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45 Years Ago

As we begin our 46th year as a coeducational academic institution, we look back to the opening days of school in the pioneering fall of 1971. That year marked our first as Northfield Mount Hermon School.

from The Bridge, vol. 3, no. 5; pp. 1 and 5  (September 13, 1971).

Saga: One in a Continuing Series
You Should Have Seen Us Last Year

Out of chaos has come a semblance of order, and the industrious workers of this summer are now, as one of them put it, “ready for a vacation.” From the recommendations of last spring’s One School Council has evolved a school conceived in the best interests of progress and born in hysteria. Although preparations will, in a sense, never be done, an awesome amount of work of work has been accomplished in an effort to ready the community for its academic pursuits in idyllic surroundings…

Springs of Wisdom
Joining our already spectacular and rejuvenated ranks of faculty will be some seventeen new teachers, houseparents and friends. There are, among them, a couple raised on a kibbutzim in Israel, a chemistry teacher schooled in Aerospace and other technology, a man with a doctorate in drama and fine arts and a great deal of interest in the modern theater, a lawyer, and a member of the 1971 Mount Hermon Summer School who spent her junior year in Denmark. These are but a few of the varied and talented people who will be found in classrooms, offices, dormitories, and under rocks. There are also an increasing number of faculty members who will live in dormitories but will pursue their primary occupations outside of the school, a phenomenon which could go far to encourage more contact with the greater world which, believe it or not, lies “out there.”

Putting Square Pegs in Round Holes and Making Them Fit
A stupendous undertaking which may be brought to your attention through inconvenience or error is the project of scheduling, or perhaps more accurately coinciding students, faculty, busses, minutes, courses, work jobs, athletics, and the computer in such a way that at least three months of classes occur with about 16 students and one teacher in each, and no one actually in two places at once. Consider just for a moment the mind boggling proportions of this task encountered and conquered in not many places in this world, and your respect for Mrs. Renate Henderson and her staff will be manifold. If you have an unimportant conflict to deal with, suffer gallantly. If you do have an insurmountable  problem to report to her, approach with humility and expect to feel somewhat like an ignorant ogre. Know that this woman began with some 1300 such problems and understand her accomplishment.

Absorbing the Totality
Let no one be intimidated by this adventure! On every hand there are exhausted but radiant countenances pleading that, at least to begin with, we put in a fraction of the optimism, enthusiasm and stoicism which we have encountered. To assist in familiarizing the uninitiated and the confused, orientation will be held in clusters and dormitories during the weekend of September 18. Included will be dinner with advisors on Friday, an all-school social endeavor on Saturday, and the first all-school convocation, led by the chaplains, on Sunday evening. Before that time, communication with all manner of old students, student leaders, houseparents, faculty, staff, parents and animals is encouraged.

In the Words of the Prophet
“Do it”; and from the old schools, Northfield and Mount Hermon, the words of Shakespeare, “Take comfort; ye shall no more see my face.”