2015-2016 Photo Essays

Awards Presented at Commencement 2016 (Students)

The 2016 Commencement Exercises on Friday, June 10 included the presentation of awards to members of the senior class and to several underclassmen. More than 20 awards were given for the highest level of scholarship, leadership, dedication, and service. In addition, 31 seniors received Golden Eagle Awards acknowledging their participation in an interscholastic sport every season of their Upper School careers and five seniors received the Stewart Senior Honors Performance Award.

Contributing photographers: Irvin Simon Photographers

Class of 2016 Celebrates Commencement (Students)

It was a picture perfect day for the Class of 2016 Commencement Ceremony on Friday, June 10. The morning began with a Baccalaureate Service in the Ceres M. Horn Theatre, during which Director of Aquatics Scott Ward addressed the graduates and their parents (read his speech here.) Shortly after, the seniors gathered in Tagart Memorial Chapel and then processed out the doors and down the hill to Childs Memorial Terrace for the Commencement Exercises. Among the highlights was the senior speech given by Michael Phillips, who challenged his classmates saying, “Look to make extraordinary change with the extraordinary education you have received.” He also reminded them, “If you ever lose your way, just use the compass that McDonogh gave us, the one of respect, kindness, honesty, and responsibility. I am certain you will find your way back to an amazing path.” Speeches were followed by the presentation of diplomas and Alumni Association membership cards. Following the ceremony, the graduates and their families enjoyed a reception by the John McDonogh monument.

Contributing photographers: Don Hoelting and Irvin Simon Photographers

8th Grade Closes Middle School Chapter (Students)

Faculty, family, and friends gathered at Childs Memorial Terrace on Monday, June 6 for the Eighth Grade Closing Ceremony. The underlying theme of the morning, which Headmaster Charlie Britton, student speakers Daniel K. and Alexandrea D., and Middle School Head Darren Ford each touched on was: take advantage of the all opportunities available in Upper School so you will have no regrets. “Be willing to get out of your comfort zone next fall," said Ford. "Seek out a new friend, try something you have never tried before, or work a little different or harder at your academic work. Don’t settle for the same.” 

Much Ado About Nothing (Students)

On Saturday, June 4 the Roots Barn was transformed into the estate of Leonato, Governor of Messina, as the Shakespeare Institute staged their production of Much Ado About Nothing for a delighted audience.

Watch the video.


Athletic Awards Evening Highlights (Students)

During the Upper School Athletic Awards Evening on June 6, student-athletes were recognized for sportsmanship, involvement, leadership, and achievement in interscholastic sports. Three coaches, Amy Brooks, Ron Scott, and Rick Thompson, were also honored for their longtime service and dedication. In conclusion, Athletic Director Mickey Deegan announced the names of the 31 seniors who will receive Golden Eagle Awards at Commencement for participating in sports every season of their Upper School careers.  She also shared the following with the Class of 2016. “Graduation is four days away. Seniors, you will walk across Childs Memorial Court and receive a McDonogh diploma, which is the greatest trophy. No doubt your hearts will feel joy; joy for the friendships that you have forged on the playing fields and in the classrooms. On behalf of your coaches, we wish you the very best in college and in your future endeavors.”

Stewart Senior Honors Recital (Students)

Greer B., Ben F., Austin N, Tessa S., and Harry V. thrilled the audience with their performances at the 23rd annual Stewart Senior Honors Recital on Friday, June 3.  

Joy Shines Through at LS Closing (Students)

Although soggy spring weather forced the Lower School Closing Ceremony on Friday, June 3 inside the Rollins-Luetkemeyer Athletic Center, the joy of the day shone brightly. Before the ceremony, the 72 fourth graders received their McDonogh pins from their homeroom teachers. During the Closing Ceremony they received certificates of completion and students in PK to grades three officially moved up one grade with the exchange of banners. The ceremony also included music performed by the Lower School, fourth grade memories and advice, remarks from Headmaster Charlie Britton, and lots of hugs.

