One of Groton’s core values—globalism—was on full, colorful display during the school's annual flag processional, following the Convocation service that kicks off each academic year.
Students marched from St. John's Chapel to the Schoolhouse Sunday evening, carrying flags representing their homelands and family heritages. They held aloft flags from forty-one nations—Australia, Bermuda, Botswana, Brazil, Bulgaria, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, the Czech Republic, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Ethiopia, France, Ghana, Greece, Haiti, India, Ireland, Japan, Kenya, Kuwait, Mexico, Nepal, Nigeria, North Korea, Palestine, Peru, the Philippines, Poland, Senegal, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Trinidad & Tobago, Uganda, Ukraine, the United Kingdom, and the United States. A student also carried the Groton School flag, representing the home shared by all.
Convocation in St. John’s Chapel included welcoming words from Headmaster Temba Maqubela, who stressed the importance of relationships; what he called “the three I’s”—inclusion, the individual, and impact; and the need to act with humility, intentionality, and purpose. Just recovered from laryngitis, his voice faltered midway through and Mr. Maqubela handed his remarks over to brave and nimble Senior Prefect Amber Gumira ’23, who delivered the remainder of the headmaster’s talk.
Also delivering remarks or prayers at Convocation were Dean of Diversity, Inclusion, & Belonging Sravani Sen-Das, Dean of Admission and Financial Aid Ian Gracey, Dean of Faculty John Conner, Spanish teacher and Catholic Spiritual Life leader Fanny Vera de Viacava, and Philosophy and Religious Studies teacher Celene Ibrahim.
After Convocation, students filed behind the flag bearers and walked to the Schoolhouse. Groton began its parade of flags, a visible symbol of inclusion and geographic diversity, four years ago. In the weeks before school began, students were asked which flags they would like to carry. After the processional, the flags were placed on display in the Schoolhouse's Sackett Forum, a fitting backdrop for the first Roll Call announcements of the year.