On June 13, the class of 2015 marked the end of their years at Ross School and stepped forward toward a bright future. The day began with sunshine, warm greetings, and the festive sounds of the Ross drumming ensemble as guests arrived at the Center for Well-Being for the ceremony. When the seniors entered the Great Hall to the School’s alma mater, performed by the high school chorus, the crowd rose and smiled proudly.
Head of Upper School Patty Lein welcomed everyone to the joyous occasion, congratulating the seniors on their tremendous accomplishments. She spoke about the incredible educational journey students and faculty were privileged to experience together, including Senior Project and studies of cultural diversity and global sustainability.
Award-winning photojournalist Michael Robinson Chávez then took the podium to deliver the commencement address. In March, Mr. Chávez mentored a Field Academy class on a trip from Alaska to Mexico, during which students learned about issues of climate change and species sustainability. He noted the students’ strength of character and commitment to their team, often in less-than-ideal situations. Reflecting on his own experiences in the field covering pivotal international events, he encouraged the class of 2015 to continue to excel and be part of positive change in our global and local communities.
Speeches by alumna Sylvia Channing ’10, class co-presidents Will Greenberg and Yu-Chiao (Amber) Kuo, and elected class speaker Harrison Rowen described the students’ many adventures at Ross and myriad opportunities that prepared them to make their mark in the future.
Next, Patty announced special awards for faculty and students. The Courtney Sale Ross Awards, in recognition of faculty members most exemplary of the Ross School vision of leadership, academic excellence, and personal integrity, were awarded to Upper School Dean of Mathematics Heather D’Agostino and Lower School fourth grade teacher Alicia Schordine. Will Greenberg received the Ross School Board Award for demonstration of outstanding leadership qualities; the Anders G. Holst Award for a senior who demonstrates courage in creativity went to Daisy Gallaher; Wen-To Chan received the Steven J. Ross Humanitarian Award in recognition of his pursuit of excellence, magnanimity of intention, and personal integrity; and the first Richard M. Dunn Award went to Inga Cordts-Gorcoff for her achievements in the study of literature and journalism.
Finally—almost too soon for some—it was time to applaud the seniors as Patty declared the class of 2015 “graduated”!
Congratulations, and good luck!