Founder’s Day presents opportunity to celebrate school’s 71 years

After+two+years+of+being+separated+by+COVID-19+restrictions%2C+the+entire+school+gathers+on+Waverley+playground+to+celebrate+Founder%E2%80%99s+Day.+The+community+joined+together+to+sing+the+official+ASL+anthem%2C+%E2%80%9COnce+an+Eagle%E2%80%9D+and+take+an+all-school+photo.

Eden Leavey

After two years of being separated by COVID-19 restrictions, the entire school gathers on Waverley playground to celebrate Founder’s Day. The community joined together to sing the official ASL anthem, “Once an Eagle” and take an all-school photo.

Eden Leavey, Culture Editor: Print

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, community members’ ability to connect with one another over the past two years has been hindered. As such, Founder’s Day provided the entire school an opportunity to gather in person April 21 and celebrate the 71st anniversary of its founding.

Gideon Putnam (’24) said after experiencing the effects of the pandemic, the community was eager to engage in school spirit.

“There’s some pent-up excitement coming from last year too, and it’s nice to see everyone,” Putnam said.

Similarly, Juliana Menegakis (’22) said COVID-19 has made showing the community’s spirit more challenging.

“It’s definitely made it harder to express our school spirit,” Menegakis said. “We could still have kind of spirit days but they obviously weren’t the same as they used to be. We certainly could have this kind of all-school gathering.”

In addition, Marcus Chae (’24) said the celebration was far more extravagant than he anticipated. At his previous school, he said there was not as much festivity on Founder’s Day.

“It’s exciting and it’s different from anything I’ve seen before,” Chae said. “At my old school, we didn’t really have as much of a celebration for Founder’s Day like this.”

Because the school has not been able to come together to celebrate Founder’s Day since 2019, the 2022 event marked a special occasion. Thus, many celebratory actions were taken, including a scavenger hunt, a balloon arch outside the Waverley entrance, dressing in school colors in addition to handing out oranges and serving cake in the Commons.

Head of School Coreen Hester also delivered a speech to the gathering community on the Waverley playground.

Chae said it was evident that the event succeeded in raising morale across the community as “everyone [was] waving their flags about and lots of people [were] dressed in orange.”

While gathering on the Waverley playground, the community also sang the school song, “Once an Eagle,” written and composed by Performing Arts Teacher Bronagh Coakley.

 

Putnam said “being able to see everyone who goes to our school, and how many people who make up the community” allowed the size and diversity of the community to be noticeable.

As a representative of the Student Council, Chae said the event also aligned with many of the values and goals of StuCo.

“One of our focuses is definitely school spirit and how to raise school spirit,” Chae said. “However we can make them feel more connected to the school is definitely a positive.”

However we can make them feel more connected to the school is definitely a positive.”

— Marcus Chae ('24)

Furthermore, Putnam said growing up in the community and celebrating Founder’s Day each year has become a nostalgic experience that causes him to reflect on his time at the school.

“I do remember people my age [now] in fourth grade and thinking, ‘Oh wow, they are very old,’” Putnam said. “Now I am that age and I don’t feel so old…which is interesting to see.”

Ultimately, Menegakis said the celebration provided an opportunity for the community to connect. As she approaches graduation, Menegakis said making the best of these last moments at the school is important.

“The senioritis is hitting hard,” Menegakis said. “I know where I’m going to college and I kind of just want to move on, but at the same time, it’s nice to be able to spend this time at ASL and not have to immediately move on. I’m sure when I actually get there and look back I’ll be glad to have these memories.”