A variety of time-honored traditions distinguish the Deerfield experience. They are at once revered, respected, and influenced by the student body. Students fully embrace the historic aspects of these traditions, while making them wholly their own, contributing their knowledge, insight, and spirit to improve upon a base of more than 200 years. Several of Deerfield’s central traditions are described below, but many others–the Deerfield Boy and Girl, long-running school dances, Spring Day, and senior-faculty soirees to name just a few–also contribute to the vibrancy of the school.
Each fall the Head of School brings the freshmen up to the Rock, where they can look out across Deerfield’s buildings and fields. Students return many times throughout their years at Deerfield, and a trip to the Rock is often one of the last activities of graduating seniors. Current students share the experience of climbing to the Rock with generations of Deerfield alumni, who made the same trek many years before. The view has changed remarkably since then, but the experience remains the same.
Seven times a week the entire campus community gathers in the Dining Hall for a family-style meal. Nine students and one faculty member eat at each round table, which creates the opportunity for deeper connections between members of the community. After dinner every Sunday night, the entire student body joins together for one of Deerfield’s most cherished traditions, the singing of the Evensong.
One of the most popular campus events every year is Choate Day, when Deerfield’s athletic teams compete against their chief rival, Choate Rosemary Hall. The night before, Deerfield’s cheerleaders lead a pep rally, and students gather for a bonfire on the lower level. Nearly every athletic event draws a healthy crowd of Deerfield student and alumni fans who, with the help of the cheerleaders, cheer on Deerfield’s teams with cries of “Go Big Green!” and “V-I-C-T-O-R-Y!”
Since the school’s founding, Deerfield students have been required to dress with professionalism for classes. Though it can be daunting at first, most students find that they become accustomed to–and even enjoy–the ritual of dressing up for class.
Every Wednesday morning the entire student body and faculty crowd into the Large Auditorium for school meeting. Students sit by class, and each meeting begins with class cheers, followed by the singing of one of Deerfield’s songs. The contents of each meeting vary, but usually include pertinent announcements, student performances, and featured speakers. Students are invited and encouraged to contribute to the meeting with announcements and presentations. Gathering as a community where everyone can have his or her voice heard contributes to the cohesiveness and warmth of the community.