Six formers prepare to become alumni amid weekend of traditions


Media: Chloe Han '22

Six Formers will have 3 days to celebrate traditions

This past year, Hill has had to become increasingly more inventive in finding ways to continue long-held traditions like Chapel and Convocation while modifying student life to prioritize campus wellness. One of the biggest challenges that the administration was posed with was making sure that the 6th form would be able to enjoy the many hallmarks of their senior year in a way that did not put their health at risk. Hill’s solution was a 6th form weekend, in which underformers leave campus on May 26, seven days earlier than planned, as the 6th form remains on campus for the next three days until their commencement on May 29. 

The early departure of the 3rd, 4th and 5th forms, done to decrease the risk of COVID-19 spread, will help make many revered graduation traditions possible. According to Larissa Snyder, a 6th form dean, it is hoped that creating a smaller “bubble” of students will allow for a safer, but still complete, set of end of the year events for the graduating form.

Over H-Term, we evaluated the pandemic status and started making plans. If we wanted to provide the 6th form the opportunity to experience the traditions that they have been looking forward to since they were 3rd formers, then creating a smaller bubble was the best course of action to make that happen. We’ve been working with Mr. Lehman, Dr. Spencer, the Community Life Office, and the Office of Strategy Management to plan those events,” Snyder explained. 

Leading up to the underform departure, 6th form coffee and tea has consistently occurred in the Headmaster’s Garden, and seated dinners, which have not happened all year due to COVID-19 protocols, have been held for 6th formers and faculty. Events like the Strawberry Festival (which is scheduled for May 25) and The Dial yearbook dedication (which happened on May 17) are also slated to happen before the underform leaves. 

Planned for the 6th form weekend is a full itinerary of long-awaited events that have traditionally served as trademarks of a 6th form year at Hill. Karaoke Night, the 6th Form Retreat, 6th Form Dance, Legacy Tea, Alumni Induction Brunch, and Class Day Awards are all scheduled to take place between May 26 and May 29 leading up to Commencement. As the weekend approaches, many 6th formers excitedly anticipate the opportunity to graduate and celebrate with their friends. 

“I’m excited to move into Upper School Dorm and be with my friends for the last few days. I felt a bit of a disconnect while living in Rolfe [as a prefect]. Not a bad disconnect, but I did miss hanging out with them, so I’m definitely looking forward to that,” said Claire Hartemink ’21.

While many in the Class of 2021 are grateful to be able to take part in the graduation festivities, some have voiced disappointment at the incomplete send-off that the absence of the underform will provide.

“I feel happy, but also disappointed. I’m happy that we get to graduate and hopefully jump in the Dell, but I’m disappointed in the school for not being able to have the 3rd, 4th, and 5th form here to celebrate it with us. That’s very important to me, because I want to say goodbye to all my friends on graduation day, and I cannot do that,” explained Jaden Nyce ’21.

Payton Jobson ’23 voiced a similar sentiment.

“I’m bummed that I can’t see them graduate. But if that’s something we can’t do, to go with them, I understand that it’s a safety thing. I’m not gonna say it’s wrong when it’s a safety thing, although it is a real bummer.”

Nevertheless, the school has aimed to provide the 6th form with a graduation as close to normalcy as possible. Both Snyder and fellow 6th form dean Ed Turner have voiced hopes that it will be a worthwhile experience for the Class of 2021, one that will hopefully culminate with a jump in the Dell. 

“More than anything, I just hope that the 6th form is able to create some lasting, positive memories during that time. Having been with the class since they arrived as 3rd formers, I really look forward to celebrating with them during those last few days on campus,” Snyder said.