Just over two years ago, we celebrated the Class of 2020 with the most bizarre graduation ceremony in Proctor’s history. We mailed home caps and gowns and yard signs, shared livestream links to both the ceremony and made the best of an otherwise challenging early pandemic moment. This weekend we finally gathered the Class of 2020 in person for a long overdue, in-person acknowledgement of their hard work and determination.
As families filtered from dinner in the Brown Dining Commons to the large tent on Farrell Field for Senior Awards Night, a slideshow played on the big screen contrasting images from each student’s first weeks on campus and their last. The physical changes that take place during high school are remarkable, but they pale in comparison to the social and emotional growth that transpires. As the Class of 2022 walked across the stage this morning, we watched with pride at the humans they had become.
We spend an inordinate amount of our mental and emotional bandwidth working to align ourselves with our stated identities. Society repeatedly asks us to make declarative “I am” statements on surveys, medical intake forms, or social media profiles. In doing so, we risk becoming an identity that is as much shaped by others as ourselves. “I am white.” “I am married.” “I am employed at Proctor.”
Each graduating class leaves a distinct impact on our school based on their personality and the collective journey that unfolded during their four years at Proctor. For the Class of 2020, that journey, shaped heavily by a remote Spring Term due to COVID-19, was as unique as any class in the school's 172 year history and culminated in the school's first ever virtual Commencement ceremony.
And just like that it’s over. The planning, the preparations, the details, the mourning of what could have been had coronavirus not upended our lives, it is all behind us, and we shift our focus to reflecting on the raw emotions we felt today as we watched the Class of 2020 graduate from high school...virtually around the globe.
Each year approximately 20% of the Proctor Academy's graduating class goes on to compete in collegiate athletics. The Class of 2020 is no exception as 33 members of the class (of 103 students) are pursuing careers at the next level. Thank you to all members of the Class of 2020 for their contributions to Proctor's athletic programs over the past four years. Be sure to take note of the names below and follow their careers in college and beyond!