A glance through old yearbooks and even photos from last winter reminds us just how much the world has changed over the past nine months. We yearn for the normalcy of assemblies in the Wilkins Meetinghouse, a packed Brown Dining Commons, hosting basketball and hockey games, and the impromptu dance party in the Wise Center. A return to normal may still be a distant dream, but the release of two successful vaccines has lit a light at the end of the COVID-19 tunnel through which we have all been stumbling through this year.
Proctor's 5,000 alumni live worldwide, and while their time in Andover spans generations, their shared experiences living at Proctor creates a lifelong connection. Through the Proctor Alumni Association, alumni around the globe are able to connect with each other, and as we navigate a global pandemic, ironically these connections have never been stronger.
Mike and Becky Walsh arrived at Proctor Academy in the Fall of 2002 when Mike accepted a teaching and coaching position. Since then, Mike has taught in the science and technology departments while serving as the head boys' hockey and golf coach and Becky as the administrative assistant in the Athletic Office. The Walsh's also raised two boys on-campus, Reilly '17 and Ronan '20. For Reilly, growing up on Proctor’s campus often felt like a dream - access to playing fields, the Teddy Maloney ‘88 Rink, and role models in the high schoolers that surrounded him - but his real dream from an early age was taking the ice for an N.H.L. club. This week, Reilly Walsh is one step closer to living out this dream of playing professional hockey.
With well over 8,000 alumni, it is impossible to pause and recognize all who pass away. But when an individual who has shaped Proctor the way James L. Dunbar ‘49 has leaves this world, we feel compelled to share his story with the greater community. Jim died on June 9 (on what would have been his 69th wedding anniversary) at the age of 90.
Now more than ever we crave connection. We miss running into each other on the pathways on the way to assembly or waiting in line for lunch. We crave the informal daily interactions that fuel us as social beings. This weekend would have been Alumni Reunion Weekend. For classes ending in 0’s and 5’s, a time to return to campus and connect with each other. For faculty and staff, a time to see our former students return as adults forging their way through life.
And just like that it’s over. The planning, the preparations, the details, the mourning of what could have been had coronavirus not upended our lives, it is all behind us, and we shift our focus to reflecting on the raw emotions we felt today as we watched the Class of 2020 graduate from high school...virtually around the globe.
Each year approximately 20% of the Proctor Academy's graduating class goes on to compete in collegiate athletics. The Class of 2020 is no exception as 33 members of the class (of 103 students) are pursuing careers at the next level. Thank you to all members of the Class of 2020 for their contributions to Proctor's athletic programs over the past four years. Be sure to take note of the names below and follow their careers in college and beyond!