The following email was sent to all Taft students, parents, and employees on January 7.
To Taft Faculty, Staff, Students and Parents:
I write to speak briefly about the events in Washington yesterday, and to remind us of the importance of Taft's work and mission.
What we observed—domestic terrorism—was an unprecedented attack on our democratic principles, the function of our government, and hundreds of public servants. The violence directed at elected officials and encouraged by the president was literally and figuratively damaging. We witnessed a dark day in our history.
But why does this matter for Taft? It matters because our mission is the education of the whole student and our motto is "Not to Be Served But to Serve." And these two guiding principles are urgently relevant and needed if we are going to graduate men and women who will, wherever they live and whatever they do, contribute to society in generous, ethical, civil, and courageous ways. Taft has always shaped graduates who have changed and bettered their worlds, and it is hard to imagine a time where the need is greater. I think of the core values that serve as foundation to all we do here: service, honor, respect, scholarship, excellence, resilience, inclusion, love. Can we imagine a time when our work has mattered more?
Even as we still face a pandemic, students and faculty will return to campus next week. We know from our experience in the fall that we have hard and good work ahead of us. We will undertake it with the belief that has marked the school's work for its entire history: that our school matters greatly and is needed profoundly. We will feel this with the urgency and passion that has marked the challenging moments we have known over the years, and we will rise.
There is opportunity and obligation for us right now. We will care for and support all students, especially students of color who have reason to be especially pained by what they witnessed in law enforcement's treatment of white rioters. We will take advantage of the powerful educational spaces and moments available every hour and on every corner of campus: in history and government classes, in conversations among advisees and advisors, in community gatherings, in common rooms and at dining room tables, in our celebration on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, and after the Inauguration. We will seize these moments, we will care for all community members, and we will educate the whole student.
Non Ut Sibi,
William R. MacMullen '78
Head of School