Opening Convocation Highlights Core Beliefs
After being broadcast to homerooms in 2020 and held in Ross Lynn Arena in 2021, Opening Convocation returned to Hyde Chapel, and Headmaster Pete Sanders highlighted that return to tradition. (See photos HERE
“As we put the intrusions of the pandemic deeper in our collective rear-view mirror, let’s work further to reclaim our culture at school. To have that great school year we all seek, we have to be in touch with our core beliefs.”
Following the traditional Convocation form, Student Council President Tanner Williams ’23 led the student body in the Pledge of Allegiance and School Hymn, and Student Council Chaplain Max Painter ’23 provided the devotional.
With the newly created Community Creed logo projected over his shoulder, Sanders welcomed 123 new students and nine new faculty and staff members. He then introduced four seniors to speak on the Community Creed, principles codified by students in 2001 that “define and unify our community.”
Kyan Ramsay ’23 opened the remarks speaking on scholarship and accountability, which he demonstrated through a story about being stranded in Downtown Memphis where he learned something about himself and the world around him. Ramsay urged his classmates to broaden their horizons outside of the classroom. “As we start this new school year, filled with lessons, lectures, and learning on the horizon, remember that scholarship means you have the power to dictate the terms of your own learning, so pursue your passions and take initiative today.”
John Lee ’23 described how service and leadership can go hand in hand. Having served in the Civic Service Organization since eighth grade, he said getting involved in service teaches valuable lessons that cannot be learned in the classroom. Volunteering in a variety of projects taught Lee how to interact with people from different backgrounds and to avoid judgement of others. “By working for a community, we also learn other valuable life skills, like problem solving, being a leader, and being part of a team.”
Varun Krishnamurthi ’23 spoke about respect and humility, principles that make us better people and better community members, he said. Demonstrating respect for the faculty, he thanked them for providing opportunities for learning and growth. He described how working in CSO food distributions taught lessons in these two values. “I was shocked at how long the line of people that needed food was, and I thought of how hard it must be for someone who doesn’t have a regular supply of food.” He concluded with a quote from 19th century philosopher Henri Frédéric Amiel: “There is no respect for others without humility in one’s self.”
Lewis Butler ’23 said the mission to uphold truth and honor in the student body is a special one. “This year will be my sixth year serving on the Honor Council, and I have found, for the most part, the students do care to remain true to the principles of truth and honor. Over the years, I have bought in and believed not only in the Honor Code but in the Community Creed, and I ask for you to do the same for yourself and for the school.” Butler said he believes that it’s a student’s responsibility to abide by the tenets of the Community Creed and Honor Code. “Each and every one of us can be a positive representative of our school.”
Before administering the community-wide Honor Code Pledge, Sanders said, “At MUS we entrust students to maintain the Honor Code and to adjudicate matters involving alleged violations of the code. But in a greater sense, all of us, students and faculty, are stewards and custodians of the Honor Code.”
Following the pledge, Honor Council President Carter Campbell ’23 said, “One thing you’ll learn very quickly through your time at MUS is that the Honor Code is at the center of how this school runs.” He went on to call a representative from each grade to the stage to sign the Honor Book. The book will be distributed in homerooms for each student and faculty member to sign.
After some directions for the day from Assistant Headmaster Barry Ray, the 2022-23 school year began.