February has provided us with its share of legacy moments—opportunities to reflect on the lives of others and our students. I found this timely as we look toward our Bicentennial in 2021. Discussion revolves around honoring our past and imagining our possibilities, all while helping our current students understand the importance of leaving a legacy and considering what they might want that to be.
One such moment of reflection came with the tragic death of retired NBA star Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna, and their friends, which remains a daily news story. Public tributes, memorials big and small, and personal reflections remind us of the fragility of life and the impact he had on others. While basketball was the platform for Kobe to demonstrate his extraordinary talents, what people continue to opine are things that extend well beyond his athletic ability. A loving father, advocate for women’s sports, philanthropist and business entrepreneur, Kobe’s legacy is about much more than the game of basketball.
Our impending graduates
On a more nearby level at New Hampton School, we recently held a special night with our seniors. The annual 100 Days Dinner begins the formal countdown to graduation and serves as an opportunity for soon to be graduates to consider what they will be remembered for, and what they hope to accomplish in their remaining months as a Husky. The night was filled with laughter as seniors told stories of their younger selves and meaningful moments with friends. They shed tears, knowing the end of their time at New Hampton was fast approaching, and the safety and security of close friends, dependable routines, and the presence of trusted adults would soon be traded in for something of an unknown in college.
I value the demonstration of emotion at these signature events. It confirms that the experience for students at New Hampton School matters, that our school has an impact and that our seniors will graduate better people as a result of influential people and programs they experienced.
Learning from our community
As we think about the legacy of our graduates, February also included our Alumni in Residence program. This program brought four incredible individuals back to campus to share their New Hampton experience and how their education contributed to their current success, while also conveying lessons learned that might help our students. These individuals were passionate, driven, authentic, and appreciative of their time as Huskies. Their legacies continue to take shape, broadening their impact on the lives of others, while setting an admirable bar for our students.
Creating one’s legacy, at the end of the day, is about fully committing to our mission to develop lifelong learners who will become active global citizens and to live our core values of respect and responsibility each and every day. And, as New Hampton fast approaches it’s Bicentennial, our legacy—as a school and as individuals—is one we must cherish and steward with great care and responsibility.