Despite COVID-19 and classes moving online, the Class of 2020 still completed the longstanding BB&N tradition of making Senior Tiles. Since the 1950s, students (then at Browne and Nichols, now at BB&N) have finished their 12th grade year by painting square ceramic tiles. The tiles are displayed on two large panels in the Upper School and are changed out each summer to showcase the tiles of the classes celebrating five-year reunions. When alumni/ae come back to campus, they often can be found looking for their tile. Tiles from the last 25 years are also shared regularly on the alumni/ae social media channels under the hashtag #tiletuesdaybbn.
The idea behind the Seniors Tiles is for students to look back at their experience at the School and create an image that represents their time on campus. Subjects range from sports to music to pop culture references. There are even several subjects that crop up throughout the different decades, such as beloved children’s books, cartoon characters, and historical figures. Some tiles are serious, others lighthearted or even humorous.
Ceramics teacher, Christian Tonsgard, oversees the tile project each year and explained that this year the seniors transitioned easily to making the tiles digitally. “The parameters stayed the same, students were asked to create a tile that was indicative of their time at BB&N using only images,” he said. “All in all, I think that the seniors were able to stay true to the project and keep the tile tradition alive.”
Click here for a photo gallery of various Senior Tiles.