Hudnut, Huybrechts opening acts at initiation of new Bing Auditorium

President Thomas C. Hudnut spoke about the process and results of hard work, and Head of School Jeanne Huybrechts talked about the importance of art in student education at the first Parents’ Association meeting of the year last Tuesday.

The meeting initiated the Middle School’s new Bing Performing Arts Center. Chris Hazy (Steven ’00, Charissa ’03, Trenton ’05 Courtney ’11) cut the ceremonial ribbon, followed by red and white confetti raining down on the audience.

As a slideshow played behind her, Huybrechts talked about the influence art had on her childhood in Toledo, Ohio. On Saturdays, she and her sister took art classes at the Toledo Museum of Art, wandering around the museum after their class ended. Though she admits to no great natural talent, Huybrechts maintains the Saturday excursions instilled a lifelong love of art.

“Every year I teach children, I am more convinced that they need to study art as surely as they need to study math and English, history and science,” she said. “Creating is more important than producing.”

Huybrechts said she wanted students to “leave school with certain gifts, to be able to relate to art, to respond to emotional material, to create art if they are so inclined and to value creativity.”

Hudnut said that in watching his son, Peter ’99, win a silver medal with the U.S. water polo team at the Beijing Olympics, he had felt more pride in the dedication his son had shown than in the medal itself.

The lesson for students, he said, is that it is “only through hard work and solid accomplishment that one knows satisfaction. Anything short of that is delusion. There can be no pride, no positive self-regard, no sense of accomplishment, without effort and application. Real success, the kind that makes you proud, can never be the result of corner cutting.

“I would hope that at some point, each student at this school would be able to look at a piece of work and feel immense satisfaction, and feel the rush of pride that comes from a job well done. Sometimes your best isn’t good enough, but you can’t be faulted for having given it,” Hudnut said.