Alumni Boarders Reunite (Students)

McDonogh held its first-ever boarder alumni reunion on Thursday, June 2. It was the current students’ last night in the dorms for the 2015-2016 school year. Alumni ranging from the class of 1954 to 2015, along with current and former dorm parents, shared stories of their days in the dormitories and the bonds that boarding created. Alumni reminisced about the many hours spent in the old Jane Bay, Lyle, Allan, Rollins, and the "new" Jane Bay buildings, and some revealed pranks played on other boarders and various forms of mischief. 


Rootstock Cultivates Varied Interests (Students)

Rootstock 2016 was a day of service, salsa (dancing and the kind you eat with chips), mindfulness, and music. The eighth grade spent most of Tuesday, May 31 engaged in a series of activities at Roots that appealed to the mind, body, and sprit. Throughout the morning, students cycled through stations learning to play bluegrass; planting marigolds, peppers, sunflowers, and beans; practicing mindfulness; learning how to salsa dance; and making salsa which they enjoyed at their picnic lunch. After the cookout, they heard from Greg Nalley founder of Nalley Fresh, who spoke about his love of cooking and pursuing his dream. Then, Nalley joined the students for a jam session.

Cardboard Boats Feats of Engineering and Art (Students)

The 27th Annual Cardboard Boat Race on Friday, May 27, featured 10 boats constructed by groups of freshmen, sophomores, and juniors, as well as members of the softball team. From stem to stern, the boats were not only feats of engineering they were works of art. As usual, some of the boats were more seaworthy than others and by the end nothing could hold the industrial grade cardboard crafts together. (A special thanks to Arnold's Factory for their generous contribution of life jackets to the race this year!) The coveted cardboard B.O.B. (Best Overall Boat) trophy was awarded to the Political Boat. Congratulations to all the teams. 

McDonogh Fund Thanks Volunteers (Students)

An enthusiastic group of McDonogh Fund volunteers gathered at the home of Headmaster Charlie and Jen Britton on Wednesday, May 25 for a reception to thank them for their dedication to the campaign. More than 180 volunteer alumni, parents, alumni parents, grandparents, faculty, and staff were invited to celebrate their efforts, which have helped the annual campaign move closer to the $2,300,000 goal. The 2015-2016 McDonogh Fund campaign, which directly impacts every facet of the school, closes June 30.

McDonogh Remembers: Memorial Day 2016 (Students)

The entire McDonogh community gathered under sunny skies at Memorial Court on Thursday, May 26 to observe Memorial Day and to remember and honor McDonogh alumni who gave their lives in service to our country. 

Headmaster's Day Celebrates Dedication (Students)

Although nasty weather forced the annual Headmaster’s Day celebration on Friday, May 13 into the R-L Center, the event was cheerful and bright. First, the entire school community recognized 25 years of service from three dedicated employees and then they said farewell to eight longtime and much-loved faculty and staff members. Then, the editors of the Legacy dedicated the yearbook to English teacher Wright Abbot. After the Lower and Middle Schools were dismissed, Headmaster’s Day continued with the presentation of academic awards to deserving upper schoolers.

Historical Facts Board Games Make Studying Fun (Students)

Historical became hysterical when the AP World History students created their own historical facts board games that became study guides for the exam given in early May. Working in groups, students focused on a specific period of history and created a board game, which incorporated important events and historical figures for that period. The project not only reinforced their knowledge of world history but playing each other’s games was a fun way to study for the exam. Their teacher, Joanne Cho, who played the games with her students to test the finished products, said, “I laughed so much my stomach hurt!”

Egg Toss a Hands-On Lesson (Students)

It was a toss up which eggs would survive being thrown up in the air from a height of more than six feet. But the 4th graders devised protective packaging for the fragile ovals using everything from bubble wrap to cotton balls and marshmallows. The eggs-periment on Friday, May 20 was more than just fun, it was project-based learning.

7th and 8th Grade Orators Impress Audience (Students)

The 11 finalists in the annual Seventh and Eighth Grade Oratory program held on Friday, May 20 in the Horn Theatre addressed the Middle School audience with the clarity, poise, and expression of a professional. Seventh graders Maycie B., Catherine C., Cassidy M., Jacob R., Avinash T., and Natalie S. spoke about a significant moment in their lives, painting a picture with their words, and thus immersing the listener in the orator’s experience. The eighth grade speakers Kamila R., Jacob R., Caitlin H., Cody I., and Joe R. either described experiences that gave them insight into themselves and their lives or made persuasive arguments about topics of personal importance. The event was hosted by emcees Ellye A. ‘21 and Caroline B. ’20.


