Rigorous thinkers. Compassionate leaders. Skilled collaborators. These were some of the phrases used to describe the Class of 2018 during Brookwood School's 55th Commencement exercises on Monday, June 11. After welcoming graduates and guests, Head of School Laura Caron introduced Nancy Crate, member of the Board of Trustees from 2011 - 2017, former Board Chair, and parent to two 8th grade students. Nancy opened the invocation by quoting Khalil Gibran: "The timeless in you is aware of life's timelessness, and knows that yesterday is but today's memory and tomorrow is today's dream." She went on to note that "this milestone may feel like an end, but it's really just the beginning - the commencement of the next step in your journey. In these next few hours, we are neither ending, nor beginning. We are simply here, in this moment, celebrating you."
Following the invocation, Laura acknowledged the many accomplishments of the Class of 2018 in a welcome address. From leading athletic teams to hard-won victories to earning awards in mathematics contests, the Class of 2018 has showcased teamwork, perseverance, and a deeply-held respect for the value of friendships. In Laura's words, "Being a friendship champion is the fruit of empathy and the foundation of a healthy life worth living. Keep tending your relationships as you leave Brookwood - if you choose, they are yours to learn from and enjoy throughout all the years of your life." She also acknowledged the Class of 2018's "ability to jump in and participate. Buoyed by your commitment to your friends and your authentic appreciation of what’s good and successful in others, you show up each day and participate with a delightful gusto that raises the bar for everyone."
Laura continued, "As you move into high school, proudly take with you your commitment to relationships and your all-in spirit. Participate with your full self, reveal your heart, and clarify your boundaries. Find connections and opportunities that lift your spirits and make you smile, and then seek out more that do the same. You will make a difference in others’ lives, so embrace that responsibility and do the right thing." Following a short - and heartfelt - tribute for each graduate, diplomas were awarded and then Chair of the Board Charlton Reynders closed the ceremony with the Benediction.
To our graduates: as you shift from reflection and goodbyes to the sweet anticipation of new life in high school, go forth! You are well prepared for 9th grade and are ready to rise to its challenges. Congratulations to the Class of 2018!