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Parent Update: May 2, 2019

Global Business Exec. Tiffani Brown ’96 to speak at NMH Commencement

May 2, 2019 — NMH’s 136th Commencement exercises will take place at 11 am on Sunday, May 26. Tiffani Brown ’96, a global business executive, storyteller, intrepid traveler, and current Northfield Mount Hermon trustee, will be the featured speaker.

Brown was raised in a small town in rural North Carolina, and credits her experiences and friendships at NMH with opening her eyes to international opportunities that she never imagined while growing up. NMH also deepened her love of education: She has studied in three countries, earning degrees from the University of Southern California, Yale University, and New York University Law School.

Brown began her career in finance, then moved on to corporate law. She eventually became a global strategist for GroupM, the world’s largest media investment group, and currently serves as global head of strategic initiatives for Wavemaker, one of GroupM’s agencies. She develops strategies for clients that range from Fortune 100 companies to the new generation of social-media influencers changing the nature of the media business.  

Along the way, Brown has traveled to more than 40 countries. She also attended culinary school; moonlighted as a chef; and, in collaboration with chef and restaurateur Tom Colicchio, co-founded A Place at the Table, a nonprofit that educates people about hunger and food insecurity in the U.S. Among her goals — besides trying new experiences such as long-distance cycling, skydiving, and the flying trapeze — is to help inspire others to achieve career success without sacrificing their passions.

Preparing for Commencement Weekend
In just over a month, we will honor the Class of 2019 at the 136th NMH Commencement. Life for your senior or PG student is becoming even busier than usual. Please follow the live senior calendar for more information on all the activities. They include everything from important campus happenings to details such as having dresses and tuxedos altered for the Chateau Dance. A detailed line-up of Commencement activities is also provided here
Commencement Tips from Other NMH Parents
Parents of former NMH students shared these tips to help you make the most of your student’s big weekend.

  • Take part in all the Commencement activities. Even if your student says you do not need to go, savor the time on campus and attend everything that is open to families.
  • Attend the lunch following Commencement. This is graduates’ final time to be together and celebrate the moment. If you want to celebrate with a family dinner, you’ll have plenty of time in the evening to do so.
  • Attire: wear flat or wedge shoes, as you will walk on grass quite a bit; pack layers, including a light coat. You will want to enjoy campus in the daytime, and in the evenings and it can get chilly
  • The bluff behind the chapel is a beautiful place to take Chateau Dance photos. There will be light refreshments provided for families that gather for a pre-dance photo reception.
  • Take a picture of your student with friends by the Class of 2019 tree. This is a location they will return to every five years during NMH Reunion and that will become a meaningful place for their class.
  • Purchase a flower and send a note to your student. It is a beautiful snapshot of your proud feelings as your student graduates. Also, think about sending a note to faculty who have influenced your student while at NMH.
  • Make a reservation for the Commencement eve dinner. It is a nice dinner with lots of people, and your party might have to be split up unless you make a reservation by May 19.
  • Encourage or help your student to pack the dorm room in the days leading up to Commencement so you aren’t rushed on Sunday. Please ask them not to wait until the last minute.

If you have general Commencement questions, please email Julia Farmer or contact Sherri Haughey in the dean of students’ office. 

For NMH, Giving Starts at Home
Dear families,
For many NMH employees — including your student’s teachers, coaches, and advisors — NMH is home. A place where we live and raise families, have friends, hold dinner parties, and walk next door to have coffee with neighbors who are also colleagues. Alumni Hall is our very own dining room; Beveridge Bowl is our backyard. We even know the treat of choice for the farm horses, as if they were our family dogs.

We support NMH not only because it is our home, but also because we support the mission of the head, heart, and hand and believe in the education your student is getting here.

That’s why our giving starts at home, our home, NMH. I hope all parents will consider joining me, my colleagues, and your student in supporting Charlie’s Challenge.

Watch the Charlie's Challenge video, in which NMH community members share why they give. Then make your gift to Charlie’s Challenge today.

Warmest regards,

Julia Farmer
Director of Parent Resources

Spring Diversity Summit a Success
The spring Diversity Summit just wrapped up on campus and events included everything from initiatives led by the students to writer and performer Aya de Leon welcoming a crowd of 200 with her keynote address.

