Commencement 2017

On Sunday, June 4, 120 seniors from the Class of 2017 were awarded their diplomas by Head of School Dr. Rodney V. De Jarnett, Upper School Principal Joseph Algrant, Board of Trustees President Matthew Golub and Class of 2017 Dean Brendan McGrail. The ceremony took place at 10:00 a.m. on Leggett Field, adjacent to the Hajjar STEM Center. The program officially began (and was eventually concluded) by the ceremonial ringing of a new Class of 2017 bell.

Welcoming the more than 1,200 attendees sitting under and around the big white tent, Dr. De Jarnett talked to the soon-to-be-graduates about his favorite passion, sailing: “To successfully get where you want to go, you must focus on where you have been…Everyone you see sitting in front of you today has helped you build your boat; they have given you the knowledge to set your sails and taken you to the mouth of the harbor. And everyone here is now giving you the rudder to set your course.”

Matthew Golub provided his own parental advice to the Class of 2017 (which includes his son Noah Golub ’17): “You have only two jobs to do at college, to learn as much as possible, about yourself and about the world; and to build relationships and make friends. Continue to seek out and engage people with whom you disagree. You might strengthen your arguments. You might even change your mind. But you’ll be definitely be thinking for yourself.”

Following readings by Senior Readers Joel Lee ’17 and Adalyn (“Addie”) Model ’17, Senior Class Speaker, Adrian Charles Evans ’17 talked about D-E’s six core values of respect, honesty, judgment, commitment, courage and community. In several cases colorfully drawing from his experiences playing with the D-E Ultimate team, Adrian remarked that “the core value that [best represents] our Class of 2017 is community… Community is a bond that stems from a shared experience. I believe we all have learned the core values through our accumulated experiences and amazing accomplishments, and [we all] are indebted to this school and all its opportunities.”

Senior Class Speaker Julia McSpirit Beckett ’17 then talked about the Class of 2017’s “amazing race” and their journey to senior year. “Our race is amazing for more than its laughs and accomplishments. Our race is amazing because we are willing to sacrifice our own performance to help the teammate who has fallen down next to us. I have witnessed you all put your own upset aside to congratulate or console someone else.”

Commencement ceremony keynote remarks were given by Allison Davis. A television and non-profit executive with more than 40 years of experience who is often referred to as a “pioneer of cyber-journalism,” Davis graduated from Boston University with her B.S. degree in journalism in 1975. Joining NBC News in 1981, working for The Today Show as a writer/producer, Davis is the “Allison” of the now-infamous “Let’s Ask Allison” clip that has had tens of millions of views (and in which the Internet was described by Davis to Today co-hosts Bryant Gumbel and Katie Couric). She helped to launch MSNBC, serving as its first executive producer and managing a team of reporters dedicated to online reporting.  Davis’s professional experience also includes serving as vice president and chief operating officer at the Jackie Robinson Foundation, and serving as a founding member of the National Association of Black Journalists. Currently Davis is serving as executive director for Arts Horizons NJ, a non-profit arts organization serving schools, senior centers, and hospitals in the New Jersey and New York metro area. She has been officially recognized by the national fraternal organization Alpha Kappa Alpha (AKA) as a “Hidden Figure” in broadcasting.

After speaking to her own personal experience with D-E and the range of emotions she had in watching her son Cooper Wright ’10 graduate from D-E, Davis brought a message of both urgency and admiration to the Class of 2017, noting that “now is the time to ‘Be Woke’…While you were here and when you are away at college you will be remembered for leadership in [difficult] moments, your sense of calm and your purposeful modeling of proper behavior. In tough times you are right to criticize and express concern about things that happen, and the way they are handled — and you can help to lead us through it.”

During Commencement, the D-E Upper School Orchestra and Stage Band ensembles were featured, with the audience enjoying memorable performances such as “Come Fly Away” performed by the “Three Tenors,” Tim Holt ’17, Andrew Mount ’17 and Chris Victor ’17. Three seniors were also and recognized with the School’s most prestigious awards: The Bailey Award (given to Christine Chow ’17); The Trustees’ Award (given to Noa Levin ’17); and The Senior Citizenship Prize (awarded to Joel Lee ’17).

Final remarks were given by US Principal Joseph Algrant, whose own daughter Isabel Algrant ’17 was among those waiting to cross the stage. He noted, “Today we are sad, we are happy and we are perhaps a bit jealous to see you go, but the time has finally and surely arrived… your diplomas sit behind us, ready to be presented to their rightful owners.”

After diplomas were presented, the traditional recessional Color Guard and the Class of 2017 then filed out onto Leggett Field to the sound of bagpipes and applause, with each graduate ringing the ceremonial bell.

Congratulations to our newest graduates of the Dwight-Englewood School!

What’s Next for our Graduates? The Matriculation List for the Class of 2017

  • Albright College 1
  • American University 1
  • American University of Paris 1
  • Amherst College 1
  • Bard College 1
  • Bennington College 1
  • Bentley University 1
  • Boston College 1
  • Boston University 2
  • Brandeis University 2
  • Brown University 2
  • Carleton College 1
  • Carnegie Mellon University 1
  • Colgate University 2
  • College of William and Mary 1
  • Cornell University 5
  • Drexel University 1
  • Duke University 1
  • Emory University 2
  • Franklin & Marshall College 3
  • Gap Year 1
  • George Washington University 1
  • Hamilton College 2
  • Harvard University 1
  • Haverford College 1
  • Indiana University 1
  • Lafayette College 3
  • Lehigh University 4
  • Macalester College 1
  • Manhattan School of Music 1
  • Marist College 1
  • New York University 7
  • Northeastern University 3
  • Northwestern University 1
  • Pace University 1
  • Parsons School of Design 1
  • Pennsylvania State University 1
  • Princeton University 1
  • Purdue University 1
  • Rutgers University 3
  • Sarah Lawrence College 2
  • Scripps College 1
  • Sewanee: The University of the South 1
  • Simmons College 1
  • Skidmore College 2
  • Smith College 1
  • Stevens Institute of Technology 1
  • Syracuse University 7
  • Tufts University 2
  • Tulane University 1
  • University of Arizona 1
  • University of California, Berkeley 4
  • University of Chicago 1
  • University of Colorado 1
  • University of Maryland 1
  • University of Miami 1
  • University of Michigan 5
  • University of Pennsylvania 5
  • University of Southern California 1
  • University of Toronto 1
  • University of Vermont 2
  • University of Wisconsin 4
  • Villanova University 1
  • Virginia Polytechnic Institute 1
  • Wake Forest University 1
  • Washington University/St. Louis 1
  • Wellesley College 1
  • Wesleyan University 1
  • Williams College 1

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