During an evening of laughter, poignancy, and energy, more than 500 community members gathered in a festively adorned Nicholas Athletic Center to celebrate the installation of Dr. Jennifer Price as BB&N's fourth head of school. The event signified the ceremonial beginning of her tenure at the school, but based on the comments of the speakers and tone of the evening, it was abundantly clear that in just her first three months, Dr. Price already has had a dramatic impact.
The November 15th event featured speakers from all strata of the school community—including students from all three campuses—welcoming Price with humorous and thoughtful gifts, along with various performances that displayed the wide array of student talents. An Upper School string quartet set the scene prior to the program and a funny performance by the Middle School student improv troupe allowed Price's daughter, BB&N eighth grader Elsie, the opportunity to roast her mother (much to the delight of the hundreds of guests in attendance). Capping the evening was a rousing rendition of "Put a Little Love in Your Heart" by the One School One Choir (pictured below), a collaborative singing group comprised of faculty, staff, and Lower and Upper School students, as spectators clapped and swayed in time.
In a heartfelt and moving tribute, guest speaker Patricia N. Muumba (pictured here with Dr. Price), thanked Price for her guidance and life-altering support. As a 16-year-old immigrant from Uganda, newly arrived at Newton North High School, Muumba sought out then-Principal Price as a mentor and continued to lean on her through high school and college. Currently in her final year of studies toward an architecture degree at Cornell University, Patricia has also co-founded the Muumba Project, a nonprofit dedicated to creating innovative, impactful educational spaces for those without opportunity around the world.
"I have had the great fortune to be a student to Dr. Price's principal, a mentee to her mentor, and, most proudly, a friend," Muumba said. "While wearing all these hats, I have seen and felt, firsthand, the sense of wonder she brings to each situation and every individual she comes in contact with."
Muumba outlined numerous lessons she had learned from Dr. Price: "Buckingham Browne & Nichols School, you are so fortunate to have Dr. Jennifer Price as the new Head of School," she spoke, with a tissue box nearby in the event of tears. "Dr. Price is a walking manifestation of what she believes in: kindness, strength, equality, inclusion, resilience, and scholarship. She represents what she wants the world to look like, and it will someday, because she was here in it."
When Price took to the podium, she began by thanking all in attendance for the opportunity to join BB&N, including a special shout-out to the students: "You are the reason I am here. In my short time at BB&N, I have been blown away by you all."
Price then spoke to the attendees with sincere passion and her trademark candor and sense of humor: "What does one say at an Installation?" she quipped. "Let's be honest, it sort of feels like I'm a washing machine or a dishwasher. I am not very good at staying still...so being installed somewhere is not really going to work."
Price continued, focusing on the "transformative power of education," noting the role education had played in her life and her family's trajectory, along with examples from alumni/ae she had spoken with during her "listening tour" this summer.
"Education clearly transforms lives. Here at BB&N, we have and continue to impact lives. This is a place where we provide life-changing opportunities for all of our students. I am honored and humbled to be trusted to lead this school into its next chapter of transforming lives and educating the next generation of Knights who will help leave this world just a little bit better than they found it."
As guests left the evening in high spirits, it was evident that BB&N's next chapter of transformation had already begun.
See below to view a video recording of the event.