Chicago Alumni Enjoy Visit (Students)

Headmaster Charlie Britton traveled to the mid-west on Thursday, May 19 for an alumni event held at Sable Kitchen & Bar in downtown Chicago. Guests who graduated anywhere from seven to 50 years ago swapped stories of their McDonogh days, and Britton updated the group on admissions, the school's financial stability, and future initiatives to support students, families, and faculty.

MPA Says Thank You to Volunteers (Students)

Usually, when members of the McDonogh Parents Association (MPA) meet, it’s to plan events or pitch in to help. When they gathered on Thursday, May 19 it was all pleasure and an opportunity to thank the many volunteers who support the school throughout the year. After brief remarks from Headmaster Charlie Britton and expressions of gratitude from outgoing MPA President Debbie Thacker, the crowd enjoyed a breakfast and each other’s company.

6th Grade Triathlon Combines Fitness and Fun (Students)

Fitness and fun were the name of the game on Tuesday, May 10 at the annual Sixth Grade Triathlon. After three weeks of “training” during their physical education classes, the students hit the pool where they swam eight lengths (200 meters), then hopped on their bikes for a 1.75 mile ride, and finished up with a .75 mile run. The award at the end of the race was the pride and joy on the faces of the athletes, their teachers, and their parents for having completed the challenge.

Reunion Weekend 2016 Saturday Events (Students)

When Reunion Weekend festivities continued on Saturday, May 7, the McDonogh campus was again bustling with activity beginning with the presentation of the Alumni Association's Distinguished Service Award. Recipients of the 2016 award were: Mara Daniel, Upper School World Languages Teacher; Susan Waskey, Administrative Assistant to the Upper School, alumni parent, and McDonogh grandparent; and Philip Olsen, Head of Choral Music Department and alumni parent. As the sun broke through the clouds, hundreds of alumni and their families turned out for the Family Crab Feast and Picnic on the Rollins Quadrangle. Many also took the opportunity to tour campus and to explore the Archives. On Saturday evening, classes celebrating milestone reunions gathered on and off campus to catch-up and reminisce.

Reunion Weekend 2016 Friday Events (Students)

Reunion Weekend 2016 was met with torrential downpours on Friday, May 6, which caused some outdoor activities to be cancelled. The indoor activities, however, drew large and enthusiastic crowds beginning with a mid-morning Alumni Panel discussion with the Upper School student body. Next, guests traveled by bus to Roots Barn for the annual Alumni Luncheon and State of the School Address given by Associate Headmaster Tim Fish. The occasion was also an opportunity to dedicate the new barn and thank volunteers and donors for their support of Roots. Later, after a Memorial Service in Tagart Chapel, alumni and guests enjoyed a cocktail party in the Rogers Lobby of the Edward St. John Student Center. Special attention was paid to our “McDouble” alumni—those who married a fellow Eagle.

Athletic Hall of Fame Ceremony (Students)

Congratulations to the eight new members of McDonogh’s Athletic Hall of Fame. The induction ceremony on Thursday, May 5 kicked-off Reunion Weekend 2016. 

NCAA National Wrestling Champion Returns (Students)

Myles Martin ’15 received a warm welcome home on Wednesday, May 4, when he shared his experience of winning the NCAA National Wrestling Championship in March as an Ohio State freshman. Myles told the enthusiastic Upper School audience about his journey to McDonogh and the many life lessons he’s learned along the way. He said, “I’m thankful for McDonogh and every valuable experience that has developed who I am and what I represent to all others around me.”

An Explosion of All Things Math (Students)

Lower School enjoyed an explosion of numbers, shapes, counting, measuring, problem solving, and carnival treats at the Math Explosion on Wednesday, May 4. Students in color-coded aprons ran from station to station accomplishing age-appropriate, math-related tasks in a challenge modeled after The Amazing Race. The day, coordinated by Lower School Math Specialist Robyn Little, was a huge success thanks to parent, faculty, and eighth grade volunteers.

