Head of School Tad Roach surprised the Class of 2018 last Tuesday evening when he told them that they would be spending the following day in Washington, D.C., in celebration of the great leadership they have displayed throughout this school year. Students and faculty enjoyed the visit to the nation's capital as they were able to take in many different museums including the Newseum, the National Air and Space Museum and the favorite, the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture.
Emily Pressman, chair of the History Department, was blown away by the National Museum of African American History and Culture and was especially excited to visit the museum on the 200th birthday of Frederick Douglass commenting, "The History exhibits told a story that was simultaneously very familiar from my teaching, and yet also revelatory in the ways that they presented it ." In particular, Pressman was struck by the power of seeing a first edition of Douglass' My Bondage, My Freedom on Douglass's birthday, as well as the approach that the museum took in an interactive exhibit asking visitors to consider what their own participation in the Civil Rights Movement might have looked like. "It echoed the call SNCC leader Diane Nash issued to all of us in Engelhard Hall earlier this year to consider what was done for us, and what our role in the ongoing movement might be."
Senior Will Weaver had this to say about the exhibits, "The DC trip was a great way to get off campus for a day and I was able to finally see the National Museum of African American History and Culture. The museum was especially engaging for me because, being a student in Ms. Pressman's History of Social Reform Movements class, and also writing my senior exhibition paper on The Underground Railroad, I was able to see a visual representation of the history I had been reading and writing about. The ability to make these kinds of connections with the real world and to see how my work in classes can relate to the work of countless other historians and activists is truly a one of a kind experience."
The students wrapped up their trip by visiting Union Station and enjoyed a variety of dining selections.