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alumni-homecoming

Homecoming 2016

More than 100 alumni and former faculty returned to AFS on November 23 to reunite with old friends and to reconnect in the meaningful place — the Meeting House and the School — that had shaped their values and sustained their hopes in good times and bad.The excitement in the John Barnes Room was palpable as alums greeted one another with big smiles, handshakes and bear hugs. At least 32 members (44 percent) of last May’s graduating class were on hand, as well as graduates from as far back as 1977 and 1978. Current faculty and students also joined in the rapid-fire questions about college, family and careers.

 

Then, as if a switch had been flipped, the conversations halted abruptly as community members crossed the threshold to the room across the hall for silent worship. The Upper School students and faculty and the returnees packed the Meeting House benches on the ground floor and in the balcony.

“I am thrilled to see this full house,” Head of School Rich Nourie said as he welcomed the assembled crowd.

“When you come home for Thanksgiving or Homecoming, you are returning to a place that reminds you of who you are,” he said. He then went on to suggest that each person was “the coming together of three elements.
Then, as if a switch had been flipped, the conversations halted abruptly as community members crossed the threshold to the room across the hall for silent worship. The Upper School students and faculty and the returnees packed the Meeting House benches on the ground floor and in the balcony.
“I am thrilled to see this full house,” Head of School Rich Nourie said as he welcomed the assembled crowd.

“The first,” he said, “is your essence, that of the light of God that is the always, that has been the spark in you since you were born, the part of you that is pure love, long in hope, always whole.

“The second is that you are made of your experiences, and very much so those from your years at AFS. You are of the silence of this Meeting House; the beauty of this campus, the creek and Meadow Field, the Grove where you graduated. You are of the ideas that were born as you read and wrote in this place, encountered the world through art, drama and music, learned to closely examine the world in math and science.”

The third is that “you are forever braided together of your friendships and relationships. Our inner lives are lived in by the voices and hearts of those we love.”

Rich noted there was “no doubt we are living in an uncertain and challenging world, no matter where you are in the political world.” Then he offered three queries, including one that asked for reflection on how to widen and deepen a “sense of the world, in order to have a firm foundation from which to encounter the work that needs to be done.”

During worship, many alums spoke about their concerns about the outcome of the presidential election, and their conviction to become even stronger advocates for a more inclusive country, one that was in keeping with their values.

If you missed this year’s Homecoming or want to see pictures from your visit, please visit the Alumni of Abington Friends School Facebook Group to look through our photo album.

Homecoming grows and changes with alumni interest.  If you’re interested in running an existing or new activity, please contact the Alumni Office.  We can’t wait to see what will come next!