Derryfield Graduates Reflect on Their Journey at the 57th Commencement Ceremony

Derryfield Graduates Reflect on Their Journey at the 57th Commencement Ceremony

The Derryfield School celebrated its fifty-seventh commencement on Saturday, June 8.  Seventy-four graduates were honored in an outdoor ceremony on the lawn of the Matarese Commons. 

After a greeting from Head of School Andy Chappell, Lane Daniels gave a welcome address in which she recalled learning about TABula rasa, clean slate, and how the philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau highlighted the importance of one’s environment. She went on to conclude, 

“The fact that we are all a blank slate from the moment we are born into this world means that we have the ability to be shaped into incredibly thoughtful, motivated, and unique individuals. In other words, every member of the Derryfield community has been our society, and has challenged and motivated us to become the amazing people that we are today.”

Jenny Boesch, chosen by the senior class to give the faculty address, shared her “pearl of wisdom.”

“Strive to live a Good Life. As each of you head off to college and into the world, it will be up to you to decide what living a Good Life means to you. What is most important, however, is not to let others define what that Good Life is for you. You will need to do this yourselves.”

After the Derryfield Senior Singers performed The Call by Regina Spektor, Leah Munoz gave the Commencement Address. Munoz asked her fellow graduates to reflect upon their Derryfield experience, “since reflection is a foundational component of thinking.” She concluded her speech by saying,

“Before we scatter to the winds embarking on our new chapters, I urge you all to never stop thinking. Work hard. Get busy. Love everything and everyone with all your might. Don’t wait for inspiration or passion to find you. Rather, you find it. And do so please, with a sense of urgency because the hour is always later you think.”

Next Jake Matarese and Jake Ferrari presented the class gift, a clock for the new Matarese Dining Commons.  Then Dr. Reina Stimpston, Head of the Upper School, read What is Success? by Ralph Waldo Emerson.

In his remarks to the audience, Head of School Andy Chappell drew upon the words of Emerson, asking,

“So, what is success? You will have no shortage of people who will offer you definitions-parents, siblings, poets, mentors, musicians, teachers. I believe you are more than prepared to sift through the many philosophies and ideas that are out there because you attended a school that encouraged you to pursue your passions, explore your individuality, and put it all to good use to find your purpose. Even more importantly, you attended a school, surrounded by people who know and care about you, people who taught you not what to think but how to think.”

After the presentation of the diplomas, Prayag Patel delivered the farewell speech. He reflected on how much change the class had seen—from adjusting to pandemic learning to the physical changes on campus, including many new buildings. Patel acknowledged the transition from high school to college was going to bring enormous changes to the graduates, but reminded them,

“The future can be nerve-racking, but it can be equally as exciting if we choose to see it that way. And as masters of change at this point, we have the skills to transform this inhibition into inspiration—to change our outlook and to view nervousness as excitement.” 

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