Alumni Clean Up at Roots (Students)

Alumni, parents, and families got their hands dirty at Roots Farm during the Alumni Association's Community Service Committee's Clean-Up Day, on Saturday, April 30. Major progress was made in getting the farm ready for spring. Weeds were pulled, mulch was spread, rocks were placed, and worms were unearthed! Thank you to our volunteers for the much-needed help.

Fourth Graders Share Their Heritage (Students)

Elderkin Hall was transformed into a Living Museum on Friday, April 29 as the fourth grade celebrated their heritage. Standing before their displays of photographs, maps, flags, and family trees, and dressed as one of their ancestors, the students shared their family history with visitors. Prior to the museum tours, the fourth graders and their guests enjoyed the opportunity to sample and celebrate each other’s heritage through a feast of traditional foods from around the world.


Sankofa Club Welcomes Alumni (Students)

McDonogh's Sankofa Club, formerly the Black Awareness Club, and the Alumni Office co-hosted a dinner for students and alumni guests on Thursday, April 28, in the Mullan Board Room. Student members provided an update on their initiatives and goals, and opportunities for alumni involvement were shared. A candid and insightful question and answer session followed, allowing students the chance to discuss current challenges, learn about the experiences of black alumni during their time at McDonogh, and brainstorm ways of continuing to build support and deepen their sense of community. Sankofa comes from the language of Ghana and means you must reach back to reclaim that which is lost in order to move forward.

An Evening of Archives & Arts (Students)

Members of McDonogh’s Living Legacy Society enjoyed an evening of “Archives & Arts” on Tuesday, April 26. The event began in the Archives in Jane Bay Hall, where guests pored over photographs and artifact that brought back many fond McDonogh memories. Prior to moving to the Horn Theatre for the All-School Strings Concert, guests heard from Kevin Costa, Director of Fine and Performing Arts, who gave an update on the arts at McDonogh.

An Artistic Adventure in Lower School (Students)

The Lower School’s annual Adventure With the Arts Day on Friday, April 22 took children and families on a colorful journey of music and art. Following a musical performance, each grade explored Edlerkin Hall, which was transformed into a museum. Throughout the day, students and their guests enjoyed the opportunity to showcase their own work and to appreciate the talents of children in other grades.

Enjoy the musical and artistic talents of prekindergarten through first grade here and second through fourth grade here.

Cum Laude Scholars Inducted (Students)

McDonogh School's Cum Laude Society welcomed 29 new members from the Classes of 2016 and 2017 at an induction ceremony on Thursday, April 21. The keynote speaker, H. Stacey Boyer ‘76, who holds the distinction of being McDonogh’s first female student and first female graduate, spoke about “Always Becoming.” The national honor society, which recognizes academic achievement, is modeled after the Phi Beta Kappa collegiate honor society. One of 18 Maryland schools with a Cum Laude chapter, McDonogh has been a member since 1955.

Contributing photographer: Abbey B. '17

"Peter and Wendy" Impresses (Students)

The McDonogh Theatre Lab presented an adaption of Peter and Wendy in the Horn Theatre over the weekend of April 15, 16, and 17. Written by Technical Director Alison Andersen, the production featured Upper School students, three eighth graders, and faculty from across the school in roles that ranged from actors to designers. Upper School students also served as the Assistant Director and the Stage Manager.

Baltimore Area Alumni Enjoy Evening (Students)

Baltimore area alumni had the opportunity to "wine down" at the Wine Market Bistro on Thursday, April 14 at a happy hour attended by more than 100 McDonogh graduates representing six decades. Joining the alumni were Headmaster Charlie Britton and faculty members Wright Abbot, Marilyn Boyle, Bridget Collins, Cynthia Cox, Mara Daniel, Darren Ford, Jan Kunkel, Bob Mahon, Ceil Millar, Andy Motsko, Pete and Patty Welch, and Mina Wender, who enjoyed the opportunity to reminisce with their former students.

