Last spring, the stepping up bonfire made an especially poignant impact on the Deerfield community and set the tone for the class of 2017’s senior year. To an energetic crowd, Griffin Thomas ’17 introduced the slogan “fam17y” and shared the news that his father had lost his life to cancer that morning. In that moment, the creation of this word was much more than just an annual tradition. Thomas said, “We [wanted] a strong word that showed our love for one another… I had just lost my dad earlier that day and was a wreck, but coming to see all my classmates and members of my family rally around me was just magical. That is what family is for.”
This slogan has manifested in various forms but nonetheless has unified the class of 2017. For instance, Kathryn Grennon ’17 feels that the slogan greatly decreased the gender divide in the grade. “I think that is what really brought us together this year,” she said.
According to seniors, not only have people unprecedentedly branched out and formed bonds with others they might not have known as well before, but they also have become more caring and respectful towards one another.
Katherine Von Weise ’17 observed that students this year are more willing to branch out and develop meaningful relationships, stepping outside of their social comfort zone.
Xander Li ’17 agreed with Von Weise’s assessment and said, “I feel that this year, as well as in past years, the guys in my grade have always backed each other up no matter the situation. So, in that way, I think we have always been a family because we care and respect each other.”
When thinking back on their high school careers, seniors commonly cherish Deerfield not solely for the academic and extracurricular opportunities it offers but also for the priceless memories that students forge each day. “I think I really grew up here,” reflected Grennon. “I, as well as most others, entered here as lost 14-year-old freshmen and leave with a much stronger sense of who we are and a deeper understanding about the large and diverse world around us.”
Grennon reflected on her gratefulness for the cameraderie that she has forged with her classmates, steating “For those reasons no matter how much the senior class has or has not changed, I will be eternally grateful for the Deerfield community.”