Headmaster Bill Taylor visits China

Early in the new year, I traveled to China to visit with some of our parents and alumni. I was there before the Coronavirus reached its epidemic stage (and was not in the Hubei Province). This was my fourth trip to China, and I am always struck by the magnitude of everything that I see. The cities are large; the airports are large; the train stations are large, and the amount of food at dinner is usually large!

What is also abundantly large in China is the generosity and graciousness of the people with whom we meet, particularly the parents of our current and former students. From the moment we arrive until the time that we leave, we are treated with kindness and care from everyone we meet. I am always humbled and honored to meet with our current parents in the cities of China. I am grateful to be able to tell them that, on behalf of the faculty at Trinity-Pawling, we are honored by the faith that they have given to the School. In many cases, their son is their only child. They are proud their son attends Trinity-Pawling and, like all parents, have dreams and aspirations for his future. As is the case with all parents, I honor the faith and trust that is bestowed upon the School and never take it lightly.

When the Coronavirus began to spread throughout China and, later, in other parts of Asia and the world, our international students were understandably shaken. Even before travel restrictions began to be imposed, particularly to and from China, many of our Chinese students had begun to confront the reality that they would not be traveling home in March. They were beginning to comprehend that they would not be returning to their homes and many of them would not see their parents until the summer.

As the depth of this health crisis began to manifest itself in China, the School began exploring options for our Asian students who would be unable to travel home in March. We have provided families with contact information of organizations that offer multiple excursions during the three-week vacation. Other families have also offered to host boys for part of the vacation.

Furthermore, the School has made the commitment to remain open for the vacation for boys who are unable to return home due to this health crisis in China. The School will provide a supervised environment and a host of appealing social and culinary options for those who decide to stay on campus. Currently, I anticipate we will have at least 20 boys on campus during this vacation.

The School is committed to making this unplanned time on campus to be as positive as possible for the boys who will be here. While these students will certainly be disappointed about not being able to return home, it is our goal that they will experience the largesse of this community’s kindness and generosity during a time of need.

by William W. Taylor