First Words from Head of School Dan Scheibe
Visions, Dreams That Still Will Go The first and last moments of a school year are often accompanied by certain melodies and harmonies: in our case, the tune and tone of our “Elm Tree Shaded Hillside.” The closing, less-often-cited-and-sung Dan Scheibe verse of the school song is appropriately outward-looking. Conjuring the “portals facing westward,” the lines inspire us to look deeply into imagination and possibility. Likewise, the strategic orientation of Lawrence Academy today must be a blend of both wisdom and aspiration, simultaneously connecting and advancing as we consider our horizons. The institutional and individual “dreams that still will go where so e‘er life takes us” are indeed grounded and transcending. What moves and drives us most deeply as individuals should also be reflected in the school’s priorities and progress, identity and mission forever converging. In that spirit, it is simultaneously captivating and energizing to read in Joe Sheppard’s article in this journal of the transformations
of scale, gravitational center, style, and landscape on the Lawrence Academy campus over the last 60 years. If one widens the focus to the 225 years we have been graduating students from this hillside, the theme becomes even more intriguing. Including the prospects generated by the recent acquisition of the Country Day School property (and intimations of views 60 and 225 years in the future), the vista becomes downright beguiling. It all needs a center. While the daily life of school might still be played out in the confined, diffused spaces of classrooms, dorm rooms, halls, and courts, when I think of both the present and the future identity of Lawrence Academy, I imagine a more particular view. Specifically, my mind’s eyes and ears key in to the human scale of activity on the Quad. Actually, I don’t need to use my imagination that strenuously: The Quad enacts its dramas and dynamics outside my office window every day; it’s premium seating for Spoon Hunt in the fall. Sprinting students aside, when I connect myself to the Quad, the core feeling I have is a sense of settled vitality in the midst of this educational enterprise. Quieted of traffic, populated by new generations of faculty and students en route to manifold expressions of teaching and learning around campus, the Quad is a place of human-scaled transit and repose — both purposeful and playful. On a beautiful morning
Lawrence Academy's annual alumni magazine.