, held without parents or guardians in attendance, honored the Sixth Form graduating class. Longtime science teacher Chet Pielock who is retiring this summer gave an enlightening and entertaining Baccalaureate address. He left the class with this message, “We’ve spent 1000s of hours in and out of school planning, worrying, and thinking about how we can help you become successful and you are. This class has won math awards, national Latin awards, played sports against teams that are much older than you, broken swim records, and were accepted into the finest secondary schools in the world. There are 1000s of kids who would die to go to the places you are going to next year.”  Find a recording of the Class of 2021 Baccalaureate Service here and find photos here.
Field Day was the next event on the schedule. Field Day is an annual tradition at Eaglebrook where the six dormitories compete in a variety of games and activities. For the first time ever, Field Day was split into two days with the individual events being held on Saturday, May 22, at the Track Field and the Tug of War and Relay Race held the next day after the Spring Athletics Recognition Ceremony where the Sixth Formers were recognized for their years of dedication to the Eaglebrook Athletics Program. This year, Flagler House took home top honors for Field Day followed by Mayer House and Halsted House. Photos from Field Day can be found here and you can watch a short highlight video of the fun here.

After the Field Day activities were completed on Sunday, May 23, students and faculty moved to the Gates Quad in the center of campus. It was time to honor this year’s Good Fellow. The Good Fellow is a Sixth Former who is a friend to all and someone who embodies the mission of Eaglebrook School. The Class of 2021 selected Fernando Baldocchi as the 2021 Goodfellow. Watch the 2021 Goodfellow ceremony here and see photos here
On Monday, May 24, following Commencement practice The Talon, Eaglebrook’s yearbook, was unveiled and the dedication was announced. The 2021 Talon was dedicated to the Health Center staff, honoring their commitment in keeping the community healthy and safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. Watch a short video of the dedication here.

On Wednesday, May 26, the 99th Commencement was held in the Little Hundridge Dell. It was a beautiful morning to celebrate the great Class of 2021. Former Chief Executive Officer & Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt gave the Commencement address. Eric joined Google in 2001 and helped grow the company from a Silicon Valley startup to a global leader in technology alongside founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page. Eric served as Google’s Chief Executive Officer and Chairman from 2001-2011, as well as Executive Chairman and Technical Advisor. Under his leadership, Google dramatically scaled its infrastructure and diversified its product offerings while maintaining a strong culture of innovation. In 2017, he co-founded Schmidt Futures, a philanthropic initiative designed to help exceptional people do more for others by applying science and technology thoughtfully and working together across fields. 

Eric told the Class of 2021, “I always thought and you all probably think that it’s me, myself, and I - I want to be better than everyone else. But that’s not in fact how success happens. Whatever the challenge is, work with your team and then work to solve the problem. If you’ve got the right team, you can overcome almost any problem. So no matter what our graduates today go on to do,f you have the right team you will get the right result. Eric then went on to suggest, “You’ve been forged both in this school and also in the pandemic into teams. You probably don’t think that’s very important. You probably think math, science, English, but in fact it’s that team behavior that will have a greater impact on the scale and impact that you have on the world than anything else. So don’t leave this team behind, stay in touch, stay in touch with Eaglebrook but more importantly stay in touch with your colleagues." Eric closed his address saying, “Just remember those late study sessions, the hikes, the drama classes, science labs, and all the friends you’ve made. Remember the mentors and coaches, parents, and a grandparent or two who helped you grow. When I was your age, I did not understand how many people were mentoring me. I did not understand that all these people - this person and that person - that their job is to get me to the next level. You are surrounded by them here. Look at them and for once say “thank you.” Watch Eric’s Commencement Address here.

Minsung Brandon Park ‘21 spoke on behalf of the Sixth Form. He told his fellow graduates, “The fact that we can all call each other friends even though we are totally different individuals is awesome. A big lesson I learned from getting to know friends all around the world is even though we are all different, we are all human.” He goes on to say, “At Eaglebrook, I realized that a classmate from the opposite side of the world can have similarities with me and we can all call each other friends. I think all of us discovered what humanity is here and that is what makes Eaglebrook a special place.” Watch Brandon’s speech On Behalf of the Sixth Form here.  

In Mr. Chase’s response, he said to the graduates, “All year you help lead Eaglebrook in new directions. This is your legacy, and we bid you farewell full of gratitude for each and every one of you and to your parents who trusted us to keep you safe. Class of 2021, 86 young people, wings spread, citizens of the world ready for the next adventure. The familiar beauty of this place will remain unchanged and will always welcome you.” Watch Mr. Chase’s response here. You can also watch the Class Prayer led by Matteo De Luca ‘21 here. Photos from Eaglebrook School’s 99th Commencement can be found here and you can re-watch a recording of the livestream here. Congratulations to the Class of 2021! 
The 2020-2021 school year was an exciting and successful year for all students despite the many challenges the entire community faced. Students and teachers experienced the growth that comes with another year full of new challenges. Watch the 2020-2021 Video Yearbook here, and the farewell to Sixth Form students here.
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    • The Class of 2021 process into the Little Hundridge Dell on May 26, 2021 for Eaglebrook School’s 99th Commencement Exercises on May 26, 2021.

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