The Haverford School celebrated its 137th Commencement ceremony on June 11 in the School’s Field House. The School graduated 107 students before a crowd of family, friends, and alumni. Twenty-five percent of the graduating class has attended Haverford since pre-kindergarten or kindergarten.
The ceremony was held in person with several COVID-19 mitigation efforts in place. To protect against the virus, the School invited family members to present diplomas to their graduates.
James M. Buck III ’77, a partner at TDH Capital, gave the commencement address. Attendees also heard remarks from Board of Trustees Chair Maurice Glavin ’83, P’14 ’16 ‘18, Head of School Dr. John Nagl, and student body president Cyril Leahy. The Notables, Haverford’s a cappella group, performed a selection of songs during the ceremony.
Buck spoke about failure and love, and how the two often intersect. He encouraged the graduates to try new things, even with the possibility of failure, and project love in all they do.
“Put your great learning to work in whatever you choose to do next. Don’t avoid risk; embrace it. In taking on risky endeavors, you’ll learn to love what failure teaches you,” said Buck. “But also, don’t fail to love – yourself, one another, your country, and your earth.”
Glavin, in his first year as Board Chair, applauded the graduates, the faculty and staff, and the students’ families for supporting one another and persevering through a difficult year with COVID-19. He acknowledged the special character shown by the students throughout the year.
“I couldn’t be prouder of our graduates,” said Glavin. “You worked hard, competed when given the chance, and led by example so younger boys learned to handle adversity.”
Just before officially closing the 2020-21 school year and the Commencement ceremony, Haverford’s ninth Head of School Dr. John Nagl reminded the students of their responsibility to make the world a better place, and thanked them for their leadership during their time at Haverford.
“As you leave Haverford, the world needs your great minds and your big hearts more than ever,” said Dr. Nagl. “As you move on, continue to strive for the prizes that count the most: the respect of your friends, the love of your family, the sense of having used your talents in the service of others, and the knowledge of having done your best.”
Five students were presented with prestigious awards during the ceremony, including:
· The Daniel S. Newhall II ’20 Plaque was awarded to the student with the highest academic standing in the class among the winners of the School letter in any branch of sport. The award was presented to Tyler Zimmer.
· The Frank C. Roberts III Cup was given to the member of the class who showed true sportsmanship in working and playing squarely, in being a good loser and graceful winner, and in making and keeping friends. The Roberts Cup was awarded to Jonathan Flieder.
· The Alumni Association Key Man Award was presented to the senior who has demonstrated outstanding traits of character, scholarship, intelligence, and leadership, as well as enthusiasm for all School activities. Colby Kim was named the Key Man for the Class of 2021
· The Frederick C. Peters II ’68 Prize was awarded to the student whose leadership has made the School happier for his presence and whose service to Haverford has inspired his fellow students to be better citizens. The Peters Prize was awarded to Cyril Leahy.
· The Phi Beta Kappa Association of Philadelphia Award honors the graduate who excels in his scholastic record and who possesses inherent character and integrity. Brian Williams was presented with this award.
To see photos of the Commencement ceremony, click here.