Celebrating 125 through the lens of Antonio Viva, Head of School
The 2018–2019 school year marks Walnut Hill’s quasquicentennial, the 125th anniversary of our founding in 1893. Were it not for the vision of two extraordinary women, Charlotte Conant and Florence Bigelow, the school we have come to know and love would never have existed. It has been an extraordinary 125 years, marked by the expansion of our campus, the evolution of our programs, and recognition of our constant pursuit for excellence.
Throughout this year, we will embark on an international birthday tour celebrating Walnut Hill with the hundreds of friends, alumni, families, and partners we have come to call members of our extended community. It will also serve as an opportunity to acknowledge and thank those who participated in our recently completed Capital Campaign, Invest in Excellence: Front and Center. Through the generous support of our donors, we exceeded our goal of $15 million, raising over $16.3 million!
As a school and as a community, we can be thankful for and proud of everything we have accomplished in just over a century.
As part of this celebration of our alumni, students, and faculty—and as we take the time to look back at our rich and diverse history, traditions, and key moments—we are squarely focused on the future. I believe Walnut Hill is positioned to think boldly about the path it needs to take to secure another 125 years of preeminence. As I have shared with our staff and students, I charge us to pave the way for those who will look back 125 years from now and feel proud of the direction we chose to go in—a direction based on knowing who we are and why we exist. This includes expanding our role and impact locally, regionally, nationally, and internationally as one of the premier independent arts high schools in the United States. The world is in need of artists and creative thinkers now more than ever before, and one aspect of our work will be to explore how we can contribute our ideas, talents, and values to the extended communities of which we are a part.
Walnut Hill School for the Arts has served the ideals of Non Nobis Solum for over a century, and this idea of “Not for Ourselves Alone” should continue to guide us into the next century. As we take this year to celebrate, reflect, and honor, I look forward not only to the conversations we will have as we boldly enter into the future, but even more to having you join us on this journey.
Head of School