On Monday, October 8, the diverse music ensemble LADAMA came to the St. Mark's campus. They gave a concert at lunch and then led a workshop during the co-curricular block in the Putnam Family Arts Center's Black Box Theater.
Around the Quad
In an annual tradition at St. Mark's, on Tuesday, October 2, student and faculty pets were welcomed at the morning Chapel service for the "Blessing of the Animals."
From October 24 through 28, St. Mark's is taking part in Ally Week, hosted by the School's Gender & Sexuality Alliance (GSA). The GSA is one of the student-directed Pathways affinity groups at St. Mark's, part of the SM Community and Equity program.
On Friday afternoon, September 21, the annual St. Mark's Club Fair was held at the Putnam Family Arts Center, in both the Class of 1951 Lobby and Taft Hall. Representatives of a wide range of student activities staffed tables and were available to answer questions about their respective programs and to sign up potential participants.
On Monday evening, September 17, St. Mark's held its annual "Celebration of Education and Service of Installation" in Belmont Chapel, at the conclusion of seated dinner in the School's dining hall. Ten new faculty were welcomed, the 2018-19 St. Mark's choir made its debut, and the Rev. Barbara Talcott delivered a sermon entitled "Wisdom, Compassion, and Humility."
On Friday evening, September 7, the 2018-2019 school year at St. Mark's was officially opened by the traditional Convocation ceremony in the Putnam Family Arts Center's Class of 1945 Hall.
After 40 years on the St. Mark's staff, William A. Wiedergott III retired. On Thursday, September 6, Custodial Services manager John Tedeschi and members of the School's custodial crew traveled to the Wiedergott house in Northborough to present their longtime colleague with an official St. Mark's chair to honor his retirement.
A week filled with returning student leaders, pre-season practices, registration, and orientation saw the 2018-19 academic year get underway.
The Rev. Barbara Talcott, Head Chaplain at St. Mark's since 2009, recently published an essay as a blog post for the National Association of Episcopal Schools (NAES) website. Entitled "Explaining Episcopal Identity," it emphasizes three valued areas as exemplifying St. Mark's as an Episcopal School.
The proposed International African-American Museum (IAAM), planned for Charleston, SC, and led by CEO Michael Boulware Moore, SM Class of 1980, just this month celebrated a significant milestone. It surpassed its goal of raising $75 million to start construction.
For 98 summers, students from St. Mark's School have gone up to Brantwood Camp in Peterborough, NH, as volunteers working primarily with low-income youth. This year was no different. In addition to students volunteering their time, St. Mark's alumni and faculty are continually involved with the Camp in a variety of ways: as camp staff, trustees, supporters, and advocates to the greater community.
This summer, SM alumnus Greg Brown '86 was named an assistant coach for the New York Rangers in the National Hockey League.
This spring, Paige LaMalva '20, a rising V Former from Southborough, was recipient of a Rotary Youth Leadership Award (RYLA), sponsored by the Southborough Rotary Club. With this award, LaMalva was able to participate in a three-day leadership retreat at Fitchburg State University in June, along with as many as 200 other young people from across the region.
Over the past several years, Dean of Students David Vachris has hosted a series of "15-Minute Lectures" on campus. Each of these is an opportunity for students, faculty, staff, alumni, or outside speakers to share their knowledge of and insights into a particular topic—sometimes trivial, sometimes momentous, and always interesting.
With the construction of the new T. Jefferson Coolidge Jr. Athletic Performance and Wellness Center underway this summer, thoughts turn to the history of athletic facilities at St. Mark's and their evolution over a century -and -a -half.
The St. Mark's campus is busy this summer with new construction projects at various stages of completion. Highlighting the efforts to date is the work being done to create the T. Jefferson Coolidge Jr. '50 Athletic Performance and Wellness Center. The Coolidge Center, scheduled to open in time for the 2018-19 school year, is designed to support academic success through fitness and conditioning.
