In the final week of March, Concord Academy students, staff, and faculty, were treated with the unique opportunity to permanently leave their mark on the CA campus. Throughout the week, a support beam for the in-construction Centennial Arts Center was placed outside of the work site, and the option to “sign the beam!” as many emails read, was given to those on campus.

Mandy Adams ’24 commented, “It was so cool to sign the beam! They had a ton of different colors of Sharpies laid out, and we all got to write a message of our choosing. Some people even did little drawings with their friends. It was so fun to write my name next to my friends, and to know that this beam would have a permanent place in CA’s history.”

Though some may ask what the purpose of this signing was, and though it is rather frivolous in some regards, the symbolism of having the community come together to contribute something to a larger project cannot be overlooked. Even more minor acts such as friends signing the beam together, or students leaving inside jokes and little messages tell a story of CA that can not be seen by just looking at photos. It is almost a time capsule of sorts and is indicative of CA’s wish to continue prospering in the future. In a strange, roundabout way, this small ceremony humanizes past generations and offers the chance for future students to connect with current students; it offers the opportunity for future students to look back and see a small sliver of what mid-2020 CA was, even in the most minor of ways.

When the CALabs building was constructed back in 2016, a similar signing took place. Though those students are long gone from the CA environment—with the last members present for that signing having graduated in 2020—there will always be a physical symbol of them within the campus, even if it is hidden behind paint and drywall. Despite its invisibility, the knowledge that something that they did is still on campus, likely unchanged, is sure to provide a unique sense of comfort to those present.