Embarkation Ceremony Welcomes 87 Students and Faculty to Gunston

Embarkation 2021

Photo by MYH Photography.

The Gunston School commenced its 111th year (and 25th anniversary of becoming a day school) on Friday, September 10, with the annual Embarkation tradition, welcoming a total of 74 new students and 13 new staff and faculty to the community by boat. After exchanging a fist bump with the Head of School, newcomers signed the school’s Honor Code, and made their way up the hill to greet fellow students and current staff and faculty. The 2021-2022 cohort included the largest 9th grade class in school history with 62 students, nine 10th graders, three 11th graders, and 13 new faculty and staff members. Parents and family members were invited to watch from the shoreline as students arrived. The event, originally scheduled for September 1, was postponed due to adverse weather conditions. 

After the Embarkation ceremony, students, faculty and staff met in the field house for the Convocation ceremony. Head of School John Lewis spoke about the true meaning of time and why Gunston, unlike other schools, has no daily “school bell.”

“Yet as I think we all know, just being able to read a clock or know the hour tells you very little about the true meaning of time. So what time is it right now? Although our phones say 9:00, that’s not really all there is. For our friends in Louisiana, there was a time before Hurricane Ida, and after. We mark a certain period of time now as “pre-pandemic.” Today is September 10th, with tomorrow being the 20th anniversary of 9/11—we call an era of American Historical Time—pre 9/11. We live in the United States, where our school calendar still mirrors the agricultural calendar. So that means it is time to start the school year. For new students, your high journey of high school is beginning—time to make new friends, to take on new challenges, to grow in ways you might never have imagined. For Seniors, it is your very brief time to lead Gunston as a very new time in your life rapidly approaches—college and adulthood. You can’t find these times on a watch, on a phone, or on my dad’s homemade digital clock.”

Click here to read Mr. Lewis's full Convocation Speech. 

Mrs. Grabis took the microphone next to explain the significance of ringing the bell:


Additional Photos from Embarkation:


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