Hub Dedication

On Friday, March 4, we dedicated the new Blake Hubbard Commons (The Hub) at Trinity.  Many people came to help dedicate this space.   Here are some remarks from the Headmaster, including a letter that Jeff Hubbard asked him to read.

Welcome to the HUB!  Is this not an amazing space?  Over the last few days, I’ve had the privilege of watching students, from kindergarten to our seniors, come into this space.  The looks of wonder, surprise, excitement, curiosity, awe, and joy have been overwhelming.  I’ve seen seniors rocking on the chairs in the Idea Box like kindergartners.  I’ve seen Middle School students running up and down the stairs in joyful discovery.  Yesterday, as the Lower School students were coming into the space, one fifth grade said to me, “I LOVE what you’ve done with this space!”

This is a building fraught with meaning.  And with emotion.  We would not be here today, in this beautiful new space, if not for a boy who lived among us and died, as we think, too soon.  
I want everyone to get a glimpse of the kind of person Blake Hubbard was.  

What can we say?  Maybe the best comment on this comes from Blake’s father, Jeff.  Listen to these words which he wrote this week:  

I hope that our tears today don’t disguise the fact about how excited we are as a family.  This truly is a day to celebrate!

Blake’s 14 years on this earth seem oh so short...but those 14 years were oh so meaningful.

He was a unique child that taught so many of us some important lessons about life.  As many of you know, except for the tennis courts, Blake was one who never moved very fast.  In fact, it was virtually impossible to rush him into anything.  But looking back at it all, I truly believe it was Blake’s way of appreciating the smaller things in life…..the things that most of us take for granted.
Blake also had a way to make everyone around him always feel welcome...even special, no matter the circumstances.  Blake’s happiness came from making the people around him happy.  Patty and I would often ask Blake in many different ways, “What do you want to do?”  His answer would always be “What would you like me to do?”  Making us happy made him happy.

But, without a doubt, the biggest lesson he left us all with, was the value of having a relationship with Jesus Christ.  Something he took very seriously and fortunately for him an investment that will be paying him dividends for the rest of eternity.  A lesson that I can only hope we all will take as seriously as Blake.

Lastly, over these past four years, all of you have done so much for our family, and today Patty, Robert, Lauren, and I want to personally thank you all.  The endless hours you have spent with us helping our family heal...and the generous donations which have allowed a vision turn into a reality is an amazing gift to our family.  The Blake Hubbard Commons is truly an incredible honor to our son, but even more importantly, we hope this building opens the doors to new opportunities and that new families will be excited about Trinity School and introduce the love of Christ into their homes.  
Thank you, everyone, for making this possible.  

We love you all.

Blake stories continue to come to light.  I told Holley Broughton earlier this week, “We need a picture of Blake with his friends.”  That night, unbidden, Faith Rios sent Holley a picture she had stuck on her refrigerator four years ago.  This is second grade.  Blake is the third from the left.  Look where they are standing!

And just this week one of our teachers told me a story I had not heard.  I think it captures so well Blake’s spirit, which we honor today, and which our architects and builders have embodied in this space we are calling the HUB.

In seventh grade, at lunchtime, most of the students ate quickly and hurried outside. One student always stayed behind because he didn't want to play football and had no one to hang out with.  Blake was still eating his lunch, and he made up a game and coaxed the other boy into playing with him.  Blake made a paper triangle football, and the two boys would sit on the front row.  Blake would take one bite of lunch, then he would shoot the football at the prayer request basket up front, and the other boy would take a turn as well. If Blake scored a basket, he would take another bite of lunch and move back one row. The other student would move back one row too. Then, they would shoot the football again. If Blake missed the basket and did not score, no bite, no moving back. In order to get through five bites, Blake had to score from the back row of the classroom. Within a week or so, the other boy was as enthusiastic about "their game" as Blake was. Blake drew his friend out and encouraged him to hang around with other guys.  Once other boys found out what was happening, lunchtime football in the prayer request basket became a preferred sport on rainy days.

