Heather McGhee ’97 Named 2022 Graduation Speaker
This year’s Graduation speaker is Heather C. McGhee ’97. She is an author and public policy advocate who designs and promotes solutions to inequality in America. For nearly two decades, she helped build the policy organization Demos, serving four years as its president.
McGhee’s New York Times bestselling book, The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together, was long-listed for the National Book Award and the Carnegie Medal for Excellence.
She holds a B.A. in American Studies from Yale University, a J.D. from University of California at Berkeley School of Law, and has been awarded several honorary degrees. McGhee lives in Brooklyn with her husband, whom she met in Class III at Milton, and their three year-old son.
Graduation will be held the morning of June 10.
50th Alumni War Memorial Lecture
This year’s Alumni War Memorial Lecture will be delivered by Benjamin Crump, Esq., on Monday, May 16.
Listed amongst the Most Influential People of 2021 by TIME100, Ebony Magazine’s Power 100 Most Influential African Americans, The National Trial Lawyers Top 100 Lawyers, and named the 2014 NNPA Newsmaker of the Year, renowned civil rights and personal-injury attorney Benjamin Crump is often referred to as “Black America’s Attorney General.” Through his steadfast dedication to justice and service, Crump has established himself as one of the nation’s foremost lawyers and advocates for social justice, winning a number of record settlements and verdicts for victims and families that have faced injustice. He has worked on some of the most high-profile cases in the U.S., representing the families of Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, the residents of Flint, Michigan, who were affected by the poisoned water of the Flint River, as well as the family of Henrietta Lacks in a landmark reparations case.
New Director of the Mountain School
Alex Myers has been named next director of the Mountain School of Milton Academy, effective July 1. The following is a message from Head of School Todd Bland announcing Myers’ appointment to the Milton community.
I am excited to announce Alex Myers as the next director of the Mountain School of Milton Academy, effective July 1, 2022. A thoughtful search committee of faculty, staff, advisory board members and graduates of the Mountain School and Milton worked tirelessly throughout the school year to evaluate candidates from a broad national search. I have accepted the committee’s unanimous recommendation and am thrilled that Alex has chosen to join the Mountain School.
Alex is an English teacher, writer, and educator of students and adults. He has worked in high schools for 19 years, spending three years at the Community Schools of Naples, Florida, seven years at St. George’s School in Middletown, Rhode Island, and seven years at Phillips Exeter Academy. Alex currently serves as an English teacher, co-director for the center of teaching and learning, dorm head, and assembly program coordinator. At other points in his career, Alex has served as a writing center director and dorm parent while serving on numerous academic and other committees in educational settings.
Chicago Comes to King Theatre
The magic of musicals returns to King Theatre this month with a production of Chicago, Milton’s first live musical since the fall of 2018.
Director and Performing Arts Department faculty member Eleza Kort said the show—a satire of sensationalized crime in 1920s Chicago—was chosen for its spectacle and potential for escapism.
“We wanted to do something big, something fun, something with amazing music and cool and interesting dancing, and something with an intriguing plot,” she said. “I wanted a show with a little darkness, but that’s not too dark. We wanted to invite people back to the theater with something that will razzle-dazzle them.”
Milton Hosts the Special Olympics
Following a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic, the Special Olympics is finally back in-person and on-campus this spring. On Sunday, May 15, Community Engagement Programs and Partnerships (CEPP) will once again host the Special Olympics Track and Field event on Stokinger Field—bringing together 300 athletes from teams around the greater-Boston area to compete in running and throwing events. Milton’s student volunteers help escort athletes, time races, measure throws, and give out awards. The Milton Police and Fire Departments join in with their color guard for the opening ceremony beginning at 9 a.m. All are welcome to visit campus and watch this inspiring event.
Class I Students Start Senior Projects
The Senior Project period launched April 28, as members of the Class of 2022 embarked on internships, design-your-own (DYO) projects in various academic fields, explorations and hiking, and plans to create art and develop performances for the community.
In addition, faculty members are offering seniors the option of a Senior Seminar, where students attend sessions on campus and complete independent work on an array of subjects, said Academic Dean Heather Sugrue.
“The students are excited because it gives them more options,” she said. “And the faculty offering the seminars are excited because it’s an opportunity to focus on a particular area of interest, and the students are opting in.”
