10 Nov Lives built on extraordinary foundations
There’s something about the place, something about the Woodstock experience, which keeps on bringing people back.
One of the most rewarding aspects of spending a lifetime in teaching is following the lives of the children you teach onto adulthood, finding out about their incredible achievements and reflecting on how their education helped play a role in their success. Some don’t fall too far from the tree. One of my first teaching jobs was at the Dragon School in Oxford, England, where as well as being Chaplain, I was Housemaster to a very talented eleven year old called Richard Davies. Thirty years later, Richard joined us in June as Head of Upper Years at Woodstock – his latest step in a long and distinguished teaching career at schools around the world. I like to think at least the foundations of his later achievements were laid during his school days all those years ago.
For me, every time I meet a former Woodstock student, it’s a wonderful opportunity to find out how your time here has impacted upon your lives – on your values, your chosen path, your successes and achievements. And every one of you is testimony to how special a school we have here. My experience is that no matter how far your life takes you from this special hillside in Mussoorie, part of your heart remains forever at Woodstock.
The usual state of affairs is to have at least some alumni visiting campus at any given time, whether it’s individuals who have made their way up here as part of a wider journey, or mass reunions as grades return to celebrate a special anniversary of their graduation year.
The number of you who keep in touch with Woodstock and each other is a powerful indicator of how special a school this is. There’s something about the place, something about the Woodstock experience, which keeps on bringing people back. The usual state of affairs is to have at least some alumni visiting campus at any given time, whether it’s individuals who have made their way up here as part of a wider journey, or mass reunions as grades return to celebrate a special anniversary of their graduation year. We were privileged to be joined by the class of ’67 some weeks ago for their 50th anniversary, and have since had visits from the class of ’97, among others. It was also heartwarming to see how many of you came together for World Woodstock Day last month at gatherings around the world, and how the Woodstock connection cuts so easily across geographical and generational barriers.
So, I’m delighted that the coming weeks present me with the opportunity to meet more of you and experience that perennial Woodstock warmth – first in London later this month, then Delhi, Boston and Chicago. These alumni gatherings area always something to look forward to, and I really hope you can join me. Whether we’re meeting for the first time or, just catching-up, I’d love to find out more about you and how you’ve built on your Woodstock foundations.
Dr Jonathan Long, Principal, Woodstock School