See a gallery of Founder’s Day photos here.
TASIS held a special Founder’s Day Assembly on the afternoon of September 14 to celebrate the incredible life of international education pioneer M. Crist Fleming, who founded The American School in Switzerland in 1956. Born in Boston, Massachusetts, on September 10, 1910, Mrs. Fleming remained active in the direction of both TASIS Switzerland and TASIS England until her passing in 2009.
Please enjoy a video of the entire ceremony, which featured, in the following order, introductory remarks from Head High School Proctors Charlotte Colombo ’18 and Maria Veronica Ramos ’19; a poignant speech from Headmaster Christopher Nikoloff; a viewing of “Remembering Mrs. Fleming,” a short video in which longtime members of the TASIS community reminisce about their Founder; a performance of Michael Jackson’s “Heal the World” by the Middle School Choir (directed by Sarah Grove Locke and accompanied by Jonathan Morris); a stirring keynote address from Yvonne Procyk, Associate Director of Development and Alumni Relations; a video in which five current staff members who knew Mrs. Fleming well share fond memories of her; a presentation of “The Wisdom of Mrs. Fleming” by Middle School and High School Drama students; a performance of Brendan Graham and Rolf Lovland’s “You Raise Me Up” by High School students (directed by Samantha Forrest and accompanied by Jonathan Morris on pianoforte and Tommaso Long ’18 on saxophone); and closing remarks by Mr. Nikoloff, who invited students to reconvene on the MCF Piazza, where they enjoyed cake and tossed yellow rose petals into the fountain.
Please also enjoy “Pushing All the Buttons,” a terrific documentary-style film created by Emmy-winning filmmaker Michele Josue ’97. The story is narrated by Mrs. Fleming and effectively captures her spirit while also serving as a brief history of TASIS.
The celebration of Mrs. Fleming’s life continued on Monday, September 18, with the annual Class Outings—a cornerstone of the TASIS experience since the early days of the School, as Mrs. Fleming was known to pack picnic lunches, load students into buses or vans, and head up to the mountains. Middle School students hiked San Salvatore, Monte Tamaro, or Gandria while High School students spent the day at Tamaro, Figino, Valle Verzasca, or Alpe Cardada.