Don’t be Alarmed by Firefighters' Visit (Students)

When the Baltimore County Fire Department pulled up in front of the prekindergarten building, no one was alarmed. The firefighters from the Garrison Station came to McDonogh on Wednesday, April 6 to speak to the children about fire safety and to give them a tour of their fire truck. PK is looking forward to a visit from the police department later this month.


Alumni Gather in NYC and Philadelphia (Students)

McDonogh descended on the Big Apple on Wednesday, March 30 when Headmaster Charlie Britton joined New York City alumni for two events. One group of guests gathered in the afternoon for lunch at 3 West Club and later, in the evening, a different crowd attended a McDonogh happy hour at West 3rd Common. 

The following day, alumni who are living, working, and attending college in the Philadelphia area gathered at Barclay Prime off of Rittenhouse Square for an evening reception with Headmaster Britton and faculty members Katie Mitchell Pearl '89 and Laddie Levy '63.


7th Grade Packs 30,000 Meals for the Hungry (Students)

For two solid hours, 98 seventh graders packaged 30,000 nutritiously balanced meals for the hungry in Haiti and Baltimore. Working with the non-profit organization No Child Hungry, the event, held on Friday, April 1, was the culmination of the seventh grade study on issues of human rights, hunger, and sustainability. During the past two months, students raised more than $9,000 – enough to package the meals. With every 1,000 meals packed, a gong clanged in celebration!

McDonogh's Supreme Court Hears Arguments (Students)

Judge Fred Smalkin `64 and University of Baltimore Law School Professor Natalie Ram presided over the "Supreme Court of McDonogh" in the case of Bernard v Minnesota on Tuesday, March 29. The case addressed the question: "Can a drunk driving suspect constitutionally be charged with a crime for refusing to take a breathalyzer for blood alcohol content in the absence of a warrant ordering him to take the test?" This was the 6th annual oral argument before Judge Smalkin and the students once again rose to the challenge.

Kindergartners Enjoy Eggciting Hunt (Students)

Wearing bunny ears they made in the classroom, the kindergarten hopped around Tagart Memorial Chapel, Childs Memorial Terrace, and the John McDonogh Monument in search of eggs. The hunt, on Thursday, March 25, was not just about tradition, the children had to find the eggs with their initials, their birthdate, and their address.

First Graders Rate the Seniors (Students)

When the senior Speech class met with a group of first graders in the Lower School library on Wednesday, March 9, it was not just for story time. The first graders had an important job to do. They were asked to rate the seniors on their pace, volume, and expression using smiley faces and “frowney” faces. Judging from the pictures, the seniors were very expressive.


Upper School vs. Faculty in Annual Game (Students)

The sixth annual Faculty-Student Basketball Game on Tuesday, March 8 came down to the final second and ended with the score tied at 62. The traditional pre-Spring Break game began with the singing of the National Anthem by freshman Anaiya D. Then, each Upper School grade took on the faculty for a period. The score was close throughout the game and mid-way through the final quarter the seniors looked like they were going to seal the student victory. Excitement peaked in the final seconds as the faculty made some lucky shots including a three-pointer at the buzzer. 

Multicultural Night: A Celebration of Family (Students)

Members of the McDonogh Family showcased their diverse heritage through food, song, music, and dance at the Annual Multicultural Night celebration on the evening of Friday, March 4.  A dozen acts, performed by students of all ages, impressed the audience who also enjoyed conversation and a variety of international culinary delights donated by families, local restaurants, and Sage Dining. View the performances here.

Making McDonogh Connections in Washington, D.C. (Students)

Alumni spanning the classes of 1957 through 2014 joined veteran faculty members - current and retired - for an evening of McDonogh camaraderie in Washington, D.C. on Thursday, March 3. The Cosmos Club served as the perfect venue for guests to connect, reconnect, and hear from Headmaster Charlie Britton on the strong state of McDonogh. In keeping with tradition, when asked by Britton, several alumni successfully recited The McDonogh Uniform by Eustace Glascock, Class of 1879. Alumnus Dudley Ives '65 remarked that the spirit of the evening - establishing and maintaining deep connections and relationships with each other - was the one aspect researchers have discovered leads to happier and healthier lives. Agreed!


