Shore alumni and parents of alumni crowded an elegant space inside the Trillium Brewing Company's new location in Boston's Fort Point neighborhood on April 3 for a first-of-its-kind “Happy Hour” event that reinvigorated ties to the school for several generations of Shore families. In attendance were long-time English teacher and guest of honor Walter Morris, who announced his retirement this year; Head of School Clair Ward; and the staff of Shore’s Advancement Office. Said Director of Advancement Jody Johnson, “We were thrilled with the turnout of more than 60 guests—clear evidence that people are eager to reconnect with each other, the school, and especially one of its legendary teachers, Walter Morris. Shore is at an exciting point in its history, and we think this is an ideal time for us to be fostering relationships that start when students are young and last a lifetime.”
Alumni from the Classes of 2007, 2010, and 2011, along with graduates from several class years in the late 1990s, were well represented at the event; a slideshow featuring archival photos from their time at Shore elicited smiles and reminiscences, as did conversations with Walter Morris, a beloved figure whose 25 years at the school had clearly made an impact on many of those in attendance. Several alumni and their parents came to the event together. Taylor Chin ’11, who enjoyed Trillium’s artisanal brews and savory appetizers along with his parents, Merril and Gregory Chin—a former Shore Trustee—, said, “It was so much fun! There was a great turnout from my grade. We had not seen each other in a while, and the night brought us all back together.”
In remarks to the attendees, Head of School Clair Ward welcomed their continued involvement with the school and encouraged them to visit, noting that although they’d find much that is new across Shore’s campus and programs, they would also encounter familiar hallmarks of the school. “Curiosity and intellectual exploration remain defining characteristics of every Shore classroom,” Ward said, “and I am confident that echoes your own experiences at Shore.”
Ward also announced to guests that this would be Walter Morris’s final year at Shore, a fact that elicited mock protests from listeners for whom Morris had become an icon of teaching. Ward sympathized, agreeing, “Walter announcing his retirement is definitely a ‘happy-sad’ moment for Shore. A true intellect, Walter puts his ego aside to do what it takes to simultaneously care for and challenge children. He engages without judgement, and there is no greater example for our children to see as they become citizens of the world.” When Ward asked the guests for a show of hands to indicate whether they or their children had been impacted by Morris’s teaching, nearly all hands in the room were raised.
Ward concluded her remarks by stating, “We are on a mission to keep you all connected to Shore and to each other, and you can look forward to hearing about more events like this one. After all, Shore is still your home. Some of you have already made the trip back to campus, and our students have loved hearing Shore stories from the graduates of the school. In a school year in which I’ve spoken much about ‘growing gratitude,’” Ward said, referring to a schoolwide theme she outlined in September, “I want to say how grateful I am to be here with all of you.”