9th grade is very monumental and a big milestone: the last year of middle school at Marlborough. The Freshman Class of 2024 has not been able to fully experience what this year is meant to be like. Marlborough students value their traditions, and Freshman year includes some of the most important traditions, including the Colors Presentation and the Pin Ceremony.
The 9th grade year is especially important because there are many new students (31 this year). It is crucial to present all that Marlborough has to offer to these students, and many traditions in 9th grade are able to do so. Nonetheless, many of our traditions have been reimagined and approached in different ways. Danielle Blette, the 9th Grade Dean, has been working tirelessly with council and other members of the Marlborough community to make sure that the Class of 2024 can have the best possible experience in these trying times.
The Colors Presentation is a grade project where the 9th grade class comes together to decide on three class colors and a class song. This year, the 9th grade has been split into five different committees: the Colors Committee, the Song Committee, the T-Shirt Committee, the Decoration Committee and the Presentation Committee. All of these committees play a crucial role in the development of the Colors Presentation, which normally occurs at an All-School Meeting, or ASM.
“The colors ceremony is really important for the class in terms of unifying them as a class. It’s a time where they really get to work together, organize themselves, come up with their colors, and decide on a song that represents them and why it represents them,” Anna Robinson, former 9th Grade Dean, and current 10th Grade Dean said.
The Pin Ceremony, on the other hand, is a more formal ceremony than the Colors Presentation. This ceremony marks the transition from 9th grade to 10th grade, and the beginning of upper school at Marlborough. Normally, this event occurs in Caswell Hall, where students are called in to receive a lanyard, provided by the Parent Association, displaying their pin and class colors. Furthermore, the class song and Alma Mater is sung, accompanied by speeches from the 9th grade class president and the current head of school, Dr. Sands. All students wear a formal uniform, serving not only the purpose of formality but also uniting the class as they make the transition to the upper school.
“I think that it is very important to be able to maintain our important traditions this year. Although they are going to be very different, it gives us a new experience and perspective on what these events are like. Between the Colors Ceremony and Pin Ceremony, I would say the Colors Ceremony is more meaningful for our class because it is a time where we come together and decide on something that will represent our class for the rest of Marlborough experience,” Chase ‘24 says when asked about her opinion on the 9th Grade traditions and which she believes is more meaningful for the class.
In essence, many aspects of these ceremonies are still to be decided for the 9th Grade class this year, but it looks as if these ceremonies will be modified to fit safety requirements. This could be a drive-through ceremony or a socially-distanced ceremony outdoors.
Although the Pin Ceremony and Colors Presentation are very important events, they are not the only events that have been reimagined for the class. A class retreat for the 9th grade, which was an outdoor camping trip, has been postponed to a later date, and the 9th grade dance coming up in the spring may also be modified.