The 2022-2023 senior speaker series continued on November 7. It featured six members of the Class of 2023: Sam Chen, Damon Li, Trevor Lussier, Jake Islam, Anna Calkins, and Tucker Clague.
Sam Chen, a three-year senior from Sichuan, China, shared an important life lesson that he first learned when he was four years old, after living through the Sichuan Earthquake—cherish the people and things around you. He said, “In the fourteen years after this, I never told this story to anyone. I was always unable to bravely face this thing. Hundreds of people had lost their lives in front of my eyes. Today I stand here to tell so many people to listen to this story and to prove that I have finally let it go.”
Damon Li, a three-year senior from Beijing, China, spoke about his gratitude for his friends for helping him through challenging times. He said, “Just like the galaxies, friendship cherishes our differences and unites our commonalities. It is the sword that cleaves the darkness, the lighthouse that guides the lost, the guardian angel that shields danger, and the torch that melts the ever-frost.”
Trevor Lussier, a four-year senior from West Suffield, Connecticut, shared a few memories from his time at Suffield so far. He spoke about the impact of his freshman year soccer team, sharing, “This team is where I found a group of guys that made the past four years the most memorable years of my life. From the endless hours on the turf playing Spikeball or the spur of the moment ideas in the summer, thank you for making the bad days good and the good days great.”
Jake Islam, a four-year senior from Suffield, Connecticut, spoke about his favorite faculty member at school: his brother, Joe, who teaches in the history department. He said, “When I look back at my life and think of the person that had the most impact on me, Joe is the only answer. He is the epitome of a role model as he shows kindness to everyone, is so smart he doesn’t even know it, and is the most fun and hilarious person I have ever met. To this day, I do not think I would have made it through life without your guidance and love.”
Anna Calkins, a four-year senior from East Longmeadow, Massachusetts, reflected on a letter that she wrote to her future self in sixth grade. She said, “Although I do miss the time when life was so simple and my only worry was whose mom could drive there if my mom drove back, I still look forward to my future with the same hope that I did in 6th grade.”
Tucker Clague, a three-year senior from Portola Valley, California, spoke about his experiences with his Suffield roommates. He talked about the differences between them, what living together during the pandemic was like, and how his roommates were what truly sold him on Suffield. He ended by saying, “Thank you to all the boys I’ve ever lived with...you’ve made it pretty great.”
The senior speaker series is a valuable Suffield Academy tradition and capstone part of the Leadership Program. It is a weekly highlight in our community.