Dedication Day - News & Photos - McDonogh School

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Dedication Day Ceremony Honors Those Who've Gone Before Us

View photos from the Dedication Day Ceremony below.


The annual Dedication Day ceremony, held on a bright, autumnal morning at Childs Memorial Terrace, honored the people whose labor, commitment, vision, and generosity led to the establishment and growth of the School for the past 150 years. The occasion, on Friday, October 13, was also an opportunity to remember beloved members of our community who left this life in the past year.

After the opening song, Homeward Bound, performed by the Lower School Choir, Head of School Dave Farace ’87 welcomed students, faculty, and guests and explained the significance of the location. “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,” he said.

The Charles W. Britton Director of Character and Service Bridget Collins ‘90 gave the invocation and shared a reflection on Eddie Wilson, a beloved McDonogh staff member from 1957 to 1984. She said the students adored Mr. Wilson and quoted one who said, “For some students, Eddie is a gentle grandfather figure, for others he is a teacher, a leader, and a father figure. For all, he is a friend.” (Read the Remembrance of Eddie Wilson.)

In keeping with tradition, students then placed wreaths in recognition of and with gratitude to the individuals and groups whose stewardship, labor, philanthropy, dedication, and sacrifice helped 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.

Following a rendition of The Dedication Hymn by the Upper School Concert Choir and Ninth Grade Chorus, 47 members of the McDonogh Family who passed away in the year prior to September 9, 2023, were remembered. Alumni Association President Caitlin C. Xenakis ’07 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."

In remembrance, as each name was read, a bell tolled in Tagart Memorial Chapel, and Alumni Association Vice President Kimberly Hilson Carmichael ‘10 and Executive Committee Member Robin Edlow Heller ’00 placed a white snapdragon in an urn. Together, the flowers created a lovely memorial arrangement. The ceremony concluded with the playing of Taps.

View the 2023 Dedication Day Ceremony here.

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