Eighth Grade Robots to the Rescue (Students)

When disaster strikes, call on the eighth graders who spent the winter term learning to program Lego robots to perform a series of tasks in a FIRST Lego League (FLL) robotics challenge called Nature’s Fury. On Wednesday, March 2 teams of students spent the morning on the stage in the Klein Lyceum putting the robots that they had programmed to the test of assisting a community during a natural disaster. The robotics course teaches basic programming and the FLL's core values of teamwork, cooperation, and collaboration.

Celebrating Zero and 100 Days (Students)

The kindergarten understands the power of zero, a number that makes counting by tens possible. On Tuesday, March 1 the little Eagles celebrated their 100th day of school and the very important number with a visit from Zero the Hero and lots of counting fun.

Take Apart Day Satisfies Curiosity (Students)

From toasters, toys, and telephones to computers, cameras, and coffeemakers almost no machine was spared at the annual fourth grade Take Apart Day on Friday, February 26.  Armed with their curiosity and a few tools, the students dismantled the unusable appliances and gadgets; and they discovered that many complex machines have simple machines inside them. See more here.

Kindergarten Discovers the Fun of Maps (Students)

A treasure hunt on Friday, February 26 took a group of kindergartners, who recently learned about maps, across campus where they discovered fun facts about McDonogh history. Pretending to be pirates, they followed a map to the business office where they were given access to the vault. There, instead of doubloons, they received another map directing them to Room 5 of Allan Building and the real treasure – ice cream sundaes.

Negro League Players, Buffalo Soldiers Tell History (Students)

Prior to an assembly marking Black History Month, the fifth grade had an opportunity to meet with former Negro League players and to tour an exhibit of memorabilia outlining the League’s history. Also on hand, with a historical display, were members of the Buffalo Soldiers, a group dedicated to preserving the memory of the all-black cavalry. Both groups spoke to the Middle School about their place in history and their efforts to gain recognition.

Entrancin’ Dancin’ at McDonogh (Students)

Fifty-eight dancers from the Upper School swept onto the stage of the Ceres M. Horn Theatre on February 20 and 21 to perform 16 unique dances for two appreciative audiences. The dances were created by 14 choreographers that included alumni, faculty members, and students in every grade of the Upper School.

First Graders Help the Homeless (Students)

For months, McDonogh’s first grade students have been collecting sample size shampoos and soaps and doing odd jobs to earn money. Their goal was to put together winter kits for men and women who live on the streets of Baltimore. On Wednesday, February 17, the children, their teachers, and parent volunteers assembled more than 150 kits filled with the samples they collected, as well as other necessities such as warm socks purchased with the money they earned. Later that afternoon, the first grade teachers distributed the kits to people on the streets, at a rescue mission, and on the steps of Healthcare for the Homeless. Teacher Mary-Catherine Irving reported, “The kits were so very appreciated, and the men and women really took time to read the cards attached to the bags.”


Singers Deliver Sweet Songs (Students)

It wouldn’t be Love Week at McDonogh without singing telegrams delivered by the Gentleman Songsters and Women of Note. The two a cappella groups strategically wove in and out of classrooms in the Upper School buildings on Thursday, February 11 serenading students, teachers, and staff members with sweet songs. All in the name of love!

Littlest Eagles Share the Love (Students)

McDonogh’s kindergarten and prekindergarten took some time this week to make Valentines for the hungry and homeless in Baltimore who are served by Corpus Christi Church. The prekindergartners packed treat bags, which also honed their counting skills, and the kindergartners created cards with messages of love. According to Bridget Collins ’90 Director of Religious Studies, Character, and Service, “Engaging the students in outreach efforts helps them understand the meaning of giving.” Throughout the year, the Lower School makes sandwiches, which are distributed to the needy by Corpus Christi.

Happy Chinese New Year (Students)

Lower School students celebrated the Chinese New Year on Monday, February 8 in a variety of ways. In the morning, kindergartners heard a story about the zodiac, read by a parent. Later, third graders learned how to write “Happy New Year” in Chinese calligraphy, and fourth graders made and enjoyed savory dumplings, a food traditionally shared on festive occasions. Today’s celebration marks the beginning of the Year of the Monkey.

