I’m in the amazing position of having multiple perspectives on The Gunnery. I see our school from the vantage point of faculty child, alumnae, spouse, and parent. It’s pretty awesome. And from that vantage point, I can tell you that our school continues to be a community that stretches students to be their best selves, that allows them to make mistakes and helps them learn from them, that encourages them to try new things, that holds them accountable for their actions, and that challenges them to think and to participate. The Gunnery of today embodies all of the best parts of The Gunnery of the last 169 years - they may be dusted off and shined up a bit, made more current, but they are truly unique to The Gunnery. For example, I have no doubt that Mr. Gunn is watching us from somewhere, thrilled that there is such a thing as “Fire Pit Fridays” where kids hang around a fire pit, listen to a classmate play the guitar, and enjoy each other and the outdoors.
Just this spring, I sat in the dining hall with my 14-year-old son on Admissions Revisit Day (he’ll be a freshman next year) and while I didn’t need to be there, I wanted to hear what he was hearing. Peter [Becker, Head of School] spoke to a room full of nervous adolescents and their over-eager parents and what he said was exactly what I wanted to hear as a parent, and exactly what I wanted to hear as an alumna. It was current and relevant, yet rooted in what truly makes The Gunnery unique.
I tell you all this for a few reasons, one to reassure you that the DNA of your school has not changed and that is it is great hands. And two to reinforce how important it is to The Gunnery to have engaged alumni like yourselves. Part of what makes schools like ours so special are the connections and stories that we all share. When our current students meet alumni who are proud of The Gunnery, who reminisces with gratitude and joy, they realize they are part of something bigger than just the 300 students they are sharing the campus with. Continuing to evolve as a school, while valuing and benefiting from its history is essential and your part in both the history and the future of The Gunnery is equally important.
Being an engaged alumnus can mean so many different things - for some of you it means rallying your classmates and friends back for a reunion, for others it means talking about The Gunnery, spreading the word about our school, for others it means participating in the annual fund. I remind you that I would not be as involved in today’s Gunnery if I didn’t believe that it was the best representation of our Gunnery of the past. I thank you all for the parts that you’ve played in the history of The Gunnery and I challenge you to stay involved in the future of The Gunnery as well.
Laura Eanes Martin ’90 P’20 ’23
President, Gunnery Alumni Association