Headmaster Bill Taylor and Board President Erik Olstein

To the Class of 2021 — Thank you!

I have to be honest with you, part of my mind always envisioned this day: the end of a successful year battling this pandemic and reaching the ultimate reward — the in-person graduation of your class. If you cannot envision something that you want to achieve, you will never achieve it.

Yet, I also had another vision that forced its way into my head in times of worry and distress, particularly last summer. In this vision, there were outbreaks of the virus, the health of the community was seriously compromised, and the School would be forced to retreat from its plan of attack.

The battle plan for this campaign was to appeal to the strengths of this School — its community. Specifically, we would build a fortress for the common good and we would create strategies to protect this common good so that we might be able to make it through to this day.

What was immediately clear from the formation of these plans is that they all would require sacrifice and discipline if they were going to be successful. And, they would require leadership from you, the senior class. And, you led. None of this was easy, but there was very little complaining. So, thank you.

We asked you to reach a high bar of compliance. And, while you didn’t always get there, you understood why the bar was there and you adjusted when asked to do so. We couldn’t ask for anything more. But, if the senior class did not understand the reasons for this bar to be high and if the senior class did not adjust and adapt, then the entire plan would have failed. You stepped up to this challenge and we are here as a result. So, I thank you for your leadership and your sacrifice for the common good of your class and your school.

Now, I challenge you to continue this leadership. Whether you have been here for six years, four years, or one year, your Trinity-Pawling experience will be marked by your role during this year, your participation in pushing back against this pandemic so we could make it to this day. You will have this in common with your brothers from the Class of 2020. Unfortunately, their role in this undertaking involved a different type of sacrifice, particularly because they did not get this day. But, we would not be here if it were not for the leadership of both of these classes.

Continue this leadership as alumni. The School needs your leadership; it needs your courage; and, it needs your commitment. The Brotherhood doesn’t end on this day, it just takes a different form that can, if you want it to, last a lifetime. I hope that you stay connected with one another and with this place, because it will continue to shape your life in good and meaningful ways if you allow it to happen.