On Friday June 8, Madeira awarded 79 diplomas to the class of 2018. After the traditional processional to their seats with hand held bouquets of 13 red roses, (a tradition that honors the 13 original boarders at Madeira), Kristine Johnson, parent of Eliza Dubee ’18, gave the invocation.
Elected by her peers as the class speaker, Zoe Crawley spoke of making mistakes and class unity.
“Wherever you’re off to next, don’t stop using those voices, but don’t be afraid to make mistakes, embrace your mistakes. Make big bold interesting mistakes; and then come home and tell us about them . . . Be proud of what you choose to do, even when other people tell you it’s not right and know we’ve got your back. Because if I know anything about this class, it’s that we will never be content do what’s expected or staying quiet. So be loud. Be who you are so loudly that no one can ignore it.”
Shayna Riggins introduced the commencement speaker, Founder and CEO of GenHERation, Katlyn Grasso.
“Curiosity is the root of innovation because it’s when people start asking questions that real change happens,” she said. “Change makes people uncomfortable, but discomfort is the impetus of growth.”
“There’s no timetable for success,” Grasso continued. “As long as you know more today than you did yesterday, then you’re right on track. Only you can define what success looks like and there’s no right or wrong answer.”
Head of School Pilar Cabeza de Vaca encouraged the graduates to continue to do their best.
“This is a class who met and often exceeded Lucy Madeira’s standard of personal best,” she said. “This class of 79 students also stands out prominently to me because you’ve adhered to one of our core values, honesty and integrity. Honesty and integrity build trust which is the foundation of human relationships.”
She went on to say, “Young women of the Class of 2018, you certainly demonstrate that you are empowered to tackle challenges, overcome obstacles and be agents of change.”
Speaking on behalf of the Board of Trustees, Anne Faircloth ’87, reminded everyone of the best of Madeira’s traditions.
“When you first get your ring, you point the rays of the sunburst toward you so that you soak in the light of learning. When you graduate, you turn the ring around so you share your light of learning with the world, she said. “I still think about those rays of sun pointing out every time I put my ring on. I think about how this is a place where I will always be me. The Anne Faircloth you see today began on her journey to self-awareness and self-confidence here. When I’m with my classmates, I’m most uniquely me, without pretense, without outside expectations. This is by far our greatest tradition. A tradition of creating strong, independent women who celebrate themselves and each other with confident voices. I’m honored to join in that chorus today.”
Reverend Katherine Stanford, parent of Zoe Crawley ’18, gave the benediction and the ceremony concluded with the awarding of diplomas and the recessional out of the amphitheater. A reception was held for all families and friends on the Oval.
You can view the commencement ceremony in its entirety at https://locallive.tv
View images from commencement here