Dedication Day 2021 - News & Photos - McDonogh School

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Dedication Day Remembers

The McDonogh School community gathered at Childs Memorial Terrace on Friday, October 15 for the annual Dedication Day service. It was the first time the event, in its current format, had been held in person. After the Lower School Choir sang "Homeward Bound," Head of School Dave Farace ’87 welcomed students, faculty, and guests. He said, “We gather together at Child’s Memorial Terrace because it is a beautiful and sacred space — the place where we commence our journey as students and where, upon graduation, we begin the next chapter of our lives. It is fitting, then, to gather here today to honor all of those who have gone before us.”

John Grega, Retired Director of Religious Studies, Character, and Service gave the invocation which was followed by a reflection on Josepha Selden Young, one of the School’s first employees who became a second mother to more than 1,300 boys during her 38 years of dedicated service.

Students then placed wreaths in recognition of and with gratitude to the individuals and groups whose stewardship, labor, philanthropy, dedication, and sacrifice helped to establish, create, and enrich our school. Wreaths were placed in honor of:

  • the indigenous people, who hunted and stewarded the land for many generations before the School was founded;
  • the enslaved peoples of John McDonogh who worked on his plantations in Louisiana helped build a significant portion of his wealth;
  • John McDonogh whose gift of philanthropy established a school farm in Baltimore for poor boys, which became McDonogh School;
  • generations of devoted faculty and staff who held students to the highest standards while offering the highest level of support; and
  • McDonogh alumni who gave their lives in military service to our nation in WWI, WWII, Korea, and Vietnam.

This year, a wreath was also placed by the tree along Shell road where Mrs. Young stood and watched lovingly as her McDonogh boys played in the orchard each day.

Following a rendition of the "Dedication Day Hymn" performed by the Upper School Concert Choir, Senior Singers, and the Sixth Grade Choir, 46 members of the McDonogh Family who passed away in the year prior to September 12, 2021, were remembered. Alumni Association President Josh Thomas ’06 said, "Each of their lives provided us with examples of excellence, integrity, and honor. Their lives and contributions enriched both the McDonogh community and the wider world. And for that, we are forever grateful."

As each name was read, a bell tolled in Tagart Memorial Chapel and Alumni Association Vice President Caitlin Xenakis ‘07 and Secretary Meghan McGuire McGee’02 placed a flower in an urn in remembrance.

View the 2021 Dedication Day Ceremony here.

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