After the commencement ceremony at Hebron Academy, the graduating class joins together; they grab hold of a strong rope, hand beside hand, and pull in unison to ring the victory bell. The tolling bell is a sound recognized by everyone in the Hebron community. Throughout the year, teams have rung the bell in victory and just as with graduation; there is a moment of admiration, a celebration of achievement and success.
Ringing and responding to the bell is a deeply-felt tradition and source of pride at Hebron…but even more than the bell, it is the rope that embodies our character.
Through joining together on the rope, our achievements are shared with the community. And, through joining together as a community, we return our support to the team. Figuratively, each of us lends a hand in pulling the rope and ringing the bell.
That is the way we live at Hebron. We are a community first and foremost. And one that is different than others. Our community honors and respects differences. It is supportive of each individual, and acts as cheerleader for every success: academic, athletic, artistic.
We have no need or place for status, social privilege or entitlement. Here, pretenses are dropped. Privilege is set aside. People become themselves. And respect is freely given in the most egalitarian of ways.
But what makes Hebron truly different is that it is all real. Our culture is based on our values of respect, honor and trust. We set examples for each other in our daily lives. We work together in groups to develop and participate in activities that enrich our community. And, we encourage each other to achieve beyond our own expectations.
Our ways are inclusive. But there is no compromise in individual achievement. Respect given and work done for the betterment of community does not weaken the resolve to succeed. It strengthens it. Hebron students know that their community honors and respects each of them as integral to our identity. They are elevated by the encouragement they receive for their successes, and the support that is shown for their struggles.
The Hebron rope is over 200 years “long”. And it grows longer today, as it has since the beginning: one contribution, one success, one individual and one community at a time. Join together. Pull the rope. Ring the bell. And in that glorious sound, hear the voices of all who grasp the rope with you today – and of the many who held it before – cheering your success.