Home Community Blog The Class of 2021 Gift A Custom-Designed Fire Pit to The Arboretum
Class of 2021 Gift
Class of 2021 Senior Gift Committee along with their faculty mentor , Heidi Somsen. 


A longstanding tradition at Waterford is for seniors to unite and show the power of participation. From the bronze raven sculpture near the science building to the commemorative bell that we ring during the First Friday gathering, and the addition to Alumni Grove last spring, the senior gift is part of the legacy each Waterford graduating class leaves on our School. 

This year is no different. As the class of 2021 prepares to receive their diploma, they have also planned a beautiful, meaningful and lasting gift. The Class has cumulatively raised over $1,600 for their senior gift, and thanks to the Senior Class Gift Committee, they reached over 80% participation to obtain two additional generous matches from senior parents. With the funds raised, Waterford seniors this year were able to build a beautiful, handcrafted fire pit that now resides in the Arboretum to commemorate this unique year. 

Class of 2021 Gift
Many members of the Class of 2021 with their senior gift on the Quad. 

The firepit was built byJim at JP superior Backyards by using two 43″ hemispherical tank ends with a base made from a 16″ bridge pile section that was left over from I-15 construction. All material used was steel welded and finished in Sandy, Utah. Jim noted that he was excited about the idea of having the senior class help with the design process, and he wanted to thank each of the seniors that was involved for their hard work and creativity. The custom design was outstanding and unique to this senior class, and they truly worked as a team, along with the help from Ann McCoy, director of the waterford fund and alumni relations, Heidi Somsen, ceramics teacher, the maintenance crew and more. Jim said, “The experience the Waterford school has given me was once in a lifetime, I am truly grateful and I thank each one of you. I hope that you all can go and sit by the fire pit and reflect on the experience we have all had in the creation of this project.”

Faculty and artistic mentor Heidi Somsen noted that, “I was incredibly impressed with the hard work and creativity that these four artists (Joanna, Omeed, Karli, and Anja) put into this very special senior gift.  It was a daunting process, but they were determined to figure it out, and come up with a design that would work in the round, and represent their graduating class.  They put in many hours, even coming in on a Saturday, to make it happen, and they designed something really magical! ”

Class XII student Omeed M.  notes:

“Waterford’s campus is beautiful. What makes it feel so welcoming, however, is the community who fills it. Every day, I come to school and feel a warm presence within the landscape. Amid the familiar brick-buildings and fields lie gifts left by past seniors – symbols of the community that Waterford has fostered for almost 40 years. This year, I had the pleasure of working with a talented and supportive group of faculty and peers as we designed our own senior gift. It is a fire pit that reveals an image of Utah’s distinctive mountains and wildlife. What makes it unique to the class of 2021 are the 73 ravens that take flight in the sky. They act as a reminder to the community that though we are entering the next chapter of our lives, we will always carry the spirit of a raven. I am grateful and proud to have been a part of this project. I hope that our gift serves as a place where students, teachers, and alumni can gather around and enjoy for years to come.”

Senior Late Night
The Class of 2021 celebrate with the lighting of the fire pit during Senior Late Night

On May 26, 2021, Class XII gathered to dedicate their class gift during senior game night. Andrew Menke spoke to the group about the significance of this gift, especially during this unique year, and encouraged the class to come back as alumni (the alumni office will be using the space to host their Cookies and Cocoa event next December). Parker A. ’21 lit the fire pit for the first time, and everyone stayed and enjoyed their time together around this new beautiful addition to campus. Class XII Dean Erika Munson expressed that, “This beautiful object is a lively symbol of our seniors’ perseverance during this difficult year.  It will become an enduring community space for fun traditions and meaningful gatherings.” We look forward to the many who will enjoy this piece of artwork  on campus. 

Upper School

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