Science DYO Projects on Display in Pritzker
Students in advanced science classes last month presented their design-your-own projects as the Science Symposium returned to the Pritzker Science Center.
Projects ranged from investigations into the physics behind musical instruments, to the effect of building materials on heat retention in an area, to genetic factors that may affect sleep patterns.
“It was fantastic,” said Michael Edgar, acting chair of the Science Department. “Having students talk about their work—not in a formal presentation but to answer questions and have conversations about it—is what the symposium is all about.”
Students Elect New Head Monitors
Victor Chen ’23 and Robin Storey ’23 will lead the school’s Self-Governing Association (SGA) in the 2022–23 school year after being elected head monitors by the student body.
Chen and Storey take over from Emma Tung ’22 and Jack Burton ’22 who served as co-head monitors this year.
Meet Visual Arts Faculty Member Molly Swain
From an early age, Visual Arts teacher Molly Swain loved “everything artistic and everything athletic,” so it’s fitting she grew up to teach art and coach sports.
“If you asked my kindergarten teacher what I would be doing right now, they would name those two things as their expectations,” she said. “I felt a natural path toward teaching, and coaching felt like a natural combination with teaching.”
Knowing that she didn’t want to sacrifice either her love for art or sports, working in schools made sense. She grew up in Cambridge, where her mother’s job in architecture and her father’s basement workshop meant that art supplies were abundant in her house, and she “always felt affirmed” as being a talented artist.
While Swain was working toward her undergraduate degree in painting and sculpture, she always planned to receive her master’s in art education. She came to Milton as an assistant coach for the girls’ lacrosse program in 2013, then returned in the fall as head coach and a teacher in the Visual Arts Department. “I’ve pretty much dramatically changed my role every year,” she jokes.
Milton Speech and Debate Competitors Shine at State Championship
The speech and debate teams celebrated recent accolades at the Massachusetts Speech and Debate League’s (MSDL) State Championship, including a senior being named a speech state champion and a recognition for the overall speech team.
Talia Sherman ’22 captured the state championship in Dramatic Performance while the team received a third-place sweepstakes award, which measures the team’s overall success in comparison with other schools. Jack Burton ’22 was recognized for his creation and leadership of the MSDL Student Board, and was invited to give a speech, in which he acknowledged the league’s coaches for their work throughout the past two years of online competition.
In debate, four students competed in the category of Novice Public Forum and were highly successful, advancing into the elimination rounds as quarter- and semi-finalists.
Parents’ Association News
Dear Upper School Parents:
Thank you so much for all of your generosity and support throughout the school year and during USPA meetings and events. We are most grateful for your time, attendance, and questions at meetings.
Your extraordinary generosity allowed us to host a spectacular Faculty and Staff Appreciation Day celebration on Wednesday, April 20. Thanks to your generous donations, we held a truly amazing raffle with incredible prize packages for Milton faculty and staff. We were able to offer over 60 prizes, which implies 60 winners! Members of the faculty and staff won two MacBook Pros, an iPad, an Apple watch, tickets to the Celtics (play-off game 5), Bruins tickets, Red Sox tickets, Elton John, Alicia Keys, and Wicked tickets, many generous restaurant gift cards, shopping gift cards from Nike, Apple, Barnes and Nobles, Dick’s Sporting Goods and more, vacation getaways, wonderful service gift certificates, and so much more. The faculty and staff were so excited and grateful! Thank you for making this celebration and raffle truly amazing!
The following are the remaining meetings and events this year:
- Tuesday, May 17, at 7 p.m. Rod Skinner will present, followed by our last board meeting at 8 p.m.
- Thursday, May 24, at 8 p.m. is our last USPA meeting this school year with David Ball and Todd Bland.
We are still seeking USPA volunteers for the 2022–2023 school year. If you are interested, kindly reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org
Many thanks and have a safe, restful, and relaxing spring and summer.
Teena Kamal, USPA President
This year’s graduation ceremony will be held on the lawn in front of Robert Saltonstall Gymnasium on Friday, June 10, at 9:30 a.m, rain or shine. Graduates should arrive at 8 a.m. A live stream of the event will be linked from Milton’s homepage on the morning of the ceremony. The formal graduation procession begins at Straus Library. A bagpiper then leads the faculty and seniors in a march to their seats. This year’s commencement speaker is author and public policy advocate, Heather C. McGhee ‘97.
