Greetings to our Cranbrook Families and Friends,
The close of each academic year is always a time of reflection at Cranbrook and a chance for us to look back on the previous year to celebrate what we have achieved. As we move into the busy graduation season, I'm pleased to tell you that this year there is much to celebrate with a number of changes that leave the campus a different and better place.
Starting at our own "front door", I hope you'll take a look at the lawns as you enter the campus from Woodward Avenue the next time you visit. Just days ago, we started using a well as the source of water to help keep this part of the campus green during the summer months. Not only will this reduce our dependency on the public water supply it will save on our operational costs. More importantly, it is an example of the importance Cranbrook places on the responsible use of resources as we work toward becoming a more sustainable community. From the way in which we use energy, water and the environment to the efficiency of our facilities, business practices and people, we are committed to the well-being of future generations through our actions and behaviors.
Many changes over the last year have helped transform Cranbrook in practical ways while preserving its history. Last fall, we celebrated the installation of the newly restored gates that Samuel Yellin created for the Booths in the early 20th century. Originally located off of Cranbrook Road at the main entrance to the estate, the gates now serve as an exit from the recently expanded Cranbrook House parking lot.
In the dorms, we have just opened the Kingswood Café for our high school students. The repurpose of this space, once used as both a science and home economics classroom for middle school girls, creates a social gathering space for our students. The café will offer healthy food choices that are organic, GMO and pesticide free. This idea caters to the tastes of a generation that is increasingly aware of what they eat and where the food comes from and is yet another example of what makes attending school at Cranbrook such a unique experience. This café was made possible by a loyal alumna who remembered us in her estate plan.
At the Wallace Ice Arena, extensive renovations include a new suite of locker rooms for our teams. We have also installed an Alumni Room overlooking the ice. This room will be available for meetings, offering another reason for CK alumni to come back to campus. In addition, a new fitness center offers students a modern workout facility off the ice.
Renovations continue at Spud Court (just east of the Quadrangle) on the Cranbrook School campus. We have removed the gravel and waterproofed the boys dorm; and what had become a parking lot will now be an attractive pedestrian area offering better access to the dorms when landscaping is completed later this year. This project was accomplished by widening the road above the court to accommodate parking.
On the Kingswood Campus playing field, two new dugouts are now in use. Designed to complement the architecture of Kingswood, we can now offer a dugout for both our own girls' teams and visiting teams.
This time of year many of our students are recognized with awards and scholarships, including one of our HUB students who received the Bill and Melinda Gates Millennium Scholarship. We congratulate all of our Academy, Schools and HUB graduates and wish them the very best in the future.
The close of the academic year doesn't mean the pace at Cranbrook slows! As our students depart, we prepare for the opening of our summer camps. Art, Science and Schools campers will arrive soon, and the HUB program will begin its summer session within days of the graduation of Cranbrook Kingswood students.
At the Institute of Science, the Superheroes of the Night exhibition closes on June 19, and the bats will return to their home in the newly renovated Bat Zone. The Institute will offer the chance to explore the wilds of the rainforest in early July when its summer exhibition opens. I hope you will take time this summer to come see the bats' new digs, take in a planetarium show or go on an evening bat tour of the campus.
We go back in time at the Art Museum starting June 18 when
Hippie Modernism: The Struggle for Utopia opens. This exhibition examines the intersections of art, architecture and design with the counterculture of the 1960s and early 1970s. It's bound to be the "grooviest" experience at Cranbrook this summer through the exploration of one of the most vibrant and inventive periods of the not-too-distant past.
For those who enjoy a more traditional experience, Cranbrook House and Gardens is now open. We're grateful to sponsors PNC Bank, All Seasons Independent Living and Roberts Restaurant Group for making admission to the gardens free again this year. This will make frequent visits possible for those who are interested in watching the landscape change based on what's in bloom.
At the Greek Theatre on June 5, we celebrate the 100-year anniversary of The Cranbrook Masque, the first performance to take place there. The Center for Collections and Research commemorates this anniversary by presenting
Landscapes: A Midsummer Night's Dinner, a farm-to-table dining experience, as well as tour of the Greek Theatre. The dinner features the cuisine of Gold Cash Gold and a menu inspired by Shakespeare's
A Midsummer Night's Dream. This is a one-of-a-kind experience that is possible only at Cranbrook.
Recapping the year reminded me of something that former Cranbrook President Lillian Bauder said; "From its earliest days, Cranbrook was intended to serve as a counterpoint to the larger society-a community of uncommon excellence and beauty that strove not to be like the larger society, but like the world it wanted to help create as a result of its continuing influence through its people, its programs and its place."
I think this year's achievements are a good example of the ways in which Cranbrook continues to strive to be part of the world it wants to help create. Our people, programs and place, although rooted in very 19th century ideals, give us the ability to thoroughly ground Cranbrook in the 21st century, illustrating the ability to adapt and change as the needs of the "larger society" evolve.
If you are planning to return to campus to visit this summer, please let me know so that we can make your visit more memorable.