This morning, upper school students attended a virtual version of the 2020 matriculation ceremony, which featured welcoming speeches by Head of School Brian Yager and upper school Division Head Butch Keller. Yager encouraged the Class of 2021 to lead “in a manner that honors and builds upon the efforts of the 127 years of graduates preceding you.” To the incoming freshmen, he advised, “enjoy and embrace the process, and look to the students in the grades above you for the guidance and inspiration, as well as for examples of what will be expected of you in the years to come.”
Keller remarked at the lack of students in front of him, as well as the unusual silence that greeted his mention of each class. “Typically this is the first attempt for the seniors to demonstrate their superiority,” he joked. He nevertheless offered advice on showing gratitude and exhibiting determination. He also reiterated one of his favorite maxims: “It’s not the situation that’s important. It’s your reaction to the situation.”
Students were treated to a performance of Andy Grammer’s “Keep Your Head Up” by senior Alexander Kumar, and heard from ASB president Jason Lin, grade 12, and ASB vice president Arusha Patil, who led the recitation of the upper school’s matriculation oath. Lin related a story of playing soccer in his backyard during the summer and shattering one of the outdoor lamps, which was followed by dread over having to inform his parents. This event reminded him of the importance of communication, which became the theme of his speech. “Communication is key, now more than ever,” he said, following with examples of how the community can stay connected during the COVID-19 pandemic. The ceremony ended with a hilarious and informative video package that included a musical tour of the upper school campus and introductions to various elements of school life, such as the dress code, waste disposal, spirit and the honor code. A video of the entire event is available on Vimeo.