Le Trimestre est Presque Terminé

In a symbolic moment of unity, Seniors gathered for one of many traditions they will take part in this year. On Friday, September 7, members of the graduating class convened in the dining hall and Chapel for a night of speeches and conversations to begin their last year as Hotchkiss students.

At the Senior Dinner, students were seated at assigned tables with peers and faculty members. This seating arrangement prompted students to engage in conversations with faculty whose classes they had never taken as well as classmates with whom they had rarely spoken. Dajung Lim ’19 said, “My table had an amazing energy. We bonded over topics from the classes we take to the surprisingly large number of twins in the school.”

Mr. Marc Dittmer, dean of the class of 2019, opened the dinner by introducing the class’s new students as well as noting those participating in exchange programs this academic year. In his speech, Mr. Dittmer encouraged the Seniors to step into the year with optimism and strength of character, using the acronym “IIUPIERC,” derived from the Hotchkiss School mission statement values of “imagination and intellect, openness and personal integrity, empathy and responsible citizenship.”

Even though it is bittersweet to watch the Seniors graduate, they are all growing intellectually as young adults.

— Mr. Marc Dittmer

Mr. Dittmer is currently serving his last year as a class dean. Reflecting on the graduating class’ physical and emotional growth since its Prep year, Mr. Dittmer said, “Even though it is bittersweet to watch the Seniors graduate, they are all growing intellectually as young adults. It’s the kind of growth that we hope, as a school, our students will experience.”

As the Seniors moved into Chapel for speeches from Mr. Craig Bradley, head of school, and Katya Giffenig ’19 and Souleman Toure ’19, Senior class presidents, they received customized class shirts provided by the Alumni Association. Mr. Bradley instructed the Seniors to be mindful of the limited time they have left at the school, leaving them with the French words he once received at the start of a study abroad program: “Le trimestre est presque terminé,” Mr. Bradley prompted the Seniors to repeat, “The term is almost finished.”