[Editorial] Honoring Casey Dunne
by The Milton Measure on Friday, October 16th, 2015
On Friday October 9th, Casey Dunne, a junior at the Noble and Greenough School and resident of Wellesley, MA, unexpectedly passed away. Casey was a vibrant member of the Nobles’ Varsity Field Hockey Team and a beloved friend, classmate, daughter, and sister. Her passing was a tragic shock to many communities, including Milton’s.
In an email to the school on Columbus Day, Monday, Oct. 12, Dean of Students Jose Ruiz encouraged the Milton community to wear blue, white and a bow and in honor of Casey and her family and in support of the Nobles community . The following day during recess, Head of School Todd Bland and Gillie Sanders (II) addressed the Upper School in the Student Center about this tragic incident. Fighting back tears, Gillie shared her memory of Casey as an “incredibly positive and vibrant person” who truly “embodied what it meant to ‘Dare to be True.’
After Gillie’s words, Mr. Bland emphasized that, in moments of shock and great sadness, it is often easier to avoid discussion and allow each of us to find our own path through difficult and emotional times. Often, grief is thought of as a solitary experience. Yet, Milton’s is unique in that we as a community do not believe in sweeping aside difficult emotions but rather encourage the practice of sorting through them together. As Mr. Bland said, “It is okay to feel. No matter what you are feeling you should not go through it alone.”
After the speech, Upper School students shared a moment of silence in honor of Casey, which induced many tearful and heartfelt reactions from those who knew her personally and even from those who did not. Afterwards, all students in the Student Center posed for a photograph in support of the Dunne family, forming heart symbols with their hands.
As a board, we are proud to be a part of a community in which compassion is at the forefront of our administration’s minds. We believe it’s important to do something—whether large or small—to honor Casey and to express our sympathy to the Dunne family and all those grieving.
Though an air of competition may work its way into the Milton student’s mindset, our shared capacity for empathy allows us to come together in support of our own community and the communities around us.
In times like these, we realize that “Dare to be True” means more than honesty; it means showing compassion and empathy. It means not being afraid to feel. It means lifting each other up in times of hardship.
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