Broadening Our Perspective

Broadening Our Perspective


On Monday, May 11, the Harpeth Hall student body, faculty, and staff gathered on Zoom for a special day of learning and reflection as a community during a virtual student symposium entitled Broadening Our Perspective: Life In A Global Pandemic.

Head of School, Jess Hill, opened the symposium by remarking, "We have a shared experience. We have a shared humanity, and we have a shared responsibility as global citizens. That means all of us, all of you, and everyone else across the world needs to be informed. We need to ask good questions today, and we need to keep asking good questions after today. We need to think critically about all that we are hearing. We need to reflect on this moment in history as being our time to envision a better future together.

Following Jess's welcome, the community was treated to speakers from a wide variety of fields to provide new perspectives, observations, and advice. Between speakers, students were presented with the opportunity to reflect on what they heard in Advisory break out sessions.

Sessions for the day included:

Pandemic 101: Why Did This Happen? What Can We Do? When Does It End?

Kelly L. Moore, MD, MPH, President, The Vaccine Advisor, LLC Associate Director of Immunization Education, Immunization Action Coalition, and Adjunct Associate Professor of Health Policy, Vanderbilt School of Medicine

Pandemic Impact

COVID-19 and the Economy: What Lies Ahead
Ellen Green Hoffman '04, Certified Financial Advisor

The Economy During & After COVID-19
Laurel Graefe, Regional Executive, Nashville Branch, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta

Nashville Strong: Creative Thinking and Innovation in Small Business

Small Business and Restaurant Ownership
Curt and Val Ward Cole '78, Owner of Cole's Kitchen and Daniel Cole Collection

Preserving A Community Bookstore
Karen Hayes, Co-Owner of Parnassus Books

The Artisan Spirit: One-Stop-Wood-Shop
Dave Puncochar, CEO of Good Wood Nashville

Preparedness, Probability, and Populations
John Morris, MD, Associate Chief of Staff of the Vanderbilt Health System

Living Through History
Jon Meacham, Pulitzer Prize-Winning Author

Read our students' biggest takeaways from the event:

"I enjoyed hearing from different experts. It helped me gain a better understanding of Covid-19 and a more holistic perspective in how this Pandemic is affecting our community now, and what kinds of things we can expect in the future."

"That in dark times, like this pandemic, we have the great opportunity as citizens to call upon our better angels to help us come together and make steps in the right direction."

"The Covid 19 pandemic is a very serious issue that is affecting global economies and most importantly people worldwide. As many struggle to overcome the pandemic, it is up to all of us despite our differences to fight it as one."

"I enjoyed having a whole day dedicated to what's going on in the world and letting us prioritize our current situation over classwork."

"Something which I will take with me after the Symposium today is that even when it is hard to see a brighter future, there is always light at the end of the tunnel."

"Just how important this time will be in the larger context of history. I was reminded that people like Thomas Jefferson or George Washington, so romanticized in our history books, were ordinary people who happened to live in extraordinary times. Put simply, I was reminded that my experience and my views of this time matter: that I have a voice."

"It gave perspective and insight to help ease stress around the pandemic."

Read the full schedule and speaker bios by clicking here.