The Student-Run Newspaper of Townsend Harris High School at Queens College

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The Student-Run Newspaper of Townsend Harris High School at Queens College

The Classic

The Student-Run Newspaper of Townsend Harris High School at Queens College

The Classic

Founders’ Day 2023 held at Townsend Harris due to renovations at Colden Auditorium

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Samira Li
2023 Founders’ Day held at THHS auditorium.
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On November 3, Harrisites attended the annual Founders’ Day Ceremony to celebrate the history and customs of Townsend Harris High School. This year, due to renovations in the Colden Auditorium, the event was held in the THHS auditorium. As a result of its relatively small size, only the senior class attended the ceremony in person while the rest of the school participated virtually through a livestream from their official classrooms.

“I was disappointed to hear that Colden was going to be under renovation for this year,” said Assistant Principal of Administration Ellen Fee. “We felt that if there was another venue that could have held all of us, we would have pursued that, but taking buses everywhere also did not seem like a good idea. We didn’t have any other choice but to have it live-streamed [to the majority of students], which was not ideal.”

Whether on a screen or in person, students watched a series of activities, including a quiz show featuring competition between the seniors, juniors, sophomores, and freshmen, the senior skit, a song by THHS’s Dream Team, a performance by the Symphonic Orchestra, and the recitation of the Ephebic Oath. By reciting this pledge, new students and staff officially became a part of the THHS community.

“Founders’ Day [is] the only day that the whole Townsend Harris community can gather together and celebrate the history of our school and our current community. Therefore, it is an important event for all of us,” said Japanese and music teacher Mariko Sato. “The guest speakers also delivered great messages to our students.”

Although the majority of the school had to witness the occasion unfold on screens, some of which were experiencing technical difficulties, seniors and some juniors helping out were able to experience Founders’ Day in the THHS auditorium for the first time.
“The change of venue was definitely shocking but wasn’t all that bad. The experience of Founders’ Day in Colden Auditorium is a must-experience for the new staff and students coming into Townsend Harris. Although I myself experienced Founders’ Day at Townsend, playing in the [Colden auditorium] sophomore year changed the way I viewed [it],” said junior Cris Ian Pagcaliwagan.
Some students found the location change disappointing, with some describing the event as “boring” while watching from a remote location. “It was an interesting experience, but I wish we could have gone to Queens College to see it in person,” said freshman Natalia Piszczatowski.

“It felt underwhelming, especially with this being my last Founders’ Day,” said senior Hamza Mohamed, “Everything didn’t really capture the same vibe [as] last year. If we stayed at Colden, it would have been a much more memorable experience.”

Students also attended Founders’ Day virtually in 2020 and again in 2021 from their official classrooms due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Ms. Fee said, “The good news is that the freshmen will be able to return to Colden [auditorium] in the future” for Founders’ Day when renovations are complete.

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About the Contributor
Samira Li
Samira Li, Photography Editor
Samira is a junior at Townsend Harris High School. She enjoys photography and art, especially digital art, and she loves playing sports, such as table tennis, tennis, handball, etc. She’s also been on the robotics team her entire time in high school and is incredibly passionate for it.
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