Guests will not be permitted to leave their seats to take photos. A professional photographer will take pictures of each graduating senior. You will receive proofs over the summer, at which time you can decide whether or not to order copies. You are under no obligation to make a purchase.
Parking and traffic
We will make special arrangements for parking and traffic for graduation. All parking will take place on Upton Field and in the Junior Building parking lot. Our staff, with assistance from the Milton police, will direct you. There will be golf cart transport from Upton field for those who need assistance. Please do not park on Voses Lane, Randolph Avenue, or Centre Street.
Because of the number of people on campus, Academy Road, which runs in front of the Robert Saltonstall Gym and the main campus dormitories, will be closed from 9:30 p.m. on Thursday until about 1:45 p.m. on Friday. Parents who wish to load belongings from dorm rooms during these times should use the access road behind the dormitories.
Handicapped and elderly access
If a member of your party needs to be dropped off close to the ceremony site or requires handicapped access, please communicate with a campus safety officer upon your arrival to campus on the morning of graduation and he or she will make appropriate arrangements. Please remember that no cars will be allowed down past the ceremony site after 9:00 a.m.
We have entered the season of celebrations. Each year we ask families to stand firm in discouraging risky behaviors, including the use of alcohol and drugs, that jeopardize the well-being of those we celebrate. Please comply with all laws regarding substances and with all guidelines for social gatherings.
In the Final Stretch
Milton’s athletes are finishing the season strong with three more weeks of competition ahead. Come out and support our mustangs in their final games of the year. To view a listing of this season’s remaining athletic contests, visit the online athletics calendar.
Students in Shane Fuller’s filmmaking class were given three random words as inspiration to create an original “flash film.” With his three words—aqua, despair, and throw—Luke Witkowski ’24 created and directed this project, “The Struggle.” To view more student filmmaking work, click here or join us in King Theatre on Friday, May 13 at the annual Film Festival event.
Dance Concert 2022
About 70 students performed on the King Theatre stage in this year’s Dance Concert. The show featured dance styles from all over the world, including hip hop, African, Indian, Irish step, Chinese fan dancing, and modern dance. Enjoy this three-minute montage of the performance.
Paying It Forward
The Nesto Gallery opened its doors on April 28 to a new exhibit featuring works by Milton alumni who have returned to the classroom to teach. Paying It Forward includes the artwork of Te Palandjian ’17, Julia von Mentzsch-Ramos ’03, Emilie Stark-Menneg ’02, Nicole Darling ’97, Sarah Sze ’87, and Ian Torney ’82. The Nesto Gallery is free and open to the public from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekdays. Visit the Gallery on the lower level of the Art and Media Center now through the end of the year to view this show in-person, or click here to view some of the work on display.
Ripcord by David Lindsay-Abaire
Actors took to the stage in Kellner’s Black Box for this spring’s 1212 Play, Ripcord, by Milton alumnus David Lindsay-Abaire ’88. View more photos of the performance.
A lively, night-long moveable feast, Arts Night showcases the many artistic talents at Milton as students share the diversity of their work with audiences in the Kellner Performing Arts Center.
View photos of the night’s performances.
Giving Day 2022
Giving Day was an extraordinary success this year. On April 12, a record 1,174 members of the Milton community from every corner of the globe came together and made gifts totaling more than $1.65 million—another record—in support of Financial Aid; the Student Experience; Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice; and so much more. Current parents made significant contributions, with 282 parent donors far exceeding the 150-donor participation goal. Students also rose to the Giving Day Challenge, with 202 Upper School students giving to Milton, and Class I students meeting their Senior Gift Challenge goals for the school year. The message was clear: Our community is strong, proud, and invested in the future of Milton Academy. Thank you for supporting all of the “Milton minutes” that make your child’s education at Milton exceptional. Click here for a message from Head of School Todd Bland and to see the full impact of our community’s generosity.
THE POWER OF IMAGINATION
At the heart of Milton’s mission is its commitment to nurturing every student’s curiosity about the world and the endless possibilities for growth and change. In this issue, we feature some of the thinkers, artists, and scientists among us who’ve never stopped imagining, bringing new ideas and perspectives into a complex world. Visit miltonmagazine.org or view the print version here.