Harrisites reflect on the first in-person Founders Day since 2019


Erica Lee

Harrisites share their opinions on the first fully in-person Founder’s Day since COVID-19 hit.

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On Friday November 4, Harrisites attended the first fully in-person Founders’ Day Ceremony since 2019. Taking place at Colden Auditorium, on the Queens College campus, Founders’ Day is celebrated every year to mark the beginning of a new year and act as an initiation ceremony for incoming students. 

In November of 2020, Founders’ Day took place fully online, uploaded as a YouTube video. Last year, Founders’ Day took place in the THHS auditorium where only seniors attended in-person while underclassmen watched remotely through a YouTube livestream, in their respective official classes. This approach to easing the transition from online to in-person, was widely criticized due to sound issues and the livestream going down mid show (temporarily) due to copyright issues.

This year, Harrisites arrived at THHS and walked with their official classes to Colden Auditorium where they were greeted with a stage full of faculty, guest speakers, and student performers. While there were many musical performances and speeches from honorary guests, the afternoon ended with a humorous senior skit, presented by the graduating class of 2023, which featured select THHS faculty impersonations. 

Below are a roundup of opinions from the student body, reflecting on this year’s Founders’ Day celebration, highlighting their favorite parts and discussing how it compared to previous years. 

Junior, Hasan Raza:

“I really enjoyed this year’s Founders’ Day, especially because it was held at Queen’s College. The atmosphere was much different than the previous two years, which were online and I think everyone was more engaged and excited. I’m happy to have finally experienced a real Founders’ Day.”

Sophomore, Aima Hossen: 

“I consider this year’s Founders’ Day to be far better than last year’s because it was the first traditional Founders’ Day that the majority of Harrisites had experienced since the pandemic. I think [THHS] did a great job delivering a Founder’s Day that was fun and heartwarming for everyone. Though it may be a bit early to say this, I’m looking forward to next year’s Founders’ Day.” 

Senior, Arunima Paul:

“This Founders’ Day was much better than last year’s, because we were all finally together. Looking back [at] freshman year, we were all relatively new [to the building], so it was not as exciting. We did not get [to celebrate Founders Day in] sophomore year, and [in] junior year [the event] was [live streamed] on a smartboard that barely worked. After building bonds with [many students] and seeing the skit, songs, speeches, it made me appreciate Founders’ Day and my time here.”

Senior, Isra Ali:

“I was an incoming sophomore, so this was my first ‘real’ Founder’s Day. Last year was not the Founders’ Day I expected, due to being stuck in a classroom, so this year was a breath of fresh air as I enjoyed reflecting on the past three years with friends and teachers. Although this is my last and only real Founders’ Day, I could not have asked for it to be any better.”

Sophomore, Arshiyan Rehman:

“It was very exciting to see after having an odd ceremony last year with tons of issues. I’m glad this year everyone was able to have a real experience with wonderful music and acts. I’m envious of the freshman who got such an amazing first experience for founders day and being welcomed into the school. Last year, I [felt that the event] was a mess because the livestream was [experiencing problems] and obviously we were not at the Colden Auditorium for the event.”

Sophomore, Ivin Wu:

“[Founders’ Day] was an excellent ceremony. There were [a variety] of skits which did not make the event boring, even though there were many speeches. The whole ceremony was fun and memorable, but also had [significant] meaning and [showed us] why this ceremony is so important.”