The summit kicked off April 23 with a panel discussion about compassion by people from various faith, or no-faith, traditions. On April 27, the Student Diversity Committee and the Interfaith Council co-hosted Story Night in Social Hall with the theme of “What Grounds You?” Six different storytellers shared their respective messages about faith and belief. 

On April 28, over 200 NMH community members gathered to hear from keynote speaker Aya de Leon, who read from her own works and offered remarks about one of NMH’s own, author and scholar June Jordan ’53. De Leon encouraged students to “believe in yourselves and build a team you can rely on,” and said that the “optimism of your youth” is a necessary factor in envisioning something better in challenging times. 

Following the keynote address, members of the Student Diversity Committee lead 13 workshops for participating students, ranging from playing an identity game to learning about climate change to looking ahead to the 2020 presidential election. NMH faculty also participated in their own workshops to discuss a recent article about equity efforts at independent schools. 

The spring summit was a testament to how we put into action the ideals of the NMH mission statement by engaging, empowering, and acting with humanity and purpose.


Don’t let these deadlines sneak up on you!

  • Commencement flowers and cards: Order deadline is May 11; flower orders cannot be filled after this date, though card orders can be.    
  • “Hogger packs”: Order deadline is May 13.
  • Commencement eve dinner: Reservation deadline is May 19; please observe this date so you and your guests can be seated together. Only cash or check will be accepted at the door.

Farmers’ market at NMH: The eighth annual Food Systems Teach-In is almost here! Learn more including how to be a parent volunteer at this fun and festive event.

New photos of students: Recent additions to our Flickr galleries include photos and videos of the spring Diversity Summit, a sand mandala created by Buddhist monks, the Day of Care, Earth Day’s surprising lunch menu, campus visitors, Environmental Studies class, and spring athletics teams. Social media posts are gathered on NMH Social.

The joy of Sacred Concert: Joy is the theme for the 125th annual Concert of Sacred Music. Learn more about Sacred Concert’s history before the event, which will be livestreamed.

Mandala arts and literary magazine published: The new issue, edited entirely by students, features artwork and writing by NMH community members. See the full issue.

Summer storage and shipping information: Need a way to ship your student’s belongings home from school or store them for the summer? NMH has made special arrangements with ​The UPS Store to ship worldwide or store items until the fall. Get details here

Or is coming to NMH: The academic year might be winding down, but the performing arts department is not. May 9–11 the Liz Duffy Adams’ play Or will be performed in Rowland Theater. The show will be action-packed as Ella Bathory-Peeler ’20, Arwen Hansell ’21, and Harrison Kerber ’20 portray seven different characters throughout the performance. Reserve your tickets online.

Spring Jam will be colorful: Students will end the school year with celebration (and a little paint) at NMH's annual Spring Jam paint dance on May 11 from 8:30 to 11 pm at the hockey rink. This event is free, and day students are encouraged to stay on campus that night. Students should bring a change of clothes. 

Senior shines on the world debate stage: NMH’s Patrick Rochford ’19 finished 20th in the world, and second among the 17 United States entrants, out of 160 competitors at the World Individual Debate and Public Speaking Championships. His best finish among the individual events was 6th, in the extemporaneous debate category. Read more.

Athletes of the week: Congratulations to recent athletics honorees Celia Begonia ’20 (lacrosse) and seniors Ryan Heskin, Jada Scotland, and Richard Sturtevant (all track and field). Find out why each was selected

New rowing shells to be dedicated: Please join us as we dedicate new rowing shells, and recognize and celebrate supporters of NMH Rowing, this Saturday, May 4, at 2:30 pm on the south lawn of Alumni Hall. Learn the boats’ names, and how to RSVP here

Ask the doc: Let’s keep the line of communication open! We invite you to ask the NMH Health Center and Dr. Sara Rourke ’94 questions. Please submit your health and wellness questions using this form. Your questions will help shape future parent communications. 

Upcoming Events

5/4 SAT test
5/4 NMH Rowing: boat dedication
5/5 125th Concert of Sacred Music
5/9–11 Theater production: Or
5/10 Food Systems Teach-In
5/11 Commencement flower orders due
5/13 Hogger pack orders due
5/19 Commencement eve dinner reservation deadline
5/22–24 Spring exams
5/25 Commencement eve dinner
5/26 Commencement exercises

A bird's eye view


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