A slight breeze, blue skies, and temperatures in the low-70s; Saturday was only the sixth or seventh sunny day we’ve had since March. For once this spring, the weather matched the occasion (it snowed at Prom a few weeks ago), and as the 115 members of the Class of 2019 gathered in Alice’s Garden prior to Commencement, every face was wearing a smile.
Hours remain until we can official begin celebrating the Class of 2019 with Senior Dinner and Senior Recognition Night. Commencement will follow in the morning, and then campus will be empty. An eery quiet will descend upon campus for the summer, a quiet we simultaneously crave and fear as we feel the energy of our students leave us until September. As our seniors take their final steps toward graduating, we reflect on the past week of culminating projects, visiting speakers, awards, and end of year rituals.
Stewarding a community like Proctor is never the task of an individual, but rather the responsibility of every person whose life has intersected the school. Whether you consider yourself an alum, a student, a parent, a faculty or staff member, a grandparent, or a parent of an alum, your stewardship of the Proctor community matters. Today’s celebration of the Class of 2018 at Proctor’s 170th Commencement was a reminder of how the collective work of everyone in the Proctor community, past and present, has shaped Proctor into the perfectly imperfect place it is today.
Monday's assembly marked the beginning of the end of the 2017-2018 school year as academic departments presented underclass awards. As Head of School Mike Henriques mentioned in his opening comments of the assembly, our students have invested incredible effort and energy into their academic pursuits at Proctor this year. While we wish we could publicly acknowledge each of our student's individual growth, today's awards assembly recognized a handful of students whose performance and effort stands out as truly excellent. Congratulations to each of this year's underclass award winners listed below!
This weekend we celebrated Proctor Academy's 169th Commencement alongside the Class of 2017 and their families. Each of the 109 members of the Class of 2017 impacted the Proctor community in a unique way. It is impossible to quantify the impact a class has on a school community, but what we do know is we are going to miss the Class of 2017 dearly! Thankfully, we were able to recognize the diverse talents and tremendous contributions of this graduating class throughout Friday's Senior Dinner and Saturday's Commencement exercises. Check out some highlights of the weekend below.
Proctor’s annual Senior Project Exhibition and Express Fest marks the end of our seniors’ high school academic responsibilities, while providing a perfect experiential bookend to the journey that began on Wilderness Orientation four years ago. Express Fest and the presentation of Senior Art Awards also affords the community one more opportunity to appreciate the incredible talent among the 109 members of the Class of 2017.
Student speeches are a highlight of every Proctor Academy graduation, and this year's speakers did not disappoint! The polished, yet incredibly authentic voices of students provide a treasured informality to graduation ceremonies that mirrors life at Proctor perfectly. Trusting the voices of our students to shape Proctor's culture has long defined who we are as a school, but it's not always easy to trust the wisdom of youth.
Every commencement has a speaker, and most commencement speakers share a similar message of encouragement to graduates as they enter the 'real world'. Proctor's 168th Commencement welcomed Pudu '16's mother, Leymah Gbowee, to campus not only to watch her daughter graduate, but to share powerful words with the Class of 2016. Her message was less one of encouragement and more one of a directive to the graduating class, and we thank her for the impact she left on all of us.