Congratulations to the Class of 2016!

With family, friends, and alumni present, and just a bit of stormy weather, the Class of 2016 celebrated its Commencement on June 5. The day offered up both old and new D-E traditions: the ceremony as usual took place under the big white tent on Leggett Field, but new this year was the processional of the graduating class, faculty, and staff coming out of the Hajjar STEM Center to the ceremony.

rodneyHead of School Dr. Rodney V. De Jarnett welcomed all in attendance—more than 1,000 guests—with remarks inspired by his love of sailing and the sea. Dr. De Jarnett’s comments were especially poignant and personal this year, with mentions of his family members, including son Tyler ’13 and graduating daughter Alexandra (Ali) ’16. He acknowledged and thanked parents and families for providing “the inspiration for our graduates to learn.” He noted, “In many ways, you have always served as an anchor for our graduates—allowing them to explore various ports and islands with the confidence that you were always there to secure their boats when needed and in the various areas they chose to sail. The security you have provided allowed each to take the risks necessary to become who they are today. I know personally and first-hand that this graduating class knows well what you have provided them, and each is extremely appreciative.”

Board of Trustees President Mathew Golub followed with some advice for the graduates, stating, “Virtually never in your life will the downside from taking a challenge be lower for you than it will be over the next four years. So try to do some really hard things and accept along the way some discomfort and a healthy amount of struggle, and even a small dose of stress. Try to extend possible, not to worry yet about figuring out a plan for your life, or finding a question. These are not things you simply trip over walking from your dorm to the dining hall. They all discovered and developed through deep engagement in things that interest you. So push yourself to reason more fully, communicate clearly, and persuade compellingly. Make lots of mistakes and keep moving forward.”

The Upper Class Chorus followed with a soulful rendition of “Imagine” by John Lennon, and then Senior Class Reader Leslie Moreaux ’16 provided an excerpt from the book The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros. Then followed the presentation of the Trustees Award to Jason King ’16, the Bailey Award to Erika Ogino ’16, and the Senior Citizenship Prize to Tara Satnick ’16.

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After the awards, Senior Class Speaker Antonios Tsougarakis ’16 both engaged and enlightened the audience, noting that when he was a speaker for his Grade 5 Promotion Ceremony he was in a strangely similar situation in terms of speaking to what the concept of “home” means. He noted: “We have value and we have character, and we are ready to leave our homes to take on the world. And for this we need to take a break from congratulating ourselves and thank those who got us here.” When he finished his speech, the Dwight-Englewood Orchestra impressed all with a rousing, rhythmic performance of “Danzon No.2” by Arturo Marquez.

granoffDr. De Jarentt then introduced the keynote speaker, Jonathan Granoff ESB ’66. President of the Global Security Institute and one of the most recent recipients of the School’s Distinguished Alumni Award, Granoff made remarks that included a sing-along to the ESB song “Veritas” and references to peace-making luminaries, including John Lennon and the Dalai Lama. As he spoke forcefully about the logic for complete global nuclear disarmament and his efforts toward that goal, the skies opened and a veritable downpour ensued. The audience remained attentive and appreciative, giving him a standing ovation in response to his closing statements: “The winds are not in your hands, but how you ride them is. Do not ever let cynicism dampen your natural power of love. Love is a power and source, easily understood yet forever deep and mysterious. Its profound ability to open meaning, heal, awaken insight, and gift life with grace is beyond any measurements. It is priceless and cannot be bought or sold. It awakens in authenticity. How each person finds this treasure and manifests it is unique. It makes us grateful.”

The Senior Jazz Rock Ensemble then played “Live Like We’re Dying” and Upper School Principal Joseph W. Algrant delivered farewell remarks, commenting: “Each of you has a rich story behind your name, and perhaps because I had too much meditation beforehand, those stories each came to mind as I signed each of your diplomas. Quite honestly, it was emotional and draining but also exhilarating to think about where you have come from and what you have become as you leave Dwight-Englewood today.”

The ceremony concluded with the Presentation of Diplomas, the customary throwing of caps, and a recessional to “March” by George Frederic Handel. Once again the clouds provided another dose of rain, but it didn’t seem to darken the mood of the School’s newest alumni. Congratulations to the Class of 2016!

To read and download complete transcripts of all remarks made during Commencement 2016, click here.


What’s Next for our Graduates?
The Matriculation List for the Class of 2016


Australian National University – 1
Babson College – 1
Barnard College – 1
Baruch College of the CUNY – 1
Boston College – 2
Boston University – 1
Bowdoin College – 1
Bryant University – 1
Bucknell University – 2
Colgate University – 1
Colorado College – 1
Columbia University – 1
Cornell University – 3
Dartmouth College – 1
Emory University – 4
Fairfield University – 1
Fairleigh Dickinson University – 1
Felician University – 1
Fordham University – 2
Franklin and Marshall College – 1
George Washington University – 1
Georgetown University – 1
Georgia Institute of Technology 1
Harvard Extension School – 1
High Point University – 1
Indiana University – 4
Ithaca College – 1
Johns Hopkins University – 2
Lafayette College – 1
Lehigh University – 2
Muhlenberg College – 1
New Jersey Institute of Technology – 1
New York University – 9
Pennsylvania State University – 1
Pennsylvania State Univ., Harrisburg – 1
Princeton University – 2
St. John’s College, MD – 1
Stanford University – 1
Swarthmore College – 2
Syracuse University – 4
Tufts University – 2
Tulane University – 4
University of California, Irvine – 1
University of Colorado – 1
University of Connecticut – 1
University of Kentucky – 1
University of Maryland – 1
University of Miami – 3
University of Michigan – 3
University of North Carolina – 1
University of Pennsylvania – 3
University of Rochester – 2
University of Southern California – 2
University of Tampa – 1
University of Tennessee – 1
University of Vermont – 2
University of Washington – 1
University of Wisconsin – 1
Vanderbilt University – 1
Villanova University – 2
Washington University in St. Louis* – 3
Wesleyan University – 1
Whitman College – 1
Williams College – 1
Wingate University – 1
Yale University – 1

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