December 21, 2017

A gift for friendship: Christmas at the school

Faculty , The Buckley Experience , 30th Anniversary

"From an old student and a fan--best wishes to you all!"

– Christmas greetings from an Executive Seminar alum

It’s not exactly a Christmas secret. Our founder Reid Buckley loved a good debate, as does most everyone who’s ever been part of The Buckley School.

Even with seasoned debate skills, though, it’s almost impossible to argue against this resolution: Reid Buckley knew how to host an office Christmas party.

First, he saw it as a reason to get everyone together—former employees and current ones. Dozens of us would meet at the school, gather round the fireplace, and risk drinking a cup of Reid’s high-octane eggnog.

Then there’d be gifts—funky things like zebra socks—that Reid had handpicked for each of us. And homemade popcorn. For many years, faculty member Vern Ketchem, the retired president of an appliance manufacturer, brought each of us a bag of flavored popcorn he’d made himself.

Finally, we’d all head out for a laughter-and-toast-filled lunch that ended with promises to get together again before another year passed.

Reid Buckley pre-Christmas lunch, wearing breeks with holiday red furbelows, flanked by May DeLoach and Jenny Maxwell.

We may be a tad biased, but we think something special happens at our school. The experience of coming to our Executive Seminar, in particular, creates lifelong connections.

Maybe it’s because we’re based in a small town and hold classes in our historic house full of wonky floor boards and good memories. Maybe it’s because this is where students overcome their fears and see progress that surprises even the most experienced among them. Maybe it’s the same magical mashup that happens at summer camp—a diverse group of people come together in a remote place and get to know each other, stepping away from “real life” for just a bit.

Seasons greetings: Holiday wishes from alumni, the gift of catching up with former coach Libby Heath at a holiday basketball game.

And as our Christmas parties have always reminded us, this happens not just for students but for our faculty, too.

In 2018, we’ll be celebrating 30 years of The Buckley School, gathering stories, and looking for opportunities to reconnect with the many dear friends we’ve made over the decades. If you’ve got a memory you’d like to share, we’d love to hear it.

Karen Kalutz and Pam Schreiner hanging this year's Christmas wreath.

As we always do at Christmas, we’ll be remembering Reid, Vern, and the others who are no longer with us. And cherishing those who still are. We hope your holidays will be filled with chances to reconnect with old friends, leisurely hours with your favorite folk (boozy eggnog optional), and a few sweet gifts made (or purchased) with love.

In the meantime, our cheers to you and yours—and a hope we’ll see you in the coming year.

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