8th Annual Bissell Grogan Symposium

Brimmer and May held its 8th Annual Kenyon Bissell Grogan Humanities Symposium, Uses of the Narrative, on January 22, 2013. The Symposium featured a keynote presentation by alumni author Marcus Burke ’06 and panel workshops focusing on the full range of narratives in today’s global society. Workshop presenters included a current senior, three Brimmer and May alumni, two faculty members, a former parent, and other professionals in the community who represented the arts, blogging, medicine, and the news media.
Marcus, recent author of The Big One Two, received a B.A. in Creative Writing from Susquehanna University and a M.F.A. in Fiction from The University of Iowa Writers Workshop. His novel is due out in 2014. Marcus, spoke to Middle and Upper Schoolers, faculty, staff, and parents, about his path to Brimmer and May, college, and graduate school, and then on to becoming a published author. His life as a first-generation American was difficult, but he committed himself to moving ahead. He encouraged students to “make an investment in change,” saying “change is very possible.” He said, “Frederick Douglass said it best, ‘Without struggles, there is no progress.’” He also shared, “My time here at Brimmer and May helped me build a solid foundation.”

Panelists presented the following workshops to groups of students:

Marcus Burke ’06, Writing Workshop, “Talk and Exercise” 
Michelle Borkin ’02, “The Use of Storytelling and Narrative in Creating a Professional Presentation"
David Cutler '02, “Create an Awesome Blog in 60 Minutes or Less
Jeremy Guevara '13, “Rap and Its Influence
Hugh Hanley, “Play: A Good Place to Start Our Life Story
Jeffrey Harrison, “Poems of Memory”
MassLEAP Collective, “Finding One’s Voice Through Words
Dawn Kelly Moore '97, “The Art of Silent Storytelling
Jan Sidebotham, “Bill Harley: Singing Stories
Bonnie Waltch P’17, “Telling Stories in Film
Robert Spurrier, “The Narrative in Politics: Shaping political portraits from Washington's time to today

The Symposium is named for Kenyon Bissell Grogan ’76, who has been actively involved in the Brimmer and May community since she graduated. Kennie was involved in the Alumni Association in the early 80s and quickly became its president and then a member of the Board of Trustees. She is the first graduate appointed as Chair of the Board of Trustees and served for 11 years in this role. She was active in numerous Board Committees including the Development Committee, which she currently chairs. Her commitment to expanding the School’s facilities has made her an expert fundraiser. Grogan is involved in many aspects of the School, and her interests span from development to academics.
As an inclusive private school community, Brimmer welcomes students who will increase the diversity of our school. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, sex, gender, gender identity and expression, disability, sexual orientation, national origin, ancestry, or any other characteristic protected from discrimination under state or federal law, in the administration of our educational policies, admissions practices, financial aid decisions, and athletic and other school-administered programs.