Senior Celebrations

Ali Dorrego, Staff Writer

While abiding by all CDC guidelines, Morristown-Beard School has worked tirelessly to hold senior celebrations during this unprecedented year. Administrators worked closely with a group of students to ensure that the celebrations were not only safe, but also meaningful. While some traditions had to be altered, the Class of 2021 was still able to have some sense of celebration. Some traditions that haven’t changed involve senior privileges, such as going off-campus for lunch, as well as hosting the senior BBQ and the Junior-Senior Games during Spring Spirit Week. Due to COVID-19, some elements of these traditions had to be altered. For example, SGA President Mikail Patankar ‘21 said, “the senior BBQ had people get food in shifts and eat with their advisories.” 

While the school has done a great deal to help seniors have a relatively normal senior year of high school, the year overall has still been nowhere near a regular year for the class of 2021. Even though students were given senior privileges, they started much later this year. In addition, although the senior BBQ had lawn games for students to play after lunch, the traditional inflatables set up on Senior Circle were not permitted. During Spirit Week, traditional Junior-Senior games, such as Girls’ Flag Football, had to be changed. Patankar said, “I feel that even though there were a couple of events this year, the senior celebrations last year were undoubtedly better. Just knowing that there were going to be restrictions due to COVID on all of our events was a bummer, because we never felt like we were getting everything else that the other classes got.”

Arguably one of the biggest losses for the graduating class was the limits on spectators both for sporting events and art performances. A large part of the Morristown-Beard culture is to support friends and classmates on the field and on the stage, but this year, the protocols limited these opportunities. In terms of sports, spectators were limited in the fall season, and not allowed at all during the winter season (live streams of some games were provided by the Athletic Department for fans). The regulations for the spring season have been more lenient, but there are still many precautions that observers must take. 

The School made strong efforts, however, to continue to push for school spirit and unity during this difficult time. This past fall, students were permitted to attend the Homecoming Football game albeit with limited numbers, social distancing, and a mask mandate. Additionally, the Spring Dance Concert and Spring Musical (Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street) were moved outdoors to allow for a larger audience. While students were not able to attend every senior day game, or live performances that they would have hoped to, the School was creative to allow students to support their peers in some physical or virtual way.

Currently, plans for the senior dinner, prom, and graduation are still being finalized. Senior Class Dean Kate Alderman said, “the goal has always been to ensure the seniors can attend graduation in person.” Although graduation this year will likely have some limitations, the administration is hopeful that every senior will still get to spend some of their last moments on campus together with one final celebration honoring their MBS experience over the last 4-7 years.