Headmaster Willy MacMullen '78 welcomed students and faculty back to campus with a powerful Convocation message about the power of conversation.
"Each of us—at some time and hopefully often—will engage in conversation that will better us, others, and the school," MacMullen said, in issuing a challenge and goal for the coming school year.
Conversation can shape a community, MacMullen noted, and called on students and faculty to "reclaim conversation"—to engage in dialogue that will open the door to learning about others' experiences in the world, while exploring and celebrating our commonalities.
MacMullen's welcome was an extension of ongoing work Taft faculty has engaged with over the past few months, work that includes reading Sherry Turkle's Reclaiming Conversation, The Power of Talk in a Digital Age, and on-site workshops on deep listening with the Stanley H. King Counseling Institute.
"Stay in the conversation," MacMullen advised, "listen and debate with rigor and curiosity."