Friday, January 29, 2010

Balloons, applause, cheers, hugs, and tears of joy helped the Bement community celebrate one of its proudest moments. On January 29, 2010, trustees and donors came together to honor the opening of Jiayi and Blydenburgh Houses, new homes for twenty boys and their dorm parents. Dedicated donors made very clear that their gifts were inspired by personal and profound connections to the Bement family. We cried with Simon Lu P'09, the donor of Jiayi House, as he tenderly recognized Head of School Shelley Jackson for her devotion- "just like a mother"-- to his daughter, Jiayi "Alice" Lu '09. We cheered when he designated Alice as the caretaker of this dorm which now bears her name as a reminder of her of lifelong responsibility for Bement's well-being. We hugged with Linda Schutzman '83, PTT, when she honored her former dorm parents, Mike & Janice Currie P'99'02, for their loving attention to a scared thirteen-year-old boarder. We clapped when Shelley and the Board dedicated a room to Tell White 'GB, the founder and loyal president of our alumni association. The only thing missing from this celebration were Ray and Barbara Haas'70 Blydenburgh. Over time, Barb has named many spaces at Bement because of her own devotion to Bement as a boarder, and we now proudly see Blydenburgh House as a very permanent recognition of her unwavering support. Attendees at the event knew they were part of an historic moment in our little school, while also sensing that Bement's future had just been made infinitely stronger. Profound joy was abundant!

Happily, Ray and Barb Haas'70 Blydenburgh, who dedicated Blydenburgh House and were unable to attend the opening, were able to come for a visit to see what they helped accomplish for Bement. They were immediately drawn to to the care that was taken to ensure that this space accomodates the boys and its faculty with its sturdy, eco friendly features, and wonderfully warm space. Mostly, they were impressed at 'how we stretched their gift to make this all possible for the boarding community at Bement."

The most exciting news to report is that on February 13, 2010, volunteers from the Bement School community gathered and helped move sixteen boys and four faculty move into their new residence at Blydenburgh and Jiayi Houses. A place they can now call home.

Updated February 18, 2010

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