Congratulations, Class of 2019
Seventy-four members of the Class of 2019 graduated in a ceremony that took place on the front lawn under sunny skies on June 9 while hundreds of friends and family watched.
The faculty took their seats to the playing of the school song by the GSA Band, then Class Marshal Alex Fu led the Class of 2019 to the bleachers in front of the Academy Building while the band played Elgar’s “Pomp and Circumstance.”
After welcoming the guests, Head of School Tim Seeley recognized members of the Class of 1969, who held their 50th reunion at Central Hall in South Blue Hill the day before GSA’s graduation.
Laura Liu, the first honor essayist, who moved here from Shanghai, gave a humorous welcome address that touched on her first experience of the cold winters and the warm people here. “When I thought winter was over and sensed the arrival of spring, it was winter again,” she wrote.
Salutatorian Daniel Li spoke about Edward T. Hall’s research on how much space we like to keep between ourselves and others, say, 2.5 feet or so, and said that at GSA, he was 132 million feet away from his parents. “Thanks to the advancement in technologies,” he said, his parents still can tell him what to do and how to do it, but he’s learned to appreciate that.
Valedictorian Hattie Slayton compared the graduating class to the dandelion and its “fluffy clouds of seeds ready to be blown and scattered from our familiar stem and roots and challenged to make our own.”
The commencement address was given by Elisabeth de Sévigné, chair of the Math Department, who spoke about how she struggled as a young student, but that she developed a strong work ethic.
Bess MacArthur, Mallory Charette, and Yulia Heggestad announced the class gift to the school, a serviceberry bush near the Academy House and a pair of star magnolias in the courtyard where students often eat lunch outside.
As Dean of Curriculum and Instruction David Stearns talked about each student’s plans for the future, the members of the Class of 2019 received their diplomas from Tim Seeley and Board Chair Samantha Politte, with many of the presentations made also in Chinese, Korean, and Spanish.
Katie Forrest, second honor essayist, then gave the farewell remarks, speaking about what makes Maine unique. “People say you can’t get there from here, but what we have gotten from here, we can take with us anywhere,” she concluded.
Our head of school then presented the GSA Class of 2019, and just like that, they went from being students to alumni. Come back and visit us!
Click on the pages in the navigation bar to read each of the four honor essays and the commencement address and all their humor and wisdom!