Going Underground with Fox Family Speaker Will Hunt ’03

May 6, 2022

A composite image showing Will Hunt speaking at a podium on the left and a student starting to crawl through a cardboard box tunnel while a staff member smiles nearby.
During his day at Wheeler, Fox Family Speaker Will Hunt ’03 (left) spoke with Middle and Upper School students in Isenberg Auditorium and joined Lower School students (right) as they decorated, built, and crawled through an impressively long cardboard box tunnel!

Wheeler alumnus Will Hunt ’03 was back at school on May 6 as our latest Fox Family Speaker. The series, which began in 2006, brings individuals to campus to share their extraordinary talents and passions for learning with the entire school community. Will’s writing has appeared in such places as The New Yorker, The Guardian, and The Paris Review. He joined us to engage with students around his first book, Underground, which details his explorations of the history and connections of the world beneath our feet.

In the morning, Will met students at the Nest alongside 6th-graders in the Farm Program, where he spoke about some of his experiences investigating subterranean worlds. The Nest students also learned about some of the artifacts uncovered on the Farm during a recent dig, with 6th-grade students offering presentations on unearthed items like a milk jug, glass, and toothbrush.

This video includes Will’s remarks to both our Lower School and Upper School students in separate sessions.

Will then spent the rest of the day engaging with the community on our Providence campus. He briefly talked about some of his underground adventures with our Lower School–and had a surprise interruption from Rob “Otter” Brown, one of his former Wheeler science teachers who was dressed as a spelunker–before Will, the students, faculty, and staff traveled into Creamer Courtyard to decorate, build, and crawl through an amazing and impressively long cardboard box tunnel! He later participated in the Upper School’s Writing Assembly and joined an Upper School memoir class before finishing the day with our Middle Schoolers. Philip Spradlin ’26 interviewed Will and facilitated an audience Q&A session.

When he was asked when it meant to be back at school and what he hopes students take away from his visit, Will said, “I would love for the students to see that there are lots of adventures and discoveries to be had and made, and that they should just be really curious about the world. I learned how to do that at Wheeler.”

Over the years, the speaker visits like Will’s have been so well received, that in 2010 the series was endowed as the Fox Family Speaker Series by Wheeler alumni parents Lucy and James Fox, AP ’03, ’05.

Related Reading