Nobles Parents' E-Newsletter

October 2017

Nobles Parents' Newsletter October 2017

"Strength Through Each Other" by Provost Bill Bussey

The first Tuesday following the passing of McCrae Williams ’17, students began the day meeting with their faculty advisors. Jen Hamilton, our director of counseling, guided us as to how best to navigate what was sure to be an emotional 20 minutes. One of her suggestions struck me as pitch perfect. I decided to ask the one student in my advisee group, a student whom I knew had more than a casual relationship with McCrae despite being a couple years younger, if he would share something about McCrae with us.

My advisee started off slowly and deliberately, finding his bearings. He spoke of how his family and McCrae’s family did things together. How both he and particularly his older brother were close to McCrae, how their families were all from the same community, and how they all played golf together. And then, he paused and nodded to himself. “I’ll tell you what,” he said. “Whenever McCrae saw me in hallway, he always said ‘hi’ and asked me how things were going. And you can tell that he really cared. And he did the same for my little sister who was in middle school. It wasn’t just my sister and me. McCrae reached out to plenty of other younger kids, too, and it made us all feel like we mattered, that we were special. He was in Class I and, in my experience, that’s not something a lot seniors do.” He paused again. “I have other things, but that’s it.”

Graduating seniors grouse in the months before they receive their diplomas that they never found time to try out for a play or musical. It’s their number one lament. What I suspect is that, not only do they wish that they could have experienced something out of their comfort zone, but also they wish they got to know people outside their comfort zone as well. Which college a person ends up attending, how many awards one received, and with whom you went to the prom soon proves to be ephemeral. Ultimately, we all come to the realization that the best measurement of a life well lived is the life that cared and reached out to others. 

Our community will indeed find our strength through each other.

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