On Thursday, Oct. 12, a heartwarming tradition unfolded as the Upper School welcomed grandparents and grandfriends to Kingswood Oxford.
Grandparents Day has been a long-standing tradition at Kingswood Oxford, but it wasn’t until last year that this event could resume after the COVID-19-induced hiatus. In past years, this day was known as Grandparents Day, but last year, it underwent a change to convey greater inclusivity, allowing students to bring not only their grandparents but also their special grandfriends.
This day provides a unique opportunity for students to introduce their grandparents and grandfriends to to their friends and teachers as well as the Kingswood Oxford community. “It is the happiest day of the year,” Associate Director of Alumni & Parent Relations Frances Van Huystee Morris ’90 said. “It’s joy all day long, and we wanted to share it with everyone since it’s such a great day.”
This joyful day started off with an assembly opened by Head of School Thomas Dillow, and then the emcees, seniors Jacob Mapp and Diya Mistri, introduced themselves. Jacob and Diya led students and visitors through the assembly, adding humor and lightheartedness. Oxfordians, KO’s all-girls a cappella group, gave a lovely performance of “The Star Spangled Banner.” Next, junior Lily Temkin gave a speech about the impact of grandparents, drawing on interviews she had done with students and faculty around campus.
After Lily’s speech, the all-boys a cappella group, Crimson 7, took the stage singing “Good Ol’ A Cappella.” Sophomore Leo Kollen spoke next, sharing a heartfelt speech about a special grandfriend who helped shape his life. Jacob and Diya came back on stage and played a round of “Guess That Tune” with the audience, giving out KO swag as a prize for correct answers. Lastly, the Upper School combined choir came out to sing “Gloria in Excelsis Deo,” making a great ending performance. Wrapping up the assembly, Head of the Upper School Lisa Loeb gave her final words and instructions for the rest of the day.
After the assembly, students brought their visitors to classes, giving them a first-hand experience of classes at KO. Those who had study hall or a free period could give their grandparents or grandfriends a tour around campus or stop in to shop at the school store, KO & Co. “I think this day was great for the grandparents because they got to experience what it is like to be back in the classroom,” junior Jenna Kanaan said. “It’s a lot of fun introducing your grandparents to your friends and teachers.”
After a delicious family-style lunch and an exciting day, the grandparents and grandfriends departed, ending this heartwarming tradition. While the grandparents left, their impact and effect on the community remained. “They just brought so much love into our school,” Mrs. Loeb said. “They really reframe what’s important: your family and the love that you share.”
Grandparents and Grandfriends Day truly encapsulates the strong bond between generations.