"You think all this is important, but all that really matters is loving people and being kind" - Caitlin O'Hara, SM 2001 (pictured here)
Two SM alumnae—Jessica Danforth '02 and Alyssa Viano Baker '01—have begun "The Leo Project," an effort to provide supportive services, creative outlets, and opportunities not traditionally available to vulnerable youth in Nanyuki, Kenya. The Leo Project is a memorial tribute to the late Caitlin O'Hara '01, who passed away in December 2016 after a long battle with cystic fibrosis.
At St. Mark's, 2017-18 was among the most successful years overall athletically in the history of the School. All SM teams—varsity, JV, and 3rds—amassed a record total of 357 victories for an overall winning percentage of .600. To accomplish this, 28 out of the 47 St. Mark's teams (60 percent) posted records of .500 or better. Varsity teams won 59 percent of their scheduled games, for a total of 207 victories.
Over seven days, from July 8 through July 14, more than 40 participants— students and faculty from several different schools—took part in the 5th Annual Global Citizenship Institute (GCI) at St. Mark's. A collaboration between St. Mark's School and Austria's Salzburg Global Seminar, the Global Citizenship Institute's mission is to educate and support faculty and students from public, private and international secondary schools as they learn ways to become engaged global citizens, actively working to solve problems of global and local significance.
The St. Mark's Advancement Office has declared the 2018 Annual Fund to be a tremendous success. There was 30 percent alumni participation and this year's goal was met with $2,336,337 dollars raised. That total is a new record for an Annual Fund at St. Mark's, eclipsing last year's total by more than $56,000.
From technology to global citizenship to sports and more sports, once again it is a busy summer on the St. Mark's campus.
This past spring season, more than 20 St. Mark's alumni participated in college and university athletic competition.
On Saturday, June 16, more than eighty guests gathered on the St. Mark's campus to celebrate David Lubick's 20 years at St. Mark's. Lubick, currently Associate Director of Admission at the School, was for 16 years head coach of an immensely successful St. Mark's basketball program, and more than thirty of his former players were among those in attendance.
On Monday and Tuesday, June 10 and 11, the St. Mark's community said goodbye to departing faculty and staff. Ken and Lee Wells, with 71 years between them on the faculty, are retiring. So are staff members Jack Cullina and Betsy Cullina. Assistant Chaplain Stephen Hebert is also leaving from the faculty, while staffers Sheri Barich, Grace Camuso, Mary Martell, Julie Nugent and Dolores Russo are also moving on.
On the afternoon of St. Mark's 2018 Prize Day—Saturday, June 9—a bench was dedicated in memory of the late Ellen Collins: longtime SM receptionist who died in 2015.
On Saturday, June 9, 95 St. Markers received diplomas at the School's 153rd Prize Day exercises. Sixty-one graduated with distinction, 14 were members of the Cum Laude Society, and four earned Classics Diplomas, having mastered both Greek and Latin, entitling each to wear a laurel wreath at the ceremony. The Prize Day speaker was St. Mark's alumna Alexis Scott Faber '95.The valedictorian was Anthony D'Angelo '18.
Over Prize Day weekend, athletic honors were announced for the spring season and for the 2017-18 school year overall.
On Friday, June 8, on the eve of St. Mark's 153rd Prize Day ceremony, the traditional Baccalaureate Service was held in Belmont Chapel. Carl Corazzini—St. Mark's Director of Wellness, history teacher, and head coach of boys' varsity hockey—was this year's speaker, elected by vote of the Sixth Form.
Prize Day Week got underway on Wednesday, June 6.
On Thursday morning, June 7, the first-ever Lions Roar awards ceremony was held to honor a successful finish to the 2018 Lion Term.
On Tuesday evening, June 5, Helynna Lin '18 gave her Senior Recital, playing the piano on the stage of the Putnam Family Arts Center's Class of 1945 Hall.
Lillian Stout '19 was recently named the Independent School League's Most Valuable Player for girls' lacrosse. A three-time All-ISL selection, Stout helped lead St. Mark's to its third league championship in four years.
