Every September, I enjoy hiking to the Rock with small groups of freshmen. Two splendid benefits always emerge from this adventure: we’re all able to appreciate a panoramic view of the campus, and I’m able to learn more about our youngest students and their transition to Deerfield. On the way up, we stop at Laurel Hill Cemetery, where the Boyden family is buried, and we discuss Mr. and Mrs. Boyden’s legacy. Many of the students read The Headmaster by John McPhee ’49 over the summer, and remember quite a few facts about their lives and contributions to the Academy. It is a good time to reflect on the school’s values and traditions.
This year, I decided to take the whole class on Sunday afternoon. We’ve had many rainy days, and I wanted to make sure that all 9th graders had a chance to hike up before the end of the month. We were fortunate to have Wayne Berger ’84 and his wife, Suzanne, join us on this outing. Mr. Berger spoke about his days as a student at Deerfield and the importance of this hill and the Rock for generations of alumni. “Friday,” my 8-month old puppy, a gift from the Class of 1961 this past June (50th Reunion), was delighted to have the attention of close to a hundred young people as he skipped up the hill!