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The Mem

The Memorial Building, most commonly referred to as “the Mem,” is a source of continuity for Deerfield students. During their first week at Deerfield, all new students gather in the Memorial Building Lobby to introduce themselves to their teachers and classmates. The night before graduation, the senior class once again comes together in the Memorial Building Lobby for the “Senior Cry,” a night of sharing stories and memories from their time at Deerfield. The space that houses these traditions is as important as the traditions themselves, as the grounding of experiences in a timeless place suggests that students have truly come full circle during their time at Deerfield. The experience of these two traditions is not one of stagnation, but rather one of growth, as the nerves and uncertainty of introducing oneself to one’s school are replaced by a sense of comfort and shared triumph within the class during the Senior Cry.

Throughout the year, students assemble in the Memorial Building Lobby before entering the Large Auditorium—the location of a weekly school meeting.

Outside of these more formal and traditional functions of the space, the Memorial Building serves as a casual meeting place and lounge for students throughout the year. Students stop in before School Meeting, pausing to rub the nose of the Deerfield Boy or the Deerfield Girl for good luck. They lounge in the comfortable chairs that encircle the central fireplace of the lobby. They work on team assignments and projects that benefit from the Mem’s central location, ample space, and comfortable seating. Students often pass through the Memorial Building between classes—and on the way they might stop for a moment to greet friends, take a brief nap, or finish lingering bits of homework.