Christ School's Class of 2020 had made an extraordinary mark through individual contributions and as a collective far before the COVID-19 pandemic interrupted the 2019-20 school year.
Saturday was an opportunity for the school community to honor that legacy with its 120th Commencement in a virtual format.
William Saye ’20, a Proctor in Cuningham House, was chosen by his peers to give the Senior Class Address.
“Time and time again, we encountered obstacles to work through and overcome. This is why I am so proud to be a part of this class, we embrace change in order to make the place around us the best it can be,” William said.
“I don’t believe any one person can represent the Class of 2020. Diversity of skills, backgrounds, and personalities in our class is evident. And these differences have not only brought us closer together, but also given us the opportunity to grow as a group. I have had my beliefs challenged, been introduced to new things, and learned so much from all of you, and I thank you for that. Now we have the opportunity to continue learning and growing with each other as we enter the next stage of our lives with so much uncertainty. No one knows what the next six months, or even next week will look like. But we have each other to rely on because of the strong bond that we have created. I encourage you all to stay in touch and check up on one another. We all lost what was supposed to be the best part of our senior year and there is nothing we can do to get back that lost time. But one thing we can do is ensure that that lost time will keep us together for a lifetime.”
Saturday was the 19th Commencement for Headmaster Paul Krieger, who said this group of Greenies had special meaning to him.
“There are lots of ways to judge a particular class – SAT scores, athletic wins, community service hours, diminished accumulation of Stumps, GPA, etc. But your work was above all that, what you did, what you meant, and how you led the younger boys will forever be your lasting legacy,” Mr. Krieger said.
“The greatest gift is giving back and you gave back to the most important constituency we have here at Christ School – the younger boys. The younger boys who looked up to you, encouraged you, and adored you. You were their protectors and you were their mentors. I won’t forget you, but far more importantly, they won’t forget you.”
English Department Chair Emily Pulsifer P’15, P’17, who is Christ School’s 2019-20 Teacher of the Year, provided the faculty side of the Commencement Address.
“In this stillness, let me say it now. We are better for knowing you. I am better for knowing you,” Mrs. Pulsifer said.
“Thank you for learning and growing with me. Thank you for testing and questioning me. Thank you for your laughter and intelligence, skill, and supreme grace. Thank you for firm handshakes and sincere ‘Good Mornings.’ Thank you for loving each other and this place. Thank you for leaving Christ School better than you found it and for coming back as soon as you can. Life is short dear Greenies, but you have gladdened my heart and brightened my path over and over again.”
As is tradition, Mr. Krieger presented diplomas by reading the names of the 70 members of the Class of 2020 in alphabetical order.
They are: Jack Adams, Justice Ajogbor, Cameron Akers, Kiki Alcime, Jerry Ayisah-Quaye, Elliott Bell, Jackson Bewley, Thomas Bolick, Connor Booher, Will Buchanan, Kade Chapman, Aaron Chen, James Cinque, Joseph Coladonato, James Coleman, Trent Cooper, Thomas Doss, Jack DuBose, Henry Duggins, John Dunn, Ray Faison, Max Field, Jack Fitch, Jack Galbraith, Wesley Garbee, Miles Gardner, Parker Groh, Connor Hall, Andrew Hammel, Lux Haney-Jardine, Beau Hecimovich, Jim Huang, John English Hulsey, Larry Johnson, Adam Keever, Jack Knott, Ferrell Lail, Davis Lindsey, Richard Lytle, Michael Mahoney, Grant Majewski, Max Masiello, Kevin Masson, Thomas McIntosh, Henry Muller, Steve Papakonstantinou, Thomas Patin, Theo Pearson, Max Redic, William Saye, Tommy Schleusner, Patrick Shea, Navy Shuler, Jack Slattery, Read Sunn, Jack Sutton, Kent Switzer, Barton Switzer, Jasper Thomas, Paden Thompson, Porter Thompson, James Treadaway, Charlie Tucker, Joseph Visconti, Davis Warren, Aydan White, Hunter Williams, Eddie Willis Fleming, Wyatt Wilson, and Richard Zantzinger.
Saturday’s ceremony debuted live on Christ School’s YouTube channel. A replay may be viewed at this link: https://youtu.be/OVpX53L1Qg4.