Parent Update: May 31, 2019

A Message from the Head of School 

Dear NMH families,
Here is one of my favorite poems by Rita Dove, titled “Dawn Revisited.” I sent it to all NMH seniors on their Commencement morning in expectation that they all will go out into the world and “shake a leg”!

Imagine you wake up
with a second chance: The blue jay
hawks his pretty wares
and the oak still stands, spreading
glorious shade. If you don’t look back,
the future never happens.
How good to rise in sunlight,
in the prodigal smell of biscuits –
eggs and sausage on the grill.
The whole sky is yours
to write on, blown open
to a blank page. Come on,
shake a leg! You’ll never know
who’s down there, frying those eggs,
if you don’t get up and see.

Hip, hip, huzzah to all members of the great Class of 2019 and their families, too. Commencement was one of the best ever, and I wish NMH's most recent graduates godspeed and good luck as they begin their next set of exciting adventures.

Well done, well done, to all NMH students for persevering through examination week, all their final projects, and room cleaning and packing. 

Here's to restorative or productive summers ahead to all returning students and graduates, depending on what is needed most!

Gina and I were honored to serve NMH and all of you this year, and we look forward to welcoming Brian Hargrove and his family to the campus in late June. It was such a pleasure to get to know and support so many terrific students and their families. We are proud to be fellow NMH parents and will continue to serve our remarkable school as we can.

Below are the most recent parent-participation results from this year's Charlie's Challenge for the NMH Parents Fund. We have made some good strides, yet you will note that there is still time for NMH parents to move our participation numbers forward before June 30.

Parents Participation
Class of 2019 37%
Class of 2020 39%
Class of 2021 38%
Class of 2022 53%
Average 42%

You should know that student members of the Class of 2019 hit 98 percent participation in the NMH Fund prior to Commencement. Their gratitude moved all of us on campus and we hope it will inspire more NMH parents to participate this year. Please consider contributing in honor of your student or in honor of an impactful NMH adult on campus.

Thanks, again, for helping the NMH cause. Along with Brian and Linda Hargrove, Gina and I look forward to seeing all returning students and families at registration in the fall.


Charlie Tierney P’16, ’19, ’20
Gina Onushco P’16, ’19, ’20

Commencement: Hugs, Smiles, and Tears
The Class of 2019 and their families and friends had a beautiful weekend of Commencement activities. It began with the Chateau dinner and dance, followed by a spectacular fireworks display. On Saturday, Class Day exercises were held in Memorial Chapel to honor outstanding students. The awards ceremony was followed by Commencement eve dinner. NMH dining services never disappoints, and more than 800 guests enjoyed a seated dinner and general celebration with their soon-to-be graduates in Alumni Hall.

Sunday was a stunning, sunny day full of merriment. Senior orator JD Pruett ’19 shared his well wishes for the class and encouraged them to act with humanity and purpose, “especially when no one is watching. Even during those moments when it might seem that it doesn’t matter what we do, humanity is to be expected of us because in our convoluted reciprocal world, we don’t always know who we’re giving to. It does not matter …”

Commencement speaker Tiffani Brown ’96 recalled how NMH prepared her for the race of life. Through victories and defeats, she has pushed forward because that is what NMH equipped her to do. “I want to be honest; big vision hurts,” she said. “Big vision feels like this race. And I want to hype you up because, when you hit the wall, I don’t want you to stop running and think that the race is over at 100 or 200 meters. I want you to stay the course.”

See and hear more about Commencement-week activities here, including video of the ceremony, text of major addresses, and photo galleries.

Congratulations to the Class of 2019!

Grades Are Ready
Dear NMH families,
I hope you and your student are enjoying the start of summer and the opportunity to hear stories about your student’s time at NMH. 

Each year we appreciate the opportunity to teach and learn with your student, as we join with you in guiding them toward adulthood. We are proud of the recently graduated Class of 2019, and we wish them well as they journey beyond NMH. We look forward to the return next year of our younger students and to getting to know the new students who will join them here in the fall.

