On Friday afternoon, as students finished packing their bags for Thanksgiving break, our community took a moment to pause and gather virtually for the fourth annual Giving Thanks Vespers service and recognize each other for the little things that make life on campus so special.
Leading up to the service, community members had the opportunity to submit a note of thanks to people who have made a difference in their Episcopal lives. The Vestry ultimately chose ten to be read aloud, live from Callaway Chapel, and the rest were sent via email to the recipients in an effort to brighten their days.
Rev. Betsy Carmody, the School’s head chaplain, began by telling us, “In your messages, you have lifted up what makes this community so resilient and unique.”
We heard from faculty members and students alike, thanking coaches, teachers, roommates, floormates, dining hall staff, and more. Below are excerpts from the ten submissions that were read aloud in Callaway Chapel. To watch the entire Vespers service and hear others, go to our LocalLive channel
“At Episcopal, the small, consistent signs of kindness mean the most. Knowing that a faculty member on campus is supporting you is an unmatched comfort and makes Episcopal feel like home. Thank you for making EHS feel a little more like home.” -Hadley Foulk ’21, to Joe Eldred, social studies teacher
“While many people had friends that grew up with them together, I never did. Every few years, my family would move, and I would leave behind everyone and everything I knew. Being able to share so much about myself with you, it feels as if I had suddenly gained a life-long friend.” -Bennie Wang ’23, to his roommate, Winslow McNorrill ’23
“Even when life feels chaotic, the comfort of a thoughtfully prepared meal and the freedom of no dishes to wash, is a daily gift.” -English teacher Molly Pugh to the dining hall staff
“You gave me space where I could be myself. You always brought smiles to my face when it was nonexistent from a hard day. You taught me the magic that happens behind the scenes, and the amount of work and dedication I see you pour in inspires me to work harder and be better.” -Esther Hwang ’22, to Wes Reid, technical director
“Thank you for having my back. Thank you for making me laugh in happiness, wiping my tears in sadness, and pushing me forward in frustration; I hope that I can return the favor.” -Jonathan Lee ’01, assistant director of admissions, to all faculty and staff
“His pure kindness makes me reflect on my own actions and evaluate my behavior toward others. His genuine camaraderie is one of the best qualities about him; there is truly no one else I would rather speak to about a monumental moment in my life or a trivial happening in my day.” -Lucy Bland ’21, to Jonathan Lee ’01, assistant director of admissions
“You, along with many other faculty members here, have helped me develop the personality that I have today. I am forever grateful for that; you are always in my mind and in my heart.” -Caroline Panton ’21, to Amila Williams, associate dean of students
“Since I have been at Episcopal, you have been nothing but incredibly kind and caring towards me. You have always made me feel like such an important part of Episcopal.” -John Loughlin ’22, to Mark Carter, arts department chair
“I couldn’t have asked for better neighbors and I can’t wait to see what you will do here, even though you crowd outside my room or blast Hamilton in the showers so that all of campus can hear.” -Lucie Morton ’22, to her freshman floormates on Anderson
“Being able to have such a selfless person that I can rely on when I’m not at my best or just need someone to talk to is something that I am beyond grateful for. He is one of the few people I can undoubtedly say have always been there to cheer me on and believe in me when I never could.” -Bethel Dawit ’24, to coach Maurice Plains