The following was published in our annual newsletter to guidance counselors, which mailed in September 2015.
This summer I celebrated my 30th high school reunion, and I took surprising comfort from being with people who know precisely what I know of a time and place that feels so distant. For a brief moment we were 17 again—reminiscing about prom and parties, confessing to secret crushes, and belting out songs that only those of us who came of age in the early ’80s could appreciate. Fortunately for all, substance won out over the superficial and we quickly returned to the grown-up versions of ourselves. We reflected on choices, both then and now, and how they shaped our paths. I could not help but wonder how different our lives would be if we knew then what we know now.
While several marveled at how little guidance we received at our rural, public high school, many talked about one act of kindness, one teacher, one counselor who cared about us and helped shape our lives in ways that were almost invisible then, but are awe-inspiring now. If you are reading this newsletter, you have likely been that person. Surely not all of your students are heading off to highly selective colleges, and the impact you’ve had on them may not always be obvious when they cross the stage at graduation. But my reunion reminded me that some on-ramps are longer than others, and people can be wonderfully surprising.
Thank you for seeing the potential in students when it is not always obvious, and for the patience and guidance you show them at their most vulnerable stages. We strive to do the same on our end. Even though we cannot invite all who have their hearts set on Hamilton to join our community, we are reassured that the youthful spirit is as resilient as it is fragile. Please know that partnering with you on behalf of them is a responsibility and privilege we never take lightly.
On that note, enclosed with this newsletter is information regarding the members of Hamilton’s Class of 2019. They are record-breaking in many ways, and of course we are proud. But we and you know they are so much more than their statistics. So we pass along this somewhat incomplete snapshot, hoping that these data are helpful as you point others in our direction, with a reminder that we value so many other non-quantifiable factors in our selection process.
One of my high school classmates commented how pleased she was to discover that by 30 years out, most of us had recovered from being teenagers. As a mother of a 14-year-old, I take great solace in that fact. As a dean of admission, I’m not surprised one bit.
Monica C. Inzer
Vice President and Dean of Admission and Financial Aid