Final Farewells

Monday, 31. March 2014

by Daniel Davis Wood

With classes finished for another term and the Shakespeare stage dismantled after two fantastic performances, this morning brought about the last important event of Winter Term 2014. As the springtime sun streamed in through the windows of the Grossen Saal, the Ecole community came together to enjoy a comedic performance from Michael Schreier’s Improv Theater team before saying goodbye to the students and staff who will be leaving the Ecole in the next few days.

Most of the time for farewells went to Nora, Max, Liam (pictured above), and Noëmi, the four Ecolianers who recently earned their Swiss Matura certifications. The Matura is an exceptionally demanding course of study that requires students to master a number of disciplines including music, art, and philosophy as well as core subjects such as math, science, history, literature, and languages. Only about one-fifth of all Swiss citizens finish school with a Matura certification, but all four of our Matura students passed with flying colors and made the Ecole community exceptionally proud when they sat for their exams earlier this month.

The official celebration in honor of our Matura graduates took the form of a Sunday morning brunch in the Galerie, with students’ families and friends in attendance alongside their teachers and Barbara Hanusa, Director of the Swiss Program at the Ecole d'Humanité. You can view a selection of photographs from the brunch by clicking here. This morning, however, it was everyone else’s turn to recognize the new graduates' achievements. The Grossen Saal filled with smiles and tears as Nora, Max, and Liam stood up to express their gratitude for the community support they have received over the last few years — or the last fifteen years in the case of Max who has grown up here at the Ecole — and then, to applause, they left the hall together and embarked on the next stage of their respective journeys.

There’s not much left to do now besides emptying bedrooms and cleaning the school before spring break begins in a couple of days. As our students prepare to pack their suitcases ahead of Wednesday’s travels, all of us here at the Ecole d’Humanité wish them a safe and happy vacation and we’ll see you back here in Summer Term.