The Day Before Commencement; Celebrations for the Class of 2019

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Each moment counts on the day preceding Commencement at New Hampton School. It is a day filled with many memorable events for our graduates, many with their families in attendance. From morning to evening, New Hampton School’s Class of 2019 attends a string of events ranging from school meeting to graduation rehearsal, brunch to Baccalaureate. These events allow both the community and the graduates to celebrate their achievements, their history at the school, their new status as alumni, and to prepare them to receive their diplomas on Saturday.

The Class of 2019 bricks are set into the walkway in front of the Pilalas Math & Science Center on Academic Row.

Class of 2019 Brunch

Each year, the Alumni Office hosts a brunch at Alumni Hall in honor of the graduates. As one of the last meals they will share as a class, it is a perfect time to present them with a New Hampton School Alumni pin. Young Alumni Relations Coordinator Alison Kirk ’90 helped frame this special occasion for them.

“Look around the room, and you will see that you are in good company. These friendships you have created are lifelong… Know that you have a tie that binds you all together – Husky Pride runs deep!” Ms. Kirk further explained that the students are now part of an alumni network of over 7,000 people from 72 countries and all 50 states. Staying connected to each other and their school in the years ahead will help them in many ways. The graduates will wear the alumni pins on their gowns at Commencement.

Caleb Duggan ’19 and Allie Soper ’19 shared remarks at the Class of 2019 Gift and Brick Dedication Ceremony.

Class of 2019 Gift & Brick Dedication

For the first of the evening’s events, the community took a few moments to dedicate the Class of 2019 Gift and Bricks. Classmates and faculty gathered in front of Pilalas early Friday evening to view their names in the sidewalk, listen to their classmates, and reflect. In addition to the class bricks, this class elected to contribute a time capsule as well as a Sugar Maple tree to campus, helping to beautify the landscape on Academic Row.

Head of School Joe Williams opened the ceremony, sharing some history on the brick walkways and sitting areas. “For the past twenty-two years, New Hampton School has created sitting areas to honor its most recent graduating class. The tradition began on the brick walkway outside of the Academic Research Center, and has since spread to other locations around campus.” This year’s class bricks have the honor of being the first ones set into Academic Row, located in front of the Pilalas Math & Science Center.

Two students were selected to share remarks with their class and guests, noting in particular that the class is exceptionally excited not only about their time capsule, which will be opened at their 50th Reunion but also on the location of their bricks and tree. Allie Soper ’19 shared, “It’s almost ceremonious to think that where we are standing today is also where it all began. Waiting outside the doors of Pilalas in line for Registration, as eager kids both nervous and excited for what is to come. Now, years later, we stand together feeling the same way we once did – both excited and nervous for the future that lies ahead.”

Senior Awards at New Hampton School acknowledge the academic, service, and athletic achievements of our graduating class. Above, Director of Music Kyle Masterson and Director of Visual and Performing Arts Amy Wilson present awards to Emily White ’19 and Leandro Yang ’19 for their exceptional achievements in music performance.

Class of 2019 Senior Awards

For the third year, New Hampton School celebrated the Class of 2019 with a Senior Awards Ceremony. The Senior Awards ceremony recognized individual students and one faculty member for exceptional contributions in specific areas to the school.

Head of School Joe Williams took a moment to remind us of the mission of the school; to develop life-long learners who will become active global citizens. The award ceremony acknowledges the growth of these students in their achievements, personal growth, creativity, and imagination. He also reminded us that while the program highlights individual success and commitment, an important fact remains. Joe shared that, “We know that nothing is achieved alone. The support and encouragement of classmates, the mentoring and inspiration provided by faculty, and the safety to extend oneself in this wonderful community has all contributed to the experience of those who will be recognized this evening.”

After remarks from Senior Class President Caleb Duggan ’19, which thoughtfully reflected on many shared moments for the Class of 2019, the award ceremony began. Please join us in congratulating the honored students; the full listing is available below.

The Cum Laude Society welcomed three new members last night including Jane Mirmanova, Augusta Truesdale and Seth Wilkinson. [L-R] August Truesdale, Harry Shen, Seth Wilkinson, Chris Fridlington, Jun Cha, Jane Mirmanova, Alec Grace, and Tina Zhao.

Senior Dinner

Between celebratory events, graduates and their families joined together in Memorial Dining Hall for dinner. A thoughtful tradition at this special meal at New Hampton School is the “Greens for Graduation.” Earlier in April, students and faculty planted greens, from seed, in the greenhouse. On Wednesday afternoon, the greens were harvested for this occasion, a unique and nourishing way for the school community to honor the graduating class.


Baccalaureate was held in McEvoy Theater with the Class of 2019, their families, and faculty. A common practice at many schools, it offers the opportunity to share reflections. This evening featured speakers, a performance, and a closing slide show which captured the character of the class and their time together over the years. Five students shared remarks on behalf of their class: Maggie-Molloy Van Dyne (Chelmsford, MA), Brenna Crowder (New Hampton, NH), Emily White (Colchester, VT), Kaya Suner (Providence, RI), and Lexie Schultz (Paget, Bermuda).

Faculty Insight

The graduating class elected B Cornog, English Department Chair and Women’s Varsity Field Hockey Coach, to address the class.

Ms. Cornog addressed the Class of 2019 with a beautifully crafted speech reflecting on our nostalgia, our never-ending forward momentum, and our present moment, all of which are intertwined.

“I know many of you are also looking back, journeying into your past, reexamining choices and celebrating past victories, wondering whether what lies ahead can ever measure up, or hoping it quickly brings improvements. Toggling back and forth between then and now can be exhausting. But! This, right now, this anticipation and curiosity you are experiencing are actually great.”

B’s connections between the ideas of rites of passage, of letting things happens as they are, not deciding what each moment should be, helped to offer small moments of advice and inspiration for all of those in attendance.

English Department Chair B Cornog had the honor of being selected by the Class of 2019 to speak at Baccalaureate.

Congratulations to the following Seniors recognized for their outstanding contributions to their class and New Hampton School.

Cum Laude Society

Current Class of 2019 Members:

Jun Cha
Christopher Fridlington
Alec Grace
Yikuan Fred Liao
Jiyai Harry Shen
Heyue Tina Zhao
Runshi Regis Zhou

New Class of 2019 Members:

Jane Mirmanova
Augusta Truesdale
Seth Wilkinson

Ralph S. O’Connor Excellence in Teaching Prize
Bo Cramer

Joe Plaia Male Athlete
Jake Dulac

Joe Plaia Female Athlete
Lauren DeBlois

Golden-Tilton Post-Graduate Award
Michael Fleury

Presidential Service Award
JW Cantwell
Paige Dumont
Christopher Fridlington
Allie Soper
Maggie Van Dyne

Visual Arts Award
Christopher Fridlington

Performing Arts Awards
Emily White
Zenuo Leandro Yang

English Department Award
Augusta Truesdale

History Department Award
Augusta Truesdale

Mathematics Department Award
Seth Wilkinson

Science Department Award
Seth Wilkinson

World Language Department Award
Carter Alejandro Castillo

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