April 1, 2022
Last week, I had the great pleasure of welcoming parents of alumni to our Parents of Alumni Association Kick-off event. Over the years we have heard from parents– some of whom had spent countless hours serving Buc Pizza, volunteering at the Olympics, BASH, or the library– how they felt a void as soon as their child graduated from Benjamin.
In conjunction with the alumni office, this group will plan and host several events each year including networking events, a Lifelong Learning Series, volunteer opportunities, and more.
One of my favorite parts of welcoming this group of parents to the Kick-Off was sharing how Benjamin is changing and growing while maintaining the ethos passed on from Nancy and Marshall Benjamin more than 60 years ago. We currently have an enrollment of more than 1200 students with 200 faculty and support staff. That is a bit bigger than the Benjamin many of these parents remembered, but that increase has allowed us to offer even more programming for our students.
Ten years ago, we didn’t have a robotics team, but now we have one headed to the world championship. One year ago, we didn’t have beach volleyball courts; now we have a team dominating the competition. With top notch facilities like Benjamin Hall and our STEM Center, we have kept our students moving forward by offering the best facilities for their engagement. But, the pond still remains on the Lower School, as does the bell and the beautiful banyan trees in our quad.
It was fantastic to catch up with the group of parents - some who had children graduate in the 1980’s and others whose kids are still in their freshman year of school. This particular group is one who has seen the proverbial “proof in the pudding” as their sons and daughters have taken the lessons learned at TBS and forged their paths in the world. They know the value of challenging students individually while also providing support and encouragement necessary for success. And many of them look back on their days as a TBS parent and recall a memory where their child had a struggle, persevered with the help of a teacher advocate, and emerged with that feeling of gratification you get when you work hard.
Over the years, we have taken what is best about a TBS education and made it stronger, pushed it forward with thoughtful reflection and made improvements for the next generation. I look forward to continuing to share the Benjamin experience with our parents of alumni, for they truly are Buccaneers for life.