On June 6, 2018, Winsor celebrated the 56 extraordinary graduates of the Class of 2018. The joyful morning featured soaring music, loving tributes and wise words, including an address by the Rev. Liz Walker. Enjoy photos, video and more.
Click here for a gallery of commencement photos.
Click here for a video of commencement highlights.
This is a "Kairos moment," reflected the Rev. Liz Walker in addressing the Class of 2018, "a time of great opportunity when the stars are lined up and the universe is ready and ripe for change."
"You are already part of a revolutionary generation," she assured them. "You are already change brokers." Recounting her own journey from groundbreaking journalist to human rights activist to minister of dynamic faith community in Roxbury, she encouraged seniors to be conscious throughout their own lives of "where your joy meets the world's needs."
Held June 6, 2018, on the Winsor courtyard, the school's 124th Commencement was a joyful morning of wisdom, music, honors and loving tributes to Winsor's 56 graduating seniors.
Allison Kaneb Pellegrino '89, P'21, '22, president of the Winsor Corporation, had been in the seniors' shoes when Liz Walker first spoke at a Winsor graduation 29 years ago. In welcoming guests, Allison spoke to the community's overflowing pride and confidence in the class, visible in the beaming faces of all those gathered to celebrate them.
The program opened with a passage from The Velveteen Rabbit, speaking to the power of love to make you real, read beautifully by Sarah Figler '18.
"YOUR PLACE IN THE UNIVERSE"
As Sarah Pelmas looked out on the Class of 2018, the head of school reminded them of all of the "younger Winsor students who really, really want to be you."
"They see you conducting yourselves with integrity and honor, with genuine compassion, and also with strength, brilliance, tenacity, and courage. You fight for what matters, you are out to change the world, and you have everything you could possibly need to do just that right now."
In a nod to the seniors' space-themed homeroom, Ms. Pelmas shared a wish for them: "to embrace your place in the universe."
Admittedly, she added, "my wish...is a pretty serious wish." But seeing the class in action has shown her how much they are capable of. "You helped me see what incredible intellectual powerhouses look like," she said. "You showed me how a community celebrates and commiserates together. You showed me what sisterhood really is, what commitment means, and what laughter sounds like when it is full-hearted."
"STARS THAT CAN LAUGH"
Extending the theme, she shared wisdom from astronauts, astrophysicists and one of her favorite stories, Saint-Exupery's The Little Prince, whose beloved title character "wandered the universe searching, essentially, for meaning." At the end of his days on earth, the prince bids farewell to a pilot whose life he has saved, assuring him, "When you look up at the sky at night, since I'll be living on one of [the stars], since I'll be laughing on one of them, for you it'll be as if all the stars are laughing."
"This is one of your gifts to us: you have given us stars that can laugh," Ms. Pelmas told the seniors.
Jordan Sclar '18 echoed those themes in her own message to "the incredible Class of 2018." She thanked her fellow seniors for their laughter—and had everyone laughing in recounting a few of their more hilarious moments. Touchingly, she added, "thank you for your unconditional support. Thank you for loving me for who I am."
"SOMETHING MUCH, MUCH BIGGER"
On a morning filled with stories, Liz Walker reminded them, "you are the award-winning author of a very special story. Not one chapter of that story can be written by anybody but you. And the world needs to hear it. You have a right, you have a responsibility to share it."
"And here is the best part: you will discover as you tell your story that you are part of a bigger drama that is unfolding in this universe. There is purpose and meaning to your life. What you do matters."
"Through your bravery," echoed Ms. Pelmas, "you will show us that we are part of something much, much bigger."
As this chapter in the seniors' story came to an end, "I'm forever grateful that Winsor brought us all together," Jordan concluded, "and I can't wait to see the amazing things that we do."