By Katherine LeBlanc '18
On Tuesday, September 5th, Marianapolis held its annual Opening of School Convocation, signifying the official start of the school year. The ceremony began with international students carrying in flags of their respective home countries. This school year, MPrep has 400 students with 25 countries represented. As the Convocation continued, it featured student speakers, a talk from Mr. Dan Atwood, Chairman of the Board, and an Opening of School Welcome from Head of School, Mr. Hanrahan.
After a blessing from Father Tim Roth, MIC, speeches from Student Leaders Justin Quinones ’18, Jordan Desaulnier ‘18, and Rahmat Obanikoro ‘19 commenced. Each speech highlighted the diversity represented in the Marianapolis community, as well as the opportunities each of the leaders has received during their time here thus far. Jordan Desaulnier highlighted MPrep in her speech by saying, “I’ve come to realize that this place is more than just a school. It is a home… a safe haven.”
As the students finished their reflections, Mr. Dan Atwood greeted the school with an introduction to the upcoming academic year. He spoke of movies that inspired him to strive for better, encouraging each and every student to do the same.
Head of School, Mr. Hanrahan, began his Opening of School remarks by offering prayers for those affected by Hurricane Harvey, as well as those in the path of Hurricane Irma. As he continued, he introduced the theme of the 2017-18 school year, compassion. He shared a brief anecdote about a man who received help from two strangers in a time of suffering. “To relieve someone’s pain and suffering without knowing them or their plight is truly special,” he said. Mr. Hanrahan encouraged the audience to show compassion for one another this school year, as it drives the community and individuals to a sense of unity and oneness.
The Convocation finished with a recessional hymn of “Let There Be Peace On Earth” as the students and faculty exited the chapel.