Archer celebrates annual Founders’ Day tradition


Photo credit: Ella Frey

Interim Upper School Director Gretchen Warner hands Omari Benjamin ’18 a celebratory rose. The seniors will graduate in May 2018.

Blazers, class pins and white roses adorned seniors’ uniforms as community members celebrated Founders’ Day on Nov. 8 in the courtyard. The ceremony is a tradition that honors the school’s founders, Megan Callaway, Diana Meehan and Vicky Shorr, but the event also recognizes the senior class that is graduating in May.

Speakers included Head of School Elizabeth English, Student Body President Maya Winker, Class Dean Amelia Mathis and all three founders. This is the first time in several years that all founders were in attendance. 

The orchestra and the a cappella group, The Unaccompanied Minors, performed in between speeches.  The orchestra played a piece titled “Elegante,” while a cappella performed a medley of “Fight Song” and “I’m Every Woman” in addition to the school song. 

To conclude the event, seniors were each called to the stage and given a rose by Interim Upper School Division Director Gretchen Warner.

Winkler described the significance of being a senior during the celebration.

“Being a senior on Founders’ Day means you made it,” Winkler said. “It also means that we get to move on from Archer, but that we will always have this special bond to the founders and to the other students of the school.”

Mathis, who has been the senior class dean for two years, spoke about celebrating the seniors during the busy school and college application season.

“I think [Founders’ Day] is going to be the biggest day for them because they are so consumed with studying and applying to college that they do not realize that this is one of those moments to celebrate,” Mathis said. “I’m super excited for them.” 

During her speech, English emphasized the Class of 2018’s leadership, specifically regarding the Archer Forward campus master plan. 

“You have championed this school through what has been a lot of hard work and adversity to get to where we are,” English said.

Photo by Ella Frey
The Archer orchestra performed piece titled “Elegante” to celebrate Founders’ day. The orchestra is comprised of middle school and upper school students.

“You did it knowing that you would only get to enjoy this new campus as an alumna or potentially as parents of Archer girls one day.”

English introduced this years theme of love on orientation day. Meehan talked about the significance of love when she was battling an autoimmune disease and emphasized the importance of the Archer community during her recovery.

“One teacher had the sixth grade come once a week [to] tell me what was going on at school and tell me what they were studying and what they love,” Meehan said. “That provided me a lifeline. Archer was there for me. Archer knows how to love.”