CA students, faculty, and staff enter the Chapel for the 2022–23 Convocation ceremony.

On the morning of August 29, the Elizabeth B. Hall Chapel was filled with a new kind of energy. Concord Academy’s 402 students, along with faculty and staff, gathered to begin the school’s 100th academic year—and to begin CA’s second century together. 

From the podium, Henry Fairfax opened his first day as CA’s 11th head of school by asking the community to pause quietly to reflect on the moment. Calling Concord Academy “100 years young,” he celebrated the school’s culture of collaboration and teamwork, and most of all its people. Looking ahead, he said, “I see unlimited hope and capacity.”

Fay Lampert Shutzer ’65, president of the Board of Trustees, welcomed 110 new students and 10 new faculty and staff members to the 2022–23 school year. She recalled the first day she arrived as a boarding student at Concord Academy, in 1962, and how she met her two roommates, one of whom was the passionate captain of the marching team. Though athletics have changed a great deal since her time, Shutzer emphasized the continuity of CA’s identity as school united in respect for individuals from many backgrounds. As she said, “We stand together and support each other.”

Head of School Henry Fairfax welcomes the CA campus community.
Grant Hightower delivers the 2022 Convocation address.

Student Head of School Jay Talwar ’23 gave a welcome speech in witty rhyme before expressing his hopes that the student body would experience gratitude this year for “compassionate peers” and “such a welcoming community.” He advised all assembled, in the words of Mahatma Gandhi, to “be the change you wish to see in the world.”

Grant Hightower P’26, interim dean of students and the 2022–23 Convocation speaker, then gave his remarks. In a heartfelt and poetic address, he spoke of his unexpected journey to CA, his faith in CA’s guiding principle of common trust, and the feeling of arriving home. He urged every member of the CA community to bring their whole selves into the community this year—their “truest self, not the facade or the mask, but the deeply beautiful, weird, uncouth, and courageous selves you’ve been suppressing,” he said. For, he added, “the journey you are embarking on requires the best pieces of you, not just the ones you wish for others to see.”

After the ceremony concluded, students met with their advisors before heading off to their first day of classes and athletic team tryouts. With great energy, the morning of many firsts launched CA into its Centennial year.

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