Skip To Main Content

Head of School's Blog

Occasional musings from Head of School Brad Bates

Dublin Roommates

Suppose you ask Dublin School alumni about the most powerful aspects of their experience at the school. In that case, many will point to the lessons they learned and the relationships they forged by having multiple roommates while on our campus. I learned about the power of the Dublin residential experience at an early age without ever talking about the school while growing up. My father's best friend, Bill King, was my father's roommate at Dublin in the Hollow (now Wing and Hollow). I grew up with Bill, his wonderful wife, and his three children without knowing too much about the Dublin connection. When you know someone from before you can even speak, you just learn that they are an "old friend." I am thinking about Bill King '52 today because he died recently, and his memorial service was this past weekend. My father spoke at his service and recounted a number of their Dublin stories.

Bill and Buddy (my father) were on the ski team at Dublin and spent many Work Gangs and weekends together. They reconnected after college, and both lived in Boston. Bill introduced my father to my late mother during this time, and our families became very close in the ensuing years. Bill and Buddy bought houses next door to one another, and as a child, I spent weekends running back and forth between homes with the King kids. Bill was like another uncle to us and always cheered us on in school and on the ski trails. His three grown kids are some of the kindest, smartest, and most thoughtful people you will ever meet.

Bill also lived our mission. He was one of the most curious people I have known and never went anywhere without the latest book everyone was talking about. He was a builder and a maker and would have been right at home in "Sadie's Space," our campus maker space. He built experimental furnaces for his career, and his garage was filled with homemade boats and wind turbines. He designed numerous balloons, and I would not be surprised if one of them was finally shot down by the US government recently... You can see why every kid in the neighborhood wanted to know what the next "King Project" was. He was also one of the funniest people I have ever met.

His kids have commented that Bill never wanted to be defined by his career. He was an amazing husband and father, and a great friend to all in his orbit. I am sad thinking of his passing and will remember the great example he set for all of us who knew him. 

The next time you are out exploring our lower trails, you might come across the Bates-King Trail, which was named after the friends who shared a room in the Hollow and played outside every day in the woods, where the trail is currently enjoyed by the next generation of Dublin students.