From the Headmaster

Community is at the Core of our Being at Princeton Academy...

Alfred F. Dugan III

Community is at the core of our being at Princeton Academy.

I write this Friday letter with deep love and care for you all. I hope that you and your loved ones are healthy, safe and well. I would like to give special thanks to those members of our community who serve as first responders or work in the health, medical and scientific fields, devoting themselves to the safety and wellbeing of us all. Your Princeton Academy family is grateful for your courageous leadership. Our prayers are with you.

Relationships and connections matter in this life… And perhaps now more than ever. As we battle to flatten the curve of COVID-19 through social distancing, we are compelled to find ways to maintain and foster relationships in new ways, seeking to build meaningful human connections while we are not physically with one another. This is what keeps us whole, not hollow, during this difficult time.

I have always believed that one of the primary purposes of school, especially in this digital age, is to foster community and build relationships. As we launch HAWKHub, our distance learning plan, I am mindful that the real value in today’s Princeton Academy experience is not just how effectively we can transition to distance learning, but also how we can continue to strengthen our community, maintain authentic relationships and stay connected while we are apart. The bonds of the relationships we have formed have enabled us to transition at this moment with strength, compassion and confidence. 

In our Sacred Heart vernacular, we honor the sentiment of cor unum - one heart. Community is at the core of our Princeton Academy experience - cor unum. We know that at our core we are a diverse family that beats together with one heart. We believe in something greater than any one of us, we believe in each other and we believe in our boys. This is the underpinning of it all.

There is a feeling today amidst our current context that, perhaps, a dramatic shift in our view of time will compel us to reset in a transformational way. For many, the hurried pace of life before COVID-19 has been altered, perspective has been augmented and moments have taken on new meaning. Richard Breault reminds us to "enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things". 

At the same time, for many, this is a time of great uncertainty, instability, struggle, pain and loss. Dr. Lisa Damour says, "anxiety right now is a sign that your emotions are working just as they should". These days have made me evermore aware of the need for empathy among us all. Each one of us is in a different place...physically, situationally, emotionally. Paradoxically, in this time of social distancing and isolation, I am reminded that I am not alone. I have perhaps more than ever found great comfort in connecting with others who share similar feelings and emotions to my own. We are all vulnerable right now, but within that collective vulnerability exists a shared strength with the potential to enable us to rise up together…cor unum. In this way, community can carry the day and human connection will sustain us. 

During this time of necessary social distancing and distance learning, let us lead with love through relationships and connection. We will get through this with courage and support for one another... side by side accompanying one another … together. Cor unum - one heart...and this is why we are family at Princeton Academy. Community is at our core. 

P.S. - For a little soulful nourishment, I would like to recommend American Public Media’s OnBeing Project with Krista Tippet - committed to “pursuing deep thinking and moral imagination, social courage and joy, to renew inner life, outer life, and life together.”

  • community
  • #COVID-19
  • Family
  • Relationships

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