A Final Opportunity to Say Goodbye

Director of Upper School Eric Benke addressed the Upper School in his newsletter one more time before the beginning of summer and the end of his tenure at The Baldwin School.

This is my last opportunity to say goodbye to you. Seniors, we’re in a similar situation – getting ready to leave a place that has been home to us for many years. Like you, I have mixed feelings – excitement about what the future holds yet a little nervousness as well. In any case, it’s the right time in our lives to move on to the next thing.

I have so many people to thank for the experience I’ve had here that I would be all day listing them. My colleagues have been a great part of my career here, and our mutual trust and respect have been vital to making these years so good.

I believe the coming century will be the time when women take their place in the world. We desperately need your leadership and creativity. There will be resistance to this new order, but this battle will be won in your lifetime. We need you to take on the great problems of the world, and my generation is putting its hopes in you to apply the solutions we already have to solve the great issues that face us: disease, hunger, poverty.

The biggest problem we face is hatred, which cannot be solved by technology. Instead, we must be strong in our love for others and demonstrate the power of love. Every day, you have the power by your words and actions to make a difference, whether it’s saying hello to a teacher at school or how you treat the guy behind the counter at the coffee shop. A few simple words can make someone’s day – don’t forget that power.

Usually I assign you homework over the summer, but I’m not going to this year. You’re getting a break. Instead, try to live with an awareness that your love and respect for others makes a difference. You can be an example of what the world needs even in your day-to-day lives.

So, it’s time to say goodbye; to quote Robert Frost: “I have promises to keep/ and miles to go before I sleep/ and miles to go before I sleep.”

For the last time, Seniors are dismissed.