Convocation Kicks Off Tilton’s 177th Academic Year

By: Meg Smith

Tilton School officially kicked off its 177th academic year with Convocation on Friday, September 2 in the Fred A. Smart Chapel. Students made the traditional procession across campus, proudly displaying their class year banners as parents and friends lined their path to welcome and celebrate the start of another year on the Hill.

The event brought together the Tilton community, old and new, to reflect and contemplate what it means to be “Forever Tilton True.” These words, seen most frequently in the closing line of the school’s alma mater, have been given new life at the outset of the 2022-23 school year. In the words of Tilton’s Head of School, Kate Saunders, “We don’t have to be perfect, but we do need to be true. True in our work together, and true to the mission we serve.” 

Guest speaker Rick Johnson, current Head of School at the Beech Hill School in Hopkinton, NH and former Dean of Students at Tilton, expanded on this question of truth in his speech to students and faculty. As he recalled his days of living on the Hill, he reflected on moments where choosing to be true made the difference in how he interacted with others in his role as Dean. “I encourage you to trust your community, and bring forward your authentic and true self,” he explains. “It can feel uncomfortable, but it is worth it every time.” Johnson spent seven years as Dean of Students, and spoke candidly of his own experiences in becoming Tilton True.

Before long-time English faculty member Michael Landroche led the community in singing the Tilton alma mater, he left Tilton students with a challenge for the 2022-23 academic year: “I challenge you to find your place, where you can be, where you can remind yourself everyday, to be Forever Tilton True.”