This piece is in response to this anonymous letter published in the last issue of The Scroll.
Editor-in-Chief Henry Cobbs ’15 responded to the piece in his own letter as well.
From the PGs:
A few weeks have passed since The Scroll published the opinion piece by an anonymous PG about postgraduates. Since then, everyone seems to be asking the same question: are PGs worthy of their heritage? The article suggested that “a more diverse group be chosen,” saying “PGs lack the well-roundedness that the rest of the student body seem to possess.”
We as “new seniors” need to respond.
This article suggested that the new seniors’ admission revolved solely around “bringing the best athletes,” completely ignoring many of our hard-earned accomplishments. We come from all over America, as well as many foreign countries, and each of us brings something unique to the student body. We are actors, artists, athletes, scholars.
Reading the piece, even now, hurts.
Just like each and every one of you, we were selected from a strong pool of applicants for what each of us has to offer; and it is wrong to think that the Admissions Office didn’t see something worthy of Deerfield’s heritage in us. At our previous schools, we were leaders— not just on the court or field, but in the classroom and in the halls. We could rattle off impressive leadership roles that we played at our previous schools, but our goal is not to brag. Our goal is to emphasize that no one should judge a book by its cover.
The anonymous writer ignored the fact that it would be impossible for us to partake in activities that require previous experience at the school. For instance, even if well-qualified, we could not become editor-in-chief of The Scroll or school president (even if some of us held similar positions at our old schools), simply because many leadership positions were filled before we stepped onto campus this fall.
Many longtime students at Deerfield have expressly praised our new senior class for meshing with the current seniors better than other PGs in recent history—in the classroom as well as on the fields, in dorms and all around campus.
We have tried our best to integrate fully into a brand-new life as seniors at Deerfield. But after this scathing article, it doesn’t seem as if some in the community are as accepting as we believed. We have loved our time here, and have made great and lasting friendships with many members of different classes. We will all remember this year fondly. It has been disheartening to hear that not all in this community share that fondness.
We’d like to end this response with a request. We know it is late in the year, with just a short time left—but if you have wondered who we are, made assumptions about our personalities or simply haven’t taken the time to introduce yourself—whether you are a freshman or a member of the faculty—we would love to meet you and soak up as much of this boarding-school experience as possible. We’re not older, intimidating people, but people who have already completed high school once, and have help to offer and advice to share, with lots of leadership to provide. So whether you want to stop and talk to us in the halls or the Greer, or just say hi across campus, we urge you to take a minute and get to know us, not just as PGs, but as peers. We know you all have something unique to offer, and we might just surprise you with what we have to offer as well.