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Speaker Program

Belmont Hill is so fortunate to be able to offer our boys a wide array of distinguished speakers in our historic Hamilton Chapel. Through the years, our Head of School, alumni, and faculty—as well as an impressive list of guest speakers—have presented on a broad range of topics. Head of School Chapel Talks and the Parents' Council Speaker Series are made available to parents by video whenever possible. Other talks are shared publicly on occasion, but the primary audience is the internal community of faculty, staff, and the boys.

2021-2022 Speakers

Stephen Kinzer is an award-winning foreign correspondent who has covered more than 50 countries on five continents. His articles and books have led the Washington Post to place him “among the best in popular foreign policy storytelling.” He spent more than 20 years working for the New York Times, most of it as a foreign correspondent. After leaving the Times in 2005, he taught journalism, political science, and international relations at Northwestern University and Boston University. He is now a Senior Fellow at the Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs at Brown University, and writes a world affairs column for The Boston Globe. 

Taswell Papier was appointed as judge of the Western Cape High Court in 2017 after having worked as an attorney in private practice for almost thirty years. He practiced for his own account for 17 years before joining ENSafrica as director for 13 years. Papier was president of the Cape Law Society for two terms and has chaired the Cape Law Society’s Pro Bono Committee and the Law Society of South Africa’s Pro Bono Committee. As an attorney he won numerous awards for outstanding service and contribution to human rights. Judge Papier holds qualifications from the University of the Western Cape, the University of Cape Town, and Harvard University.

David Brooks is a political and cultural commentator who writes for The New York Times. He has worked as a film critic for The Washington Times, a reporter and later op-ed editor for The Wall Street Journal, a senior editor at The Weekly Standard from its inception, a contributing editor at Newsweek, and The Atlantic Monthly, and a commentator on NPR and the PBS NewsHour.

Dr. Lee M. Levison was formerly the Headmaster at the Collegiate School for Boys in New York City (2006-2020) and Kingswood Oxford School in West Hartford, CT. Before that he was a Dean of Faculty at Noble and Greenough School. A graduate of Amherst College, where he played football, Dr. Levison also coached at Dartmouth, Harvard, and Trinity. He earned his doctorate from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Featured Cum Laude Speaker
Click here to learn more about his visit.

Dr. Thompson is a consultant, author, and psychologist specializing in children and families. He is the supervising psychologist for the Belmont Hill School and has worked in more than 700 schools across the United States, as well as in international schools in Central America, Europe, Africa and Asia. His book credits include the New York Times best-selling title Raising Cain: Protecting the Emotional Life of Boys. His other titles include Speaking of Boys: Answers to the Most-Asked Questions about Raising Sons, Best/Friends Worst Enemies: Understanding the Social Lives of Children, Mom, They’re Teasing Me: Helping Your Child Solve Social Problems, The Pressured Child: Helping Your Child Achieve Success in School and Life, It’s a Boy!: Understanding Your Son’s Development from Birth to Eighteen, and Homesick and Happy: How Time Away form Parents Can Help a Child Grow. 

Kenya Barris is the creator of ABC’s Emmy-nominated series Black-ish, which is based on his own life. The show has won a Peabody Award and an AFI Award and has held NAACP’s title of Best Comedy Series for four consecutive years. After premiering the hit spinoff series, Grown-ish he has since announced his upcoming series Besties and Bewitched. In 2017 he was awarded the Humanitas Prize as well as the Outstanding Writing NAACP Image Award in 2016 and 2017. 

After 9/11, stories from survivors surfaced about the mysterious man wearing the red bandana. When Alison Crowther read an article about the hero in the New York Times, she knew that man was her son, 24-year-old Welles Crowther. He had carried a red handkerchief since he was a boy. Her son worked as an equities trader in the World Trade Center and was also a volunteer firefighter. The Red Bandanna: A Life. A Choice. A Legacy, the New York Times bestseller by Tom Rinaldi was Belmont Hill’s all-school read this summer. It tells the story of Welles Crowther, whose actions on 9/11 offer a lasting lesson on character, calling and courage. His bravery and heroism on 9/11 will never be forgotten. Mrs. Crowther and her late husband, Jeff are the co-founders of the Red Bandanna Project, a social and emotional learning curricula for students of all ages.

Rabbi Marc Baker is the President and CEO of Combined Jewish Philanthropies (CJP) and has spent most of his life in Greater Boston’s Jewish community. An organizational leader and educator, Rabbi Baker served as Head of School at Gann Academy, Greater Boston’s pluralistic Jewish high school, for 11 years prior to joining CJP. For the past several years he served as scholar-in-residence for CJP’s Cynthia and Leon Shulman Acharai Leadership Program. Rabbi Baker attended Phillips Academy Andover and received his bachelor’s degree in religious studies from Yale University. In his visit to Belmont Hill, he will talk about the Jewish High Holy Days Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.

Click here to learn more about Rabbi Baker's visit to Belmont Hill.

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Past Speakers:

Speaker Program