Convocation 2022: “Make Molecules”

This, I believe, is the magic, the excitement of your years at Deerfield, whether it is one year, or four, or somewhere in between. Your time here has the promise of transforming how you learn and how you think about learning in ways that will excite, engage, and empower.

Commencement 2021: “A Remarkable Year”

Class of 2021, congratulations on this day and the efforts and achievements that led to it. You have set an example for other Deerfield classes, and your place in the Deerfield story is strong and secure. Truly, you have been worthy of your heritage, and we are very proud of you.

Anonymity and Informed Judgement

You are called to take good care of our common digital spaces. Just as we seek to keep our physical and natural commons free from trash, pollutants and other toxins, so too should we seek to steward our civic, digital, and public commons, by writing and speaking in our own voices and by engaging in respectful dialogue—rather than undermining and vandalizing it. So let’s make good decisions when we are online, and let’s refrain from hiding behind the cloak of anonymity.

Political Discourse, Elections, and Our Obligation to Civic Discourse

As we look to the election and beyond, we have a unique opportunity—we have an obligation—to counter these trends. A I said in my letter to you just before the beginning of school on our use of social media, our goal as a school, as a place of learning, is to elevate the tone of our school-wide discussion, stand athwart this tide of acrimony and say: no.

2020 Convocation Remarks

Our Convocation today here under this tent is a remarkable, a historic day. We formally mark our return to campus as a community after months apart; we welcome our new students, those here on campus and those learning remotely . . .

Commencement 2020: “Each Generation Must Do Its Part”

I welcome and congratulate the remarkable, and Great, Class of 2020. I knew that our journeys would be linked, with the 2019-2020 academic year being my first as Head of School at Deerfield and your last. It has led us here to this wonderful and in many ways improbable moment, Deerfield’s 221st Commencement . . .

Our Commitment to Human Dignity and Democratic Renewal

I write to you as tens of thousands of people across the country take to the streets to honor the lives of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd, express outrage at their killing and, not for the first time in our history, demand change. We have been here before; their deaths reflect a long history of violence directed at Black Americans that reaches back many hundreds of years and that continues to find expression today.

Planning for the 2020-21 School Year

Dear New and Returning Parents and Guardians, I want to take the opportunity of this letter to welcome each of our new families—215 strong! —and

March 26: To Students From Dr. Austin

Dear Students, Greetings from a very quiet Deerfield Academy campus. As we approach our first advisory meeting tomorrow and resume classes on Monday, I am