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Parent Update: Sept. 6, 2018

orientation gamesNMH’s 140th Academic Year Begins
The skirl of bagpipes signaled the NMH faculty and the class of 2019 to process into Memorial chapel on Sept. 4 for Convocation, the official opening of the academic year. With programs doubling as fans on this very warm day, students settled in to listen to the important messages.

In her invocation, Rev. Lee-Ellen Strawn, NMH chaplain, linked NMH’s founding by D.L. Moody and NMH’s mission by inviting the audience to live it. “The goal of engaging our intellect is to act with humanity and purpose.”

Coby Shalam ’19 delivered the Moment of Silence address. He spoke of a connection he made with Majora Carter, a New York City revitalization specialist, after she spoke at NMH. Coby went on to intern for Carter saying of the experience, “... you must allow yourself to be vulnerable, try new things, and push yourself to meet new people. It is easy to hide behind the comforting walls of your dorm room, but your time is better spent taking chances.”

Head of School Charlie Tierney spoke to the assembled students, faculty, and staff about having a year of fulfillment and of finding something you love so much that you lose track of time. “This year I hope you find something you fully immerse yourself in,” he said, adding that such “deep dives” allow what he called “marinating time” — time to “swim around in something long enough for its meaning to wash over us.” 

Spade Orator Amelia Simmonds ’19 encouraged all students, “Step out of your comfort zone and take advantage of the opportunities offered to you. Let me be the first to challenge you this year. I dare you to do something that genuinely frightens you. You are capable of more than you know, so try something new; be bold.” Her words resonated with her peers and she left the stage to a standing ovation.

Check out the photos and program from Convocation, and read more about the event.

Registration, Matriculation, and Orientation Highlights
Over Labor Day weekend, NMH welcomed new and returning students from around the world. This year, our students hail from 58 countries and 34 states, reinforcing our proud heritage of educating students from near and far. For parents who were unable to join us at registration, here are some helpful links: a basic parent information packet, student-life presentation, academic-life presentation, and photos from registration and new international student check-in

Most falls since 1897, students have inscribed signatures next to their names in a series of special journals, pledging to uphold NMH’s community standards. New students signed what is known simply as “the book” in a special matriculation ceremony on Sept. 1. See photos of the ceremony here.

Once parents left campus, students immediately began orientation activities. See photos of ninth-grade orientation, during which students walked a tightrope and told stories around a campfire. Also see photos of 10th-grade orientation, during which sophomores engaged in team-development activities, built friction fires, and square danced. Juniors and postgraduate students participated in their own orientation activities.

New Board Chair Is an NMH Parent
The NMH Board of Trustees recently elected Mariah Draper Calagione ’89, P’18, ’20 to serve as chair of the board for a three-year term, ending in May 2021.

As many know, Mariah has been a very active trustee for the past seven years, serving on several board committees, including Academic and Student Life, Advancement, Enrollment, and Strategic Planning, as well as on a number of ad hoc committees. Most recently, she was co-chair of the Advancement Committee. When Steve Fuller ’58 completed his term as board chair in May, Mariah and trustee Don Glascoff ’63 took on the leadership duties as interim vice chairs.

Mariah has deep roots at NMH. She is the daughter of the late Thomas Draper ’60, who served on the NMH Board of Trustees from 1977 to 1979, and the sister of Thomas Draper Jr. ’94. She and her husband, Sam Calagione ’88, are the parents of Sam Jr. ’18 and Grier ’20. Mariah and Sam have been highly engaged as NMH alumni volunteers and donors. 

Currently serving on the Head of School Search Committee, Mariah is excited to partner with the incoming head in order to lead NMH into its next successful chapter. 

Welcome to the NMH Community
Each year, parents and grandparents contribute to the NMH experience through gifts to the NMH Parents Fund. These gifts provide vital support across campus for academic programs, athletics, the arts, student cocurricular activities, faculty development, and more. 

As a community, NMH alumni, parents, employees, and students make giving back a priority. No gift is too small. Gifts from parents are a show of involvement in students’ lives, passion for education, and confidence in NMH. Everyone at the school is grateful for this generous support.

Look for more about the NMH Parents Fund throughout the year. 


Plan Now for Fall Family Days  
We are excited to welcome you back to campus for fall Family Days, Friday, Oct. 19 and Saturday, Oct. 20 (for families of juniors, Thursday evening, Oct. 18, too). A full family days schedule will be posted in future Parent Updates and the invitation and link to sign-up for conferences with teachers will be sent in several weeks.

An Important Message about Cyber Hacking
As we live in a world with reports of internet trolling and cyberhacking, should you ever receive an electronic message that appears to originate from NMH yet does not make sense or makes you wonder, please contact the NMH deans' office at 413-498-3423. Should you ever hear from your NMH student about receiving similar types of messages, urge your student to contact the NMH deans’ office. 

Advisor Connections
Within the next two weeks, all advisors will be getting in touch with families. They look forward to connecting with you and answering any questions you have. 

Jewish High Holy Days Services
For the Jewish high holy days this year, which begin with Rosh Hashanah on Sept. 9 and extend through Yom Kippur on Sept. 20, NMH alumnus Rabbi David Burstein ’85 will be on campus for services. Here is his schedule while at NMH.

Model U.N.- and Break-Trip Applications
Applications for the Model United Nations travel conferences in Qatar and Greece, and at UPenn, and for the spring-break trips to Belize and Norway, are due on Oct. 1, 2018. Please contact Jensi Rovang in the global engagement office with questions.

Calendar for Day-Student Families 
Families of NMH day students have a special day-family calendar to help plan throughout the year. If you have questions, please contact Julia Farmer.

Schedule Changes Deadline is Sept. 11
Please note that the last day for students to make schedule changes is Sept. 11.

Forget Something?
Did your student leave something important at home? Can’t they find what they need on Amazon? Good news! There is a mall trip on Sunday, Sept. 9. Students should sign up via Cris Ramirez.

See Photos of Your Student
Throughout the year, NMH photographers capture life on campus and post the images to our Flickr site. You may want to bookmark this site and check if often; you might see your student!

Parents Web Pages a Year-Round Resource
The NMH website has a whole section just for families. Bookmark the page and make it your first stop whenever you have questions. 

Upcoming Events

9/6 Summer-reading discussion for students
9/7–9/9 Closed weekend
9/8 Opening dance
9/12 Hogolympics
9/14–9/16 Closed weekend
9/23 College fair
10/19–20 Fall Family Days

A bird's eye view


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