These are remarks given by Mark '20, Landon's student council president, at the school's opening ceremony known as Convocation.
Good morning. I hope everyone had a great summer. I too want to start out by welcoming all of you to campus, especially those of you who are new to Landon. You have just joined an amazing community, one that you will be a part of long after you leave the white rocks. For those of us who are returning, let’s each do our part to make sure our newest classmates have a home at Landon. I am very excited about this year, and I know that I speak for the entire class of 2020 when I say that we are fully committed to celebrating and strengthening this brotherhood.
Brotherhood. That’s a word I have heard mentioned often since 3rd grade, but up until recently, I don’t think I truly understood it. I used to think it simply meant that you make a number of really good friends during your time here. And while it is certainly true that we do develop close friendships at Landon, I now realize that brotherhood is not just about your closest friends, but about looking out for and supporting all of your fellow Bears, whether you hang out with them outside of school or not. We care for and trust each other, and we also hold each other accountable. That last part can certainly be difficult, but it is necessary. We are called upon to help our classmates make good decisions, not because it is always easy, but because it is right.
Another key part of the Landon experience is the opportunity to truly get to know the faculty. I greatly value the relationships I have built with my teachers and coaches in all three divisions. To me, there is something uniquely Landon about a senior going down to the middle school to visit his former teacher for no other reason than to gripe about Bryce Harper or to ask about a new Spanish restaurant. These relationships truly are part of what makes Landon such a special place to go to school. So, ask Mr. Micciche for help on that math problem, or poetry assignment, bring in a timely political cartoon to put on Mr. JR Bordley’s bulletin board, or, if you have a minute, or two, or three, talk to Mr. Sorkin about just about anything.
In addition to engaging with our amazing faculty, there are just so many different activities to get involved with at Landon. Whether you’re a three-sport athlete or a two-instrument musician, there is a place for you to pursue your passion, whatever it may be. This year, let’s join in celebrating the many different interests and talents that define this community, because each Bear brings something unique to the school.
It is in this spirit of brotherhood and community that the senior class has chosen “HONOR THE DEN” as its motto for the year. In the coming months, let’s “HONOR THE DEN” by living Landon’s core values, celebrating individuality, supporting the community, and ensuring that all have a home here. This means that we are acting honorably and respectfully on and off campus, achieving record attendance at games, musicals, and concerts, and making sure every Bear is involved with the community. As Landon students, we are responsible for maintaining and building upon what generations of Bears have already created. It is up to us to ensure that this, admittedly spacious, 75-acre den, continues to be a place where time-honored traditions are valued and lifelong friendships are forged.
To my fellow seniors, we’ve finally made it. While we will surely not be the largest senior class in school history, what we may lack in numbers we make up for with a wide array of personalities and abilities. We don’t take ourselves too seriously, we genuinely enjoy being around each other, and most importantly, we love Landon and everything it represents.
In closing, I’m looking forward to a fantastic year ahead. Whether you are playing in the Shrimp Bowl, giving your “This I Believe” speech, or writing that Humanities paper, give it everything you have. Our time in the den only lasts so long, so let’s honor it while we’re here. Thank you, and Go Bears!