On four Wednesdays this spring (beginning in May and ending on June 6), the Rotary Club of Southborough has been sponsoring a Food Truck Festival for the greater Southborough community, in collaboration with St. Mark's.
For the past sixteen days, all St. Markers have been actively participating in Lion Term: a two-and-a-half-week Form-based experience. Each Form has its own theme and schedule of activities, with students getting involved in team-building, community service, and experiential learning. In addition, the Lions Roam program provides a global experience for its participants.
With an impressive 16-7 victory over Groton on Friday, May 25, the St. Mark's Girls' Varsity Lacrosse team capped a 15-2 regular season and earned a share of the 2018 Independent School League (ISL) championship. This was the Lions' third ISL title in four seasons, all under head coach Channing Warner.
On Tuesday, May 22, the St. Mark's Music Department held its traditional Year End Concert in the Putnam Family Arts Center's Class of 1945. It featured performances from the School's Choir, Orchestra, and Jazz Ensemble, involving as many as eighty different students. Sixteen graduating VI Formers were also recognized for their contributions to the St. Mark's music program during their time at the School.
Two St. Markers, Edna Kilusu '19 and Frances Hornbostel '21, have been selling Rafiki bracelets during lunch, to support communities in Africa.
On Wednesday, May 23, the annual Ely Public Speaking competition was held, and Leila Frederick '21, a day student from Hopkinton, MA, was the winner.
On Saturday evening, May 19, the last night of Reunion Weekend, a band featuring St. Mark's students put on a self-described "indie rock concert" in the Putnam Family Arts Center's Black Box Theater. Fellow students, faculty, and even some alumni attended the event and enjoyed the show.
On the afternoon of Saturday, May 19, during Reunion Weekend, veteran SM art teacher Aggie Belt and several of her students hosted the annual Empty Bowls sale to help the hungry.
One of the highlights of this most recent Reunion Weekend was the gift to St. Mark's of a beautiful ship model. A hand-crafted replica of the clipper ship Southern Cross, it had belonged to the late Ben Dillingham, SM Class of 1963. A member of the St. Mark's Athletic Hall of Fame (the first manager to be so honored), Ben Dillingham passed away in November of 2017. A gift from the Dillingham family, it now resides on the second floor of the School's library.
The annual Southborough School luncheon on Reunion Weekend was a small, intimate gathering at Choate House. Three members of the St. Mark's Class of 1978—the first class of young women to graduate from St. Mark's, but who had spent the majority of their high school careers at the Southborough School—were on hand. Rochanya Hickman Generous, Nancy Cocks Karuzis, and Suzannah Cox Halliday were back for their 40th Reunion, and they were joined at Choate House by former Southborough School (and later St. Mark's) staffer Sandy Campbell, along with two honorary Southborough School alumnae: Colleen Finnerty '11 (current faculty member and winner of the Pierson F. Melcher Prize at her VI Form graduation and Nick Noble '76 (current staffer and SM historian).
For the first time in several years, Reunion Weekend was held during the school year. From May 17-19, all Reunion classes gathered on campus, to share memories of St. Mark's yesterdays while discovering much about St. Mark's today and its goals for tomorrow.
On Thursday, May 17, students in the Exploration Sciences advanced elective course shared the fruits of their research into various explorers, discoverers, adventurers, and risk-takers on land and sea. Taking on the personas of well-known individuals—in short, becoming the explorers they were studying—students gathered in the Faculty Room, where faculty and staff asked them questions and evaluated their responses.
St. Mark's alumna Amanda Abend '14 (pictured at right making final adjustments to one of her gowns) was recently winner of the Saks Fifth Avenue 2018 Emerging Designer Award at the Washington University Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts' 89th annual Spring Fashion Design Show.
Despite the stormy weather nearly 40 St. Markers attended this year's Classics Banquet hosted by the Classics Club.
On Wednesday evening, May 16, and Friday evening, May 18, the St. Mark's Theater Arts Department will present three student-directed one act plays in the Putnam Family Arts Center's Black Box Theater. One of the plays was also written by a St. Marker: Kaela Dunne '18.