By Mackenzie Jutras '22
On Tuesday, September 3, the Marianapolis community joined together for our annual Opening of School Convocation, where both Mr. Dan Atwood, Chairman of the Board, and Head of School Mr. Joe Hanrahan gave memorable talks. Introducing the theme of this school year, “Planet Earth,” they both emphasized how we all need to work together in order to make our hopes of change a reality.
Mr. Atwood talked to the students about the world we live in, and named some of the most beautiful places that we get to see every day, and how lucky we are because of it. He said, “Beyond the majesty of these big, beautiful places in the world, also think about the complexity and the beauty in the relatively little things which we experience in our day-to-day lives. Awesome things about this natural world we can live in.” He also said, “As of now, the Earth is the only place that we know life exists. It is priceless, it is fragile, and we have a duty to protect it.”
Mr. Hanrahan then came up to the front of the altar and declared a round of applause for Mr. Atwood’s well-deserving speech. He then proceeded to talk about our Planet Earth, Togetherness theme, and putting aside our differences to make a positive change in the world. He asked, “Can we find common ground? Is it possible that our community, that Marianapolis, no matter your political beliefs, can we find common ground?” He continued by saying that the Marianapolis community does have common ground - the Earth and the desire to protect it. He ended his speech by giving the community a challenge: by April 22 of this upcoming year, which will be the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, we should all look back on the year, and see what we have done to improve our existence, and the quality of our existence on this planet. And we do this, he said, by working together, both collaboratively and creatively.
So far this year we have already seen an abundance of change going on around the school. Members of the student-run campus club the “Green Knights” talked to the school about the importance of the smaller changes, and gave students ideas on how to do small things every day to help the environment. They discussed things such as cutting down on plastic bottle usage, bringing reusable bottles to school and cutting down on food waste. Among some of the many steps being taken already this year to make a change in our environment is the rain garden students worked together to plant on campus. Though the year has just begun, the Marianapolis community is already engulfed in helping to save the Earth, and we all excitedly await more opportunities to do so.