Blizzard Beauty on Campus (Students)

Beautiful scenes from McDonogh the morning after the Blizzard of 2016. Many thanks to the crews from Grounds, Maintenance, Housekeeping, and Security who are working around the clock to clear the snow and make the campus safe for students, faculty, and staff to return!

Photos courtesy of Andy Motsko.

Fourth Grade Collects Books for Children (Students)

The fourth grade recently learned about the rights of every child to an education regardless of gender, socioeconomic status, or geographic location. On Tuesday, January 19, they met with representatives from the International Book Bank (IBB) to pack up brand new books and educational materials they collected for children in Panama. The books (the kids' favorites, in Spanish of course) and school supplies have been collected by the fourth grade in the past month. 

PK has Wild Afternoon with ZOOmobile (Students)

Prekindergarten students went on a “sensory safari” when the ZOOmobile arrived at McDonogh from the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore. Students explored how animals use their senses of sight, smell, hearing, taste, and touch. They enjoyed meeting Echo, the African grey parrot and Snow Queen, the chinchilla. The highlight of the event was an exciting encounter with Lilly, an African penguin, usually found only on the south-western coast of Africa. 

- Photos by: Cindy Green


Holiday Project Delivers Love (Students)

Hundreds of boxes of colorfully-wrapped toys, books, and clothes poured out of classrooms and buildings across campus and into three large trucks destined for St. Gregory the Great Church where they will be distributed to 135 families including 401 children. It was the last step in the 2015 Holiday Project, now in its 25th year. The success of the Holiday Project, which ended with the delivery on Wednesday, December 16, was the result of much hard work and the generosity of the McDonogh community. Bridget Collins, Director of Religious Studies, Character, and Service, summed up the spirit of the project saying, “I am inspired by knowing that in a world that has been darkened by violence this year, the light of love will be shining in 135 homes because of the compassion and generosity of the McDonogh community. Thank you for brightening the lives of so many people this holiday season.”

Holiday Bazaar Full of Festive Fun (Students)

No one knows for sure how many Holiday Bazaars there have been in McDonogh’s history, but this merry event has provided food, fun, gifts, and games to generations of McDonogh family members. Alums talk about attending Christmas Bazaars in the Allan Building’s basement and eating too much “official” McDonogh fudge. Current families enjoy this festive gathering in the Rollins-Luetkemeyer Center where they can meet, greet, eat, shop, and play the day away. Held on Saturday, December 12, this year’s Bazaar featured many of its traditional attractions plus a Lower School Craft Corner, and a Secret Santa Shop for the youngest gift givers. Congratulations and thanks go out to the many volunteers whose time, talent, and hard work made this event possible!

McDonogh’s Holiday Assembly is Inside Out (Students)

Poor Riley! She and her family have just moved to Baltimore from Minnesota and she’s trying hard to adjust to 60-degree weather in December, no ice hockey team, and a school where everyone wears orange and black—it’s enough to turn a girl “Inside Out" (just like the movie!). Luckily, Riley’s emotions (personifications of Joy, Anger, Fear, Disgust, and Sadness) are doing their best to help her cope, while her dean, Mrs. Ottinger, encourages her to engage in school life. Their support, along with fabulous performances by 15 of McDonogh’s instrumental, dance and choral groups, help restore Riley’s holiday spirit and put her back on the road to joy. Conga, anyone?

Watch the fun here.


Alumni Enjoy Spirited Holiday Lunch (Students)

The annual Orange and Black Holiday Luncheon on Thursday, December 10 brought more that 50 alumni back to campus. The afternoon began with spirited music performed by the Third and Fourth Grade Chorus under the direction of Javon Morris-Byam ‘10, who even got the guests to sing-along to “Jingle Bells.” After lunch, Middle School English teacher Jon Aaron ’72 shared his latest project: working with several Lower School grades, connecting elements of McDonogh history to the students' experiences in their classrooms. He shared one particularly rewarding and enlightening trek across campus with the prek classes--yes, those are our four-year-olds--in search of the McDonogh seal.

