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The Start Line for the 2023-2024 School Year

Convocation Kicks off the School Year for the Second Year in a Row


Photo by Leah Song/Maclay Andalusian


The tradition of convocation at Maclay has returned once more to kick off the 2023-2024 school year. On Friday, Aug. 11, 2023 the event showcased some of Maclay’s finest traditions: seniors holding hands with first graders as they took their seats, musical performances by Maclay students and the annual ringing of the bell to start off the schooler year.


Convocation is defined as the start of something, and in this case, it is the start of the 55th year of Maclay School. Convocation is one of Maclays most heartfelt traditions and is held very dear to  faculty and students' hearts. 


“For the upper school it means getting us all together as one body and officially starting the school year,” Head of Upper School Charles Beamer said.


Convocation doesn’t only have faculty speakers, but also student leaders. The student council co-presidents, seniors Brinkley Snow and Venkat Madipotti, as well as senior class president, Copeland Frazee gave speeches to the senior class.


“Convocation means a lot and I think shows how we [the students] have done a great job unifying the school and coming together as ‘One School, One Community’ that the people of Maclay talk about,” Snow said. 


Maclay has always been set on bringing the school together as one community or “family” and with convocation coming back once more, Maclay is able to fulfill that goal. 


“Convocation makes the community stronger every year,” Madipotti said. “The feeling of togetherness is very comforting.” 


To “ring in” the school year and signal the end of Convocation, the annual ringing of the bells is done by the current longest serving faculty member, Jennifer Corzine. The ringing of the bell symbolizes the start of the school year because 55 years ago, that same bell was used to bring in the first class of Maclay students to kick off their school day.  


“I think it is very important to be able to recognize the longest serving faculty member that we have here on campus,” Beamer said. “I think it shows the students how dedicated their teachers are to be here and to them.”


After a break from COVID-19 in 2020-2021 convocation returned to Maclay for the 11th year and was able to start off the 55th year of Maclay school and the Maclay community. The response of its return last year made for another successful convocation this year.

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