July 23, 2020
Dear Parents, Alumni, Faculty, Staff, and Friends of The Haverford School,
Over the past month or so, I have spoken with dozens of Haverford School alumni from the past five decades, and with parents and students from the Lower, Middle, and Upper Schools. Much of what I heard has been hard to hear; all of it has been important.
I heard that many students, parents, and alumni have at times felt unwelcome, discriminated against, and unwanted both during their time at Haverford and after. Again, I would like to apologize for the many times that the School has failed in its primary responsibility of making every Haverford boy feel safe and loved.
The hurt and harm has not been limited to Black and Brown students and alumni, although the experiences they shared have been the primary focus of many of our present discussions. Gay and transgender students have also shared their stories, as have students discriminated against because of their faith, socioeconomic status, and a myriad of other causes. Their pain is also our responsibility to resolve in ways that heal our community and make us stronger. They deserve better, and it is our duty–each of us associated with Haverford, whether as a faculty member, an alumnus, a parent, or a student–to do our part to nurture every boy at Haverford.
While these stories were often heartbreaking, it was clear that almost all participants attended because they valued their experience at the School. The students, parents, and alumni who attended almost universally praise the education they or their son received on Lancaster Avenue and love the friends that they have made here. However, each of them had something to share that they believed would make Haverford better for the next generation. We will continue to listen, and will continue to work toward making Haverford the best School it can possibly be for every boy who attends, now and in the future.
Over the months and years to come, we will communicate and describe the changes we are making–in our curriculum, our hiring and training practices, our teaching methodologies and pedagogies, and our culture–to make The Haverford School more welcoming and more equitable. The Haverford School has been leading and driving intentional change on Diversity and now Equity and Inclusion since 1987. We will work to both maintain and grow the greatness of this institution. We deeply value your input into those decisions; please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our determination to challenge young minds will not change. We will always strive to help students develop the attributes and reflective capabilities that mark the best lifelong learners. We will continue to ensure that character development and inquiry is at the heart of everything we do, as our young men grow in respect, honesty, courage, and kindness.
By doing so, we will ensure that as a Haverford School community we prepare boys for life by developing men of character, intellect, and compassion who will continue to transform our world.
Thanks for your continuing support of the School, of our community, and of the boys.