50th Edition, Denebola

“Let me help you out”

By Jason Agress
Published: February 2011

Last week I was talking to two other South grads – each of us having graduated over 10 years apart from each other. We have little in common but our connection to Newton, yet somehow we instinctively agree and anticipate each other’s moves. We’re not close friends, but it feels natural to get along.
Why is this the case? We shortly came to a unanimous conclusion:
It’s the “Newton thing.”
There’s something about growing up in Newton that intangibly impacts you. Wherever you go, it’s in your blood; it permeates your personality and shapes your relationships with others. It’s certainly not negative – but it is unique, and something that few without childhood memories in this city truly understand.
Given the 50th anniversary of this school, the “Newton thing” has become increasingly visible.
Renewed interest in South is bringing alumni back into the school community and interacting with current students. Though no one says it, they all feel a special connection to this community; they feel at home.
For Denebola, this is especially relevant. This 50th Edition is more than a material history of South; more than a 64-page masterpiece; and more than a celebration of the school. It is all of that, but behind this product is a process that engaged 50 years of Denebola alumni, bringing together a diverse group of people working toward a common cause.
While Volume 50 beneficently led the planning and production of this issue, its pages are filled with the work – both archival and fresh – of writers and editors back to Volume 1.
The historical perspectives of alumni were sought from the beginning of the process behind this paper, their presence and contributions through Facebook, in person at Article Ideas and Paste Up, and by their legacies in Denebola’s archives.
Their participation was significant and their impact evident. That “Newton thing” came alive for Volume 50, and the editors began to understand the community they are part of – 50 years of shared experiences and making a paper.
While each volume of Denebola is unique, it became clear that editors past and present must not take for granted the work they’ve done as an institution, nor its legacy as it continues growing.
The extended community created by Denebola – a subset of South’s – is tremendous. Not just in size, but also in the range of skills, personalities, and cultural diversity encompassed within it.
With 50 years come a lot of people – a group bonded together by a common passion for Newton South and its official newspaper. Together, this group made The Fiftieth Edition.
Congratulations to Volume 50 on leading the effort. Job well done.

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