As members of the Class of 2017 assume their new roles as seniors, they have chosen to commemorate their final year at Deerfield with the word “FAM17Y.” The motto, coined at the Stepping Up Bonfire last spring, aims to emphasize the distinct sense of community among students at DA.
At the Stepping Up Bonfire, the student body came together to hear Griffin Thomas ’17 speak about why he chose to return to Deerfield the same night that he lost a loved one: he wanted to be with his fellow Deerfield students—his family. Kathryn Grennon ’17, a senior cheerleader, explained how Thomas’s speech inspired the slogan FAM17Y: “It was created when Griffin spoke to all of us, because we felt like everyone cares so much for each other in our community and the word ‘family’ perfectly represents our school.”
Nick Leone ’17 added, “Family is something that is really important at DA. When we come to this school, we leave our families at home and go to a place where we hope to find a new one.”
Logan Knight ’17, another senior cheerleader, mentioned that the seniors also hope their efforts to promote FAM17Y will reach the younger students. He is “looking forward to showing the underclassmen that it’s cool to be excited about Deerfield and challenging what it means to be the quintessential Deerfield student.”
While excitement builds around their new motto and the legacy they hope to leave behind, members of the Class of 2017 have big shoes to fill. They follow the Class of 2016, who reignited Deerfield’s school spirit with their “Bring it Back” campaign. Audrey McManemin ’17, a head cheerleader, remarked, “As senior cheerleaders, we are kind of in a difficult position just because there’s so much pressure after the amazing job that the cheerleaders and [the class of] 2016 did with bringing it back… [but] I hope that our grade is able to unify Deerfield… while still keeping up the school spirit.”
Jared Strauss ’17, this year’s Captain Deerfield, elaborated on the ways in which the seniors hope to put the talk around FAM17Y into action: “Our top priority is getting large groups of people to attend athletic and performing art events, so we can support our fellow classmates.” He also intends on having the senior class organize “spontaneous gatherings [where] people can get out of their rooms… and enjoy each other’s company and our beautiful campus.”
As we dive into the 2016-2017 school year, returning to our busy schedules, the senior class hopes to remind students that, in Knight’s words, “we are our best when we look out for each other.”
Ultimately, as McManemin explained, “Deerfield is more than just a community. There have been countless times when I say, ‘Oh, I’m going home’ and I mean I’m going back to Deerfield.”