Field Trips to Faraway Places (Students)

A number of classes in all three divisions went on spectacular field trips on December 10, and they didn't use traditional modes of transportation to reach their destinations. Thanks to special goggles and the Google Expeditions Pioneer Program, students had a blast traveling to places like the Moon, Rome, Greece, the Great Barrier Reef, and Macchu Pichu, to name a few! As a third grader proclaimed while exploring Badlands National Park in South Dakota, "This is a fun way to learn!"

Student Art on Display at the Walters (Students)

Artwork created by 27 lower school students during the 2014-2015 school year is on display at the Walters Art Museum through December 20.  Students and their families attended an opening reception at the museum on Saturday, December 5 during which former Head of Lower School Noreen Lidston spoke on the importance of art education for all children.

Celebrating 40 Years of Coeducation at McDonogh (Students)

Female and male graduates and faculty guests celebrated McDonogh's 40th anniversary of coeducation at The Center Club in downtown Baltimore on Friday, December 4. After watching a short documentary commemorating the occasion, guests heard an insider's perspective on the transition from former Headmaster Dr. Bill Mules '59 who was the Academic Dean and Head of the Upper School at the time. Additionally, H. Stacey Boyer '76, the first female to apply, be accepted to, and graduate from McDonogh, offered her reflections on the impact her McDonogh education had on the rest of her life. 
Faculty members Dave Harley, Laddie Levy, and Peggy Warner, who were teaching at McDonogh the year females were admitted, were in attendance at the luncheon, as were others who began teaching in the early days of coeducation: Ane Lintvedt, Bob Mahon, Patrice Preston, and Rob Smoot.

Young Alumni Reconnect Over Thanksgiving (Students)

McDonogh’s Alumni Association hosted a variety of events for recent graduates over the 2015 Thanksgiving break. The fun began on Wednesday, November 25 as older young alumni (2001-2012) flocked to Federal Hill for a happy hour. On Thanksgiving morning, younger young alumni and soon-to-be alumni (2012-2016) enjoyed a pancake breakfast in Paterakis Hall where Headmaster Charlie Britton, Board President Arthur Adler '78, and several faculty members served breakfast to the college-age crowd. On Friday morning, former girls’ soccer players rallied for their 16th consecutive alumnae game, and boys’ lacrosse alumni burned up some Thanksgiving calories in a seriously fun game along with many current players.

Lower School Shares McDonogh with Grandparents (Students)

The Lower School got a jump start on celebrating with family at Grandparents Day, held Tuesday, November 24. Together, they read stories, worked on puzzles, and conducted interviews, which allowed the two generations to learn more about each other. Along with classroom visits, grandparents and other special friends enjoyed performances by the children on stage in the Horn Theatre. See the performance by prekindergarten, kindergarten, prefirst, and first grade students here and the performance by second, third, and fourth grade students here.

Thanks for Helping Roots Grow (Students)

As Roots is put to bed for the winter, we give thanks to the many people who help at the farm. In addition to the student, parent, alumni, and faculty/staff volunteers, thanks also Sage Dining and to the Grounds, Maintenance, and Transportation departments.


Blankets Give Hope to Sick, Injured (Students)

The Lower School’s Blankets of Hope Chapel on Friday, November 13, led by the third grade, was an opportunity for the community to share love, support, and encouragement for the sick and injured. Using the money earned at their shoeshine stand, the third grade bought fleece and made 40 “blankets of hope” to donate to the Red Devils, an organization that supports breast cancer patients. This year, the students made an extra camouflage fleece blanket for McDonogh junior Archer Senft who is recovering from a spinal cord injury suffered in August. Archer’s sister, Paula, was on hand to receive the blanket and a book of poems the third graders wrote for him. Watch the Blankets of Hope Chapel here.

100th McDonogh-Gilman Football Game (Students)

The 100th McDonogh vs. Gilman Football Game on Saturday, November 7 attracted more than 11,000 fans to McDonogh's campus for a day of festivities.

Contributing photographers: Leslie Finkelstein, Middleton Evans '82