Letter from Dr. Austin to Students and Parents

August 21, 2019

Dear Students and Families,

As we look with anticipation to the coming school year, I extend to each of you the warmest of welcomes. I am incredibly excited for the fall, and I am looking forward to meeting you in just a couple of weeks.

If you are new to Deerfield (as I am!) rest assured: You will find here a community that is warm, embracing, and caring. We are ready to help you settle in, make new friends, and model Deerfield at its best—and the faculty and staff have been preparing for your arrival with purpose and energy throughout the summer.

I arrived on campus in early July. As the oldest member of the Class of 2023, I have spent the past weeks learning as much as I can about Deerfield: reading everything I can about its history, walking the campus and the outlying fields, taking in the extraordinary beauty of the valley and swimming in the River, working in the library and enjoying the warmth, conversation, and generosity of my new colleagues.

One of the things I have been struck by in my conversations with staff and faculty is the great pride they take in Deerfield and in you. Deerfield is unique in American education, and its greatest source of strength is perhaps its least tangible: an ennobling belief in the transformative potential of a residential school committed to the highest values of character and excellence.

At Deerfield, we are called upon to “act with respect, honesty, and concern for others and to inspire the same values in our community and beyond.” Together, we honor diversity and the essential uniqueness of each and every student, even as we seek to create a sense of shared experience, purpose, and unity.

These values have long defined the Academy. I believe they are more relevant, more consequential, and more important to the world than ever before. So I am fortunate, humbled, and proud to have the opportunity to partner with all of you as we work to realize Deerfield’s potential—and yours.

I wish you all the best for the remaining days of summer—and a year rich in learning, challenge, friendship, and joy. I will see you on campus soon, and I look forward to what I know will be an amazing year.

Dr. Austin