On August 7-8, the Class of 2020 was invited back to Berkshire for the first time in nearly 18 months for a special, first-ever First-Year Reunion.
When they departed campus back in March 2020 for spring break, the last thing the Class of 2020 imagined was that they would not be returning to Berkshire to complete their senior year. Time-honored Berkshire traditions like Prom, Senior Dinner, Prize Night, and, most especially, Commencement, were replaced by Zoom gatherings and virtual events. The connection and experience just weren’t the same.
As challenging as this time was for 2020, we quickly learned that this was a resilient group. Rather than succumb to disappointment, they continued to lead. They engaged fully and authentically in their virtual classes, challenged us to listen more openly and carefully, and created the Senior Heart, which served as a unifying symbol of hope for their class and for all of Berkshire that spring.
Hugs, smiles, tears, and laughter were plentiful throughout the Class of 2020’s return, as was the gratitude they expressed for having been invited “home.” For nearly 24 hours, the campus was theirs. They strolled through old classrooms, struck up some chords in the Music Center, graced the Allen Theater stage, played Wiffle ball and lawn games in Buck Valley, hiked (or drove) up to Guilder Pond, enjoyed a “Senior Dinner” in Benson, danced the night away to live music under a tent, feasted on late-night breakfast sandwiches in Shawn’s Place, and had one last delicious Sunday brunch before departing campus.
It was a joyous weekend and long overdue. Our pride for 2020 is immense, and collectively and individually, they represent the best of Berkshire. To see more photos from the weekend, click here.
To hear more about the impact of the weekend from the Class of 2020 in their own voices, please read below.
“Having my last moment under the Mountain be moving out day back in May 2020, it felt in many ways that a part of me was still stuck on the Berkshire campus. Coming back home, seeing everything with a clearer lens, really helped me close the chapter and move on. Seeing old friends and teachers was awesome, too.
When I was driving away from campus Sunday morning, I saw one of my friends walking alone on the football field. I stopped my car and hopped out to say goodbye, and after a little chat, I began to walk away. As I was about to step back into my car he called out and said, “Happy Graduation!” It really did feel like that, where I was finally able to “graduate” and officially say goodbye to my time under the Mountain. That, for me, was a proper final moment at Berkshire, condensing all the lifelong memories into a single phrase. Thank you, Berkshire.” –Alex Gibian
“My favorite part about returning to Berkshire was reuniting with my amazing classmates and teachers, and simply getting to be back on campus, feeling like I never left. As I drove away, I realized how grateful I am to be able to be a part of the Berkshire community, and how this reunion was exactly what we needed after all of the time we missed our senior year.” –Eliza Keller
“My favorite part of returning to Berkshire was simply being there again. Playing spike ball and the various activities in Buck Valley really made me feel at home. Sitting in the dining hall once again could not have felt more normal than it did.
I really appreciated the faculty who put this event together, and they are part of the reason why Berkshire felt so "homey" one year after leaving. It feels good to know that Berkshire School is in good hands no matter the time that passes.” –Manny Roldan