To: HW school committee

Restore HW Graduation at Gordon

Stop the HW public school committee from ending a decades long town-gown tradition and closing the door to dialogue.

Why is this important?

We request that the decision made on March 5 to end the decades long tradition of graduation at Gordon be overturned. We ask the H-W school committee to adhere to its own stated core belief: engaged citizens of the 21st Century demonstrate respect for themselves, other people and their cultures…by exercising common sense as a good neighbor.

For decades Gordon College has lent their venue to the neighboring school district to host Hamilton-Wenham High School graduation ceremonies.

Some background: Since 1994, Gordon has provided use of AJ Chapel and our campus "at cost"-so that the school district has only paid for their police traffic detail and any out of pocket expenses (costs they'd incur even if they held the graduation at HW high school). They only use the facility-it's their ceremony, it's never been intended to imply some endorsement of Gordon and our mission, and our only intention as an institution has been to reflect Christ's teaching that we should love our neighbors as ourselves. As such, it has much symbolic value for our good relations with the communities with which we have co-existed for more than 50 years.

On March 5th the School Committee held a meeting to decide the graduating venue for the 2015 ceremonies. In attendance were High School Seniors and Parents, and other members of the Hamilton Wenham community who presented overwhelming reasons why the relationship with Gordon should be maintained. Despite an overwhelming majority, the committee voted to move the graduation against the community's wishes.

Please listen to the people.

More info, video and written statements from the meeting at


Reasons for signing

  • As a student at HWRHS who has looked forward to graduating at Gordon for years, I will be very disappointed if I am forced to graduate in the sweaty gym instead.
  • I am a 1980 graduate of HWRHS and would have felt so lucky to have been able to have my graduation at Gordon College back then, but obviously the venue was not even built then. For the school committee to refuse the generosity of Gordon College because of the school committee's intolerance, is just ridiculous! Hold the graduation at the college and the logical, sensible, majority of the community will be grateful.