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The Gordon School

From Gordon to Oxford

The journey of Macken Murphy '12, via BU, Newport and Dr. King's Selma


above: Macken Murphy '12 addressing a Gordon all-school assembly in 2011, as one of two Student Leadership Co-presidents elected by his classmates.

Yes, that is Macken Murphy ’12 returning to Boston University tomorrow to take the stage in front of 1,800 of his Class of 2020 classmates and give his long-delayed Class of 2020 commencement speech. 

It's a speech he's rewritten four times. In 2019, Murphy was selected by a committee of faculty members and administrators to be that year's student commencement speaker. COVID intervened to delay the commencement and, as Murphy told BU's Amy Laskowski, "the 2019 draft makes absolutely no sense now."


above: Macken Murphy '12 retracing the steps of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., in Selma, Alabama as part of Gordon's annual eighth grade Civil Rights Trip. More on that trip at

Murphy told Laskowski he plans to talk about the teachings of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., and the transformative power of education, two themes that are sure to resonate with the teachers who taught Macken during his time at Gordon.


above: Murphy was getting up in front of crowd long before he became one of the Gordon's student co-presidents; he serenaded fourth grade with Enter Sandman during his first year at Gordon, and went on to be he was a shining presence in every after school theater production he joined, from Seussical to Arsenic and Old Lace.

As reported on Gordon's website last May, Murphy has a podcast, Species, that draw thousands of listeners per episode, and a children's book, Animal Sidekicks, on track to be published in February. His next adventures include pursuing a master’s degree in cognitive and evolutionary anthropology at Oxford University next year.

More recent Gordonians in the spotlight here

Seen someone from the Gordon family standing out in the crowd? Email or text Mr. Griffin at or 401 480-9933

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