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Lifelong connections

Submitted by sgrainger on

One of the special aspects about Trinity College School is that graduation is not a finish line. To be more specific, a student’s association with TCS does not end on Speech Day. Our school attempts to stay in touch with our graduates, thousands of alumni keep ties to the School, and our graduates stay in touch with one another. (If you have any doubt, pick up a copy of The TCS News, to read the many pages of Class Notes submitted by alumni, sharing some of their most important moments in life with the School.)

I certainly (and hopefully) regard my connection with kids at TCS as a lifetime commitment. And, I truly enjoy hearing about the evolution of our grads’ lives as they make their way through adulthood.

A downside, however, of knowing so many alumni over such a long period of time is that you are frequently reminded that life is not forever. It is particularly painful when someone we know passes before they have had the opportunity to have lived a full life. And, while we know we may lose former classmates, family and friends as they reach 80 or 90+ years, it is still so terribly difficult for family. And, so hard for friends, too.

Of course, every year, the school community loses a number of alumni. Most recently, three alum, who adored their beloved TCS and stayed tightly connected to the School long after they had graduated, passed away: Michael Burns ’56, Tony Prower ’46 and, last Saturday, John Gilbert ’56. [Please read about Michel and Tony in your copy of the soon-to-be-delivered edition of The TCS News magazine and see my thoughts on John in my recent blog post.]

It is often said that education has the power to transform lives. A TCS education has proven this to be the case. Our school is also testament to the fact that, so very often, relationships are formed and fostered that result in graduates remaining a part of each other’s life for their entire life! The alumni and the School are both the beneficiaries of these relationships. We are both stronger for our connection.

I miss Tony, Michael, and I am only now coming to terms with losing my good friend, John. Their individual contributions to the School (whether through teaching and coaching, governance, scholarships provision and/or enhanced facilities) have had, and will continue to have, an enormous impact on generations of TCS students. I also take comfort in knowing that the School provided a great deal of pride and connection for them over many decades.

And, I count myself very fortunate that I could call them friends in addition to TCS alumni.