We're reaching full enrollment for 2011-12 sooner than we want. The percentage of admitted students choosing to enroll was greater than ever, and we have fewer open slots for outstanding summer applicants than we'd like. This is a situation which many schools will envy or find incomprehensible--particularly in light of the economic climate. How is it possible? Surely, the nature of the academic program, and the skills and stability (!) of the faculty are first factors.
The extraordinary tenure of the best teachers provides continuity, institutional memory and refined skills that are invaluable. I was part of a meeting this morning that reflected on the inability of other schools to replicate our support systems, due to their organic nature, which has evolved over 75 years. The photo that follows is a shameless, spontaneous pose....
Last week, a German boy who attended Proctor two years ago revisited and felt compelled to address the community in assembly. Niko spoke of the lasting impact Proctor has in his life. He referenced different assets (specific programs, etc.), but his real point was that we need to appreciate the community values that elevate individuals and individuality.
The school's ability to encourage the development of true individuals is a part of Proctor that cannot be overstated as we evaluate our success (and the demand for admission.) Human nature: notice that in an environment that doesn't require more formal attire, students willingly don ties for "casual Fridays" or (in this case) game days.
So where individuality is rampant, students are attracted to informal bonds of conformity. Girls' lacrosse players sported Lily-wear before boarding buses in uniforms!
Ian's advisee group shows a typical random appearance.
After band rehearsal, Christian reclaims used ceramic clay by manning the pug mill as his service to the community.
Here's a study in individuality: Zoli found a photo of a 1903 Nathanael Herreshoff America's Cup yacht and carved this sailing model out of a block of wood. The rigging is cheap plastic. It has--of course--an adjustable rudder/tiller.
Former student Niko Mezger implores Proctor students to recognize the special nature of their community.
Let's consider individuality through sticker art on laptops! This is Jackson....
Reid and I share similar interests in professional athletics.
Will has created dragons.
Tucker gets some support from Brett.
J.P. favors minimalism.
So much for sticker art. Meredith is painting for an advanced course in Design Theory.