On Friday, September 27, 2019, members of the Charlotte Latin community gathered to celebrate two special events: the official opening of the Inlustrate Orbem Building and the unveiling and dedication of one of its foremost features — The Athenaeum.
Though Upper School students, faculty, and several departments have enjoyed the expansive Inlustrate Orbem Building since August, Friday’s ceremony appropriately celebrated the opening of this long-awaited, state-of-the-art building. Mr. Wall, Mr. Baldecchi, Mr. Gregory, Trustees and honored guests, as well as Faculty/Staff and students, officially declared the building, one of the priorities of the Vision2020 campaign, OPEN for teaching, learning, working, and welcoming.
The Athenæum, located just inside the main reception area, was given in honor of Head of Upper School Lawrence Wall, who this year celebrates 20 years at Charlotte Latin. Donated by Alumni Parents Kari and Jonathan Halkyard P’16, ’18 and family, and functioning as the school’s new archive room, it includes a curated seasonal display of Latin history and ephemera and seating for contemplation. A colorful watercolor mural of campus by the talented artist and Alumni Parent, Champagne Maker, will grace one wall of the room. The name represents Mr. Wall’s love of the classics and commitment to teaching Latin and Greek to our Upper School students:
The original Athenæum was a school founded by the Emperor Hadrian in Rome for the promotion of literary and scientific studies and called Athenæum from the city of Athens, which was still regarded as the seat of intellectual refinement. In the modern period, the term “Athenæum” is widely used in various countries for schools, libraries, museums, cultural centers, performance halls and theaters, periodicals, clubs and societies — all aspiring to fulfill a cultural function in keeping with that of the ancient Roman school.
“When we learned that the planners of this glorious building had the vision to create a space within it for quiet reflection and discovery, celebrating Latin’s history and values, Kari and I shared a glance — one glance confirming what we both knew — that this wonderful space, this Athenaeum, at the front door of the Upper School, rejoicing in Latin’s history and values must be dedicated in honor of Lawrence Wall who has served Charlotte Latin and its families so expertly for so long,” shared Mr. Halkyard.
By featuring Charlotte Latin artifacts and photos from our archives, The Athenaeum celebrates:
- Our history, grounded in Western Civilization.
- Our founders, school leadership, and philanthropic leaders.
- Our greatest accomplishments in the areas of community, campus, and curriculum.
This room is a space that should instill great pride in the members of our community who visit, and great hope for the next 50 years given the rich foundation upon which we stand.
In gratitude, Mr. Wall shared the following:
The idea that my love for this school’s past, present, and future will hereafter be linked in some way with the memories of all the years represented within the Athenaeum’s walls, this reliquary of the aspirations and efforts of those who have built CLS and nurtured it to this coming of age, is one of the greatest honors of my life. The fact that the Halkyards would perceive so deeply the appeal to me of every facet of this particular gift means that they are my friends, because only friends understand one another on such a level.
I can never adequately express my depth of gratitude to the Halkyard family. To Kari and Jonathan, I thank you for falling in love with Charlotte Latin School, for giving so generously to make this iconic space possible, and for entrusting the care of two of your sons, Tommy, Class of 2016, and Will, Class of 2018, to us. You asked, really, for so little, because your boys were so easy to love, and yet you have given so much. Thank you a thousand times over.