AN EVENING WITH TOM JONES
January 11th was a special night for music lovers at Kent as they were treated to a fascinating and entertaining presentation by Tom Jones, who is best known for having written The Fantasticks, the world’s longest-running musical. The evening began with a couple of short performances of Mr. Jones’s most famous work by Zoe B ’20 and Kent Theater Director Geoff Stewart. The energetic and insightful Mr. Jones then captivated his audience with stories from his life and career. An enthusiastic and at times hilarious question and answer session concluded the program. This was a wonderful opportunity to learn from a legend of Broadway, an experience that will not soon be forgotten by all those in attendance.
AWARD WINNING ARTISTS
Artists, photographers, and sculptors from Kent School have enjoyed a great deal of success in competitions this year. Results from the Scholastic Art Awards for the State of Connecticut were recently announced, and numerous Kent artists were recognized. Three students won a total of six gold medals in photography and drawing categories. Five silvers were awarded for sculpture, photography, architecture, painting and drawing, and two Honorable Mentions were achieved in drawing and photography. In an international competition one photographer in particular, Pamela J ’19, has been named as one of the 10 finalists (out of 11,786 submissions) in Hope 2019, the theme of this year’s Habban International Photography Award competition. Pamela has previously won gold and silver medals in international competitions for her photographs of indigenous societies, landscapes and sea life, but reaching the finals in the HIPA competition is her most distinctive achievement thus far.
On Martin Luther King Day, Kent School students and faculty had the opportunity to consider a great American and how his philosophies and vision might help us to approach some current challenges. The student body was divided into small discussion groups focusing on two themes. The first breakout session of the morning focused on the 1963 March on Washington and the impact of King’s “I Have a Dream” speech. The second breakout session sought discussion of how society’s impression of various groups based on things such as ethnicity, sexual orientation, wealth, religion, etc. can encourage or discourage privilege. In the afternoon, both upper and lower formers attended a presentation by Nyle Fort, a minister from Newark NJ who is currently a PhD student in Religion and African American Studies at Princeton University. In a dynamic and engaging manner, Mr. Fort proffered that individuals can challenge social injustice, while complacency can allow it to fester. That led to spirited exchanges in a productive Q & A session. The day’s activities gave our students and faculty an opportunity to consider how positive and powerful a society can become through an emphasis on togetherness.
The 2019 Vance Lecture
The Vance Lecture Series, which honors the legacy of our distinguished alumnus and former U.S Secretary of State Cyrus Vance '35, welcomes speakers to campus to address the prevention and resolution of violent conflict in our world today. The Kent community had the privilege of attending a lecture given by Jeh Johnson, former Secretary of Homeland Security for three years in the Obama administration. Mr. Johnson, who in December of 2018 received the Ronald Reagan Peace Through Strength Award, presented an engaging program to a standing-room crowd in Mattison Auditorium. He offered details about the work of Homeland Security and the functions of the various departments that keep our country safe.
Occasionally, Mr. Johnson would break from the gravity of his subject with quizzes for the audience, awarding various prizes for correct answers. He also offered some background about the current government shutdown as well as the issue of illegal immigration on our southern border, topics that were of great interest to the audience. Sebastian K ’20 commented that he “was glad to see some political balance from someone who was clearly a Democrat, about a difficult issue like immigration. He didn’t politicize the issue.” It was clear by the conclusion of the presentation that students, faculty, and other guests were grateful to have had the opportunity to hear the opinions of an accomplished and respected leader.