Now that their work is done for the semester, your student’s grades and academic reports are available through NMHOnline. If you need help with access to NMHOnline, please contact our I.T. help desk at 413-498-3777 or

End-of-year advisor reports will be posted by mid-June. We’ll let you know in Summer Update when they’re ready.

I hope you have a lovely summer, and I invite you to call or email at any time with questions or concerns.

Warmest regards,

Sarah Warren
Academic Dean and Director of Studies

What’s Next for NMH’s Newest Grads
Members of NMH’s Class of 2019 will attend more than 100 different colleges and universities this fall. Particularly popular choices for this year’s grads were Boston University and the University of Pennsylvania. The matriculation list also includes several colleges and universities that will welcome four new NMH grads each this fall: George Washington University, Johns Hopkins University, and the University of Vermont. This range of colleges shows the broad interests of our students. Some like urban, some like rural. Many seek the NMH-style educational “intimacy” found at small liberal-arts colleges, while others are eager for the research opportunities found at large universities. A growing number of students used some form of early application (early action, early decision, or priority) to get a head start on the college-selection process. And they were guided throughout this process by NMH’s college counseling staff. In this competitive landscape, we are pleased that many students got into their first- or second-choice institution. 

Students Present Check for Charlie's Challenge​​​​​
This spring the Student Philanthropy Council worked tirelessly to inspire their classmates to give to the NMH Fund as part of Charlie's Challenge. A special effort from seniors on the council resulted in a 98 percent participation rate from the Class of 2019. Members of the council presented a check totaling $4,307 in student gifts to NMH Head of School Charles A. Tierney III, P’16, ’19, ’20 at the moving-up ceremony on May 22. Thanks to the Student Philanthropy Council for their tremendous efforts.  


Parent Update becomes Summer Update: This summer you'll receive important information for families, and items you'll need to complete before school starts again, in Summer Update e-newsletters. The first issue will arrive June 13.

Family welcome events: Mark your calendar for one of these regional NMH family welcome events hosted by Northfield Mount Hermon parents this summer. They are wonderful opportunities to connect with fellow parents, to ask questions, and to plug into our local NMH parent community before the school year begins.

Beginning-of-school information: We are already busy planning for students’ return this fall. The 2019–20 calendar, an overview of registration day, and the 2019–20 exam schedule are online now. All back-to-school information is consolidated here

Spring athletics banquet: Congratulations to our spring athletics season award winners, announced at a recent sports banquet. See the list of awardees and read the keynote address by Phoebe Rossman ’19.

New photos of students: Our Flickr site has lots of new photo and video galleries. Among the recent additions: year-end dance and musical concerts, tennis team, athletics banquet, Baccalaureate service, underclass and senior award events, rowing program, moving-up ceremony, Chateau dance, and Commencement weekend. Enjoy!

Where are they playing next? NMH is proud that 40 student-athletes have committed to play their sport at the next level. We hope you follow them as they share the talents honed at NMH with these collegiate institutions.

Attention, international students: Summer is a great time to update passports, visas, and form I-20s. Please read more about necessary updates for F-1 status.

Upcoming Events

7/28 Family welcome event for Fairfield County, CT
8/25 Family welcome event for Boston area

8/26 Opening community meeting; Resident Leaders, Global Ambassadors, Peer Educators, and Ecoleaders arrive at 4 pm.
8/28 Family welcome event for New York City area
8/28 New international students arrive 1–2:30 pm; orientation begins. 
8/30 Registration for all new students and returning 10th graders

  • 8:30–10:30 am: All new 9th- and 10th-grade boarding students arrive. 
  • 10–11 am: All new 9th- and 10th-grade day students arrive. 
  • 10–11 am: All new 11th-grade and PG students, and all new international students, arrive. 
  • 10–11 am: Returning 10th-grade boarding students move into dorms; 10th-grade day students arrive in time for lunch. Further details will be sent in advance.

8/30–9/1 Orientation for all new students and returning 10th graders
9/1 Registration for returning juniors and seniors, 8:30–10 am
9/2 Orientation for all students
9/3 Classes begin; opening convocation 
10/25–26 Fall Family Days


A bird's eye view