On Thursday morning, Wheeler’s Class of 2023 truly embraced the spirit of the school’s annual Opening Assembly as seniors marched hand-in-hand into Miller Quad with the youngest students on our Providence campus. Students, faculty, and staff joyously greeted them to mark the start of Wheeler’s 134th school year.
In her remarks to the crowd, Head of School Allison Gaines Pell P’23, P’25 welcomed our community who “will come together to learn, play, and wonder, and most critically, to live out our mission, ‘to learn our powers and be answerable for their use.’” She spoke about the intrinsic sense of curiosity and the desire to ask questions about the world around us, and she spoke of images from beyond our world that were recently taken by the James Webb Space Telescope.
“According to scientists, what they show only just scratches the surface of what is possible to learn from this new telescope,” she said. “These images exist only because scientists asked those simple questions: ‘What can we find out about the beginning of the universe?’ ‘And what can the many stars and galaxies around us help us learn about the secrets to life on earth?’”
“In that spirit,” AGP continued, “I send you off to this new year with a call for you to be curious. “This year, I hope you will all follow your own questions whatever they may be about – our history, your classmates, your family, your community, your world. Do you wonder about music, or travel, or geology, or about someone who has a different life than you, or about what lives underground, or about how trees talk to one another, or about the best way to make a meringue, or how much impact recycling can have on the environment, or anything else?”
She called on the crowd to “treasure” those questions, with the hope that they might one day change the world.
“When you approach your new friends and old this year, just like the telescope, consider everyone you meet a lens into a world we could only previously imagine. I challenge each of us this year to find our own beautiful, powerful, driving questions, and to pursue them without end.”
You can watch AGP’s speech and see the entire Opening Assembly in the video below.