The Haverford School marked the start of the 2020-21 school year with time-honored traditions on Sept. 9. The Opening Day activities were adjusted to ensure the safety of students, faculty, and staff as the community returns to campus for full-time, in-person learning for the first time since March.
A time-honored tradition, the Opening Day Walk of Virtues and Opening Day assembly were marked with a video, instead of in person. During the video assembly, the School’s Virtue of the Year, which is teamwork, was announced to the community.
In a traditional year, seniors escort kindergarten students to the Opening Day assembly through the School’s Walk of Virtues. While this year the walk wasn’t possible in person, seniors were pictured with kindergarten students in a video, which can be viewed here. Regardless of format, the tradition symbolizes the journey that students take together during their time at Haverford as they learn, grow, and become well-rounded young men.
During the Opening Day video, Student Body President and senior Cyril Leahy welcomed his fellow students back to school after six months away from campus. He spoke about the Virtue of the Year, teamwork, which is one of 24 virtues engraved along the Walk of Virtues.
“Teamwork encompasses pride for a common belief, the ability to put aside personal differences to defend one’s honor, and unity under one ideal,” said Leahy. “At Haverford, we are able to exemplify these aspects of teamwork so well.”
Leahy also introduced Haverford’s Head of School Dr. John Nagl, who marked the start of a very unique year in the School’s history by asking for everyone to work together to ensure safety for all members of the community.
“In your classroom, in the extracurricular activities you enjoy, in everything we do, I ask you to be a good teammate this year to keep us all safe and healthy,” said Dr. Nagl. “Your choices will determine how much we get to do together in person, and with good teamwork, I’m confident that we’ll be able to take care of each other, stay healthy, and stay safe.”
To close the virtual ceremony, Leahy carried out the annual tradition of striking the gong to officially start the new school year.