I love this story.  I think it captures the heart of why the board of Trinity chose to name this building after this young man:
  • His playfulness.  Blake loved life, loved to enjoy games, invent games, and explore the possibilities in the world that God made.
  • His unhurriedness.  He was the quintessential Unhurried Child.
  • His capacity for friendship and building community.  
Where did all this come from?  Many of us have asked ourselves this question: How did a 14 year old boy have such a capacity for wisdom, generosity of spirit, enjoyment of God’s world, building relationships across borders, putting others first?  This is not your textbook Middle School way of being in the world.  

The answer is that Blake had a very special relationship with Jesus Christ.  As a boy, he said “Yes” to Jesus and began to trust him.  Because he knew that Jesus loved him, he was able to let go of all the Middle School angst around taking care of himself.  Jesus said to him, “I got you,” and Blake believed him and spent his energies enjoying God’s world and serving others.

Blake and this building have something in common: They are both silent, but they both speak powerfully to us.  Just yesterday every Trinity student came into this space to worship and to hear Blake’s story in the video and in our reflections.  Many hearts continue to be moved, called to Christ through the life and legacy of this young man.  May that call go on for many generations, here in this space.  And may many students, like Blake, say “Yes” to Jesus.

I said that this building speaks, even though silent.  That’s what buildings do, and the better their design, the better they speak.  I want to thank our architects at Duda Paine--three of them are here tonight--who invested deeply in this project to create a space that embodies the message of Blake’s life, which is so consonant with Trinity’s mission.

This is a building designed for play.  There is room--lots of room--for students to spread out their bodies, their books, their iPads, and their minds.  There are rooms for playing with ideas, for solving puzzles and tackling challenges.  There is a playfulness in the design of the building, from the sprawling suspension above you to the nook under the stairs to the Golden Ratio hidden right in front of you.  The space opens up to the outside, both visually and literally, inviting students to spill out for playful exploration in the world God has made.  And the Memorial at the front of the building--well, I hope you all have some time to play with the interactive digital memorial that Chris Bitsas has built for us.  A poet once imagined that “Christ plays in ten-thousand places.”  This is surely one of those, lovely in design.  We faculty and staff sit on the edges of our seats to see what they will do with this place and in this place, these students who are loved by Christ every bit as much as Blake was.

This is a building designed for community.  A community of learners.  A community of friends, hanging out in the HUB.  A community sharing meals together, planning events together.  A community of readers, gathered upstairs and down, searching for truth in books, online, and in conversation with one another.  This is not a building for any one division, but for us all.  It is located, exactly, at the HUB of the campus, at the intersection of Lower, Middle, Upper Schools, and Athletics.  We are One Trinity, and this building is meant to bring us together as a community.  I thought I saw a vision of Blake and a new friend flicking paper footballs at the cup holders in the Campfire Room.

As a community of worshipers especially, which reminds us maybe most of all of Blake Hubbard.  I can just see him now, standing with his friends in singing praises during worship, listening to God’s Word, praying with and for his friends  Just yesterday, we christened this space by bringing every Trinity student in here to worship and praise the Triune God.  Nothing would please Blake’s Lord more than to see this space used to bring students closer to Christ--in worship, in conversation, in Bible Study, in exploration, in friendship.

Jeff, Patty, Robert, and Lauren, along with nieces and nephews, are here representing the Hubbard family today.  To you all we want to say this:  We know that no building can ever embody or capture or represent the amazing person Blake was.  And we would trade this building for Blake any day.  Buildings fall apart, wear out, lose their relevance over time.  But Blake, like all of us, is an eternal soul, and though we continue to grieve his absence from us, we believe that he is with his Lord.  
Thank you for being here today for this celebration.

Thanks, also, to every one of you who made this amazing space come together in just two years.  The generosity of the Trinity community and friends from the larger community have made this possible.  A building built without any debt, paid for by many generous donors, many of whom are in this room right now.

So today, we want to dedicate this The HUB, in honor of Blake.

  • May it be the hub of much playfulness, delight in learning, and unhurried exploration of God’s world.
  • May it be the hub of a rich community of learners and friends.
  • And may it be the hub of Christian formation for many students, who worship here, are discipled here, read and hear God’s Word here.


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