On Friday, May 25, 98 graduates and their families gathered on the lawn in front of historic Meservey Hall for New Hampton School’s 197th Commencement.
New Hampton School’s 197th Commencement Ceremony
Head of School Joe Williams, now in his second year, welcomed graduates, faculty, students and families. He opened the ceremony with his own remarks to the Class of 2018 before welcoming Chair of the Board of Trustees Karl Kimball ’74 and Commencement Speaker Phil Sawyer ’68.
“You have allowed us to push you during this educational journey to Rise Up…and embrace new challenges, which has increased your confidence and understanding for the limitless opportunities that await you as you leave the New Hampton School, spreading your wings for the adventures that lie ahead.”
Mr. Williams acknowledged individual graduates who have carefully selected the best next opportunities for them, to exemplify the thoughtful authentic nature of this class. He named Nikki Bronson, a 4-year senior who has dedicated herself to the rescue and rehabilitation of horses, choosing to study at UNC Wilmington in the Animal and Marine Science program. Z Huo who has attended bilingual schools since he was four, and an IB Diploma Candidate who will continue his lifelong quest for discovery at Carnegie Mellon University. Another example was JR Kreuzburg, a New Hampshire native, who is quiet yet confident and eager to attend Lees-McRae College in North Carolina for the outstanding cycling program.
While it’s difficult to reference only a few students to capture a talented and unique group of individuals, Mr. Williams closed by acknowledging the whole group. “My point is…each of you, our graduates today, has a unique story…an accomplishment to celebrate…and exciting opportunities ahead that we look forward to following.”
Commencement Speaker Phil Sawyer, Class of 1968, spoke to students about the world in which we live. He encouraged students to consider that the world is not rational, rather it is random and probable, and with that we have endless possibility to imagine the world in which we want to live. We cannot control the probability, but as individuals, we can imagine, take risks and pursue fulfillment.
Mr. Sawyer closed by urging students to spend a good part of their lives fulfilling their missions as predominately social beings; to spend less time with their screens and more time communing and enjoying their friends and colleagues. In his words, “living a life of grand and glorious possibility.”
Pat Roth was selected by his classmates as the Ben Cecil Commencement Speaker. Following his freshman year, Pat departed New Hampton for a year and then chose to return for his last two years of high school, sharing the experience with his brother Will. In his closing remarks, Pat noted, “Thank you for giving me the opportunity to speak to you today. I hope none of you took your time at NHS for granted, because like my oldest brother Kevin said to me when he graduated, ‘College is fun. You’ll find some of your best friends there. But it’s the friends you make here that you want to keep forever.'”
Congratulations to the following graduates who received distinguished awards for their contributions to the school and their class at Commencement. Photos are available on Flickr.
2018 Commencement Recognitions
Ben Cecil Commencement Welcome Speaker: Patrick Roth
Faculty Award: Mairead Ryan
Faculty Award: Elliot Sezalory
New Hampton School Commencement Medals
Academic & Personal Growth: Drew Honeycutt
Academic & Personal Growth: Branton Bergstol
Intellectual Curiosity: Charles-Emmanuel Ba Oumar
Citizenship Medal: Mikayla Williams
Meservey Medal: Evangeline Ruth Hodgson
Salutatorian: Catherine Farr Williams
Valedictorian: Shaojie Yang