Commencement is always an exciting day on campus. This morning’s ceremony on this beautiful New England morning was lovely. I’m continually struck by the confidence and optimism of each graduating Deerfield class – no doubt the result of four years of trials and successes. And the class of 2012 has been a successful one indeed! The top 4 colleges for enrollment for Deerfield’s graduating seniors are Princeton, Dartmouth, Yale, and Harvard. Equally exciting is this class’ sense of individualism indicated by the 79 schools that our class of 187 students have chosen.
There accomplishments are varied and great. But, as I look back on the class of 2012, it’s this class’ particular contributions to the legacy of Deerfield Academy that are top of mind. Nina Shevzov-Zebrun, our Robert Crow award winner, which goes to the outstanding scholar of the senior class, represents all that we hope for in a young Deerfield scholar: intelligence, insight, industry and insatiable curiosity. Brad Hakes, our Deerfield Cup winner, embodies the Deerfield spirit through his quiet leadership, exemplary scholarship, and generous sportsmanship. Both students inspire us to be our best selves.
In fact, many seniors have offered leadership in ways that will have a lasting effect on the Deerfield community. Perhaps most notable are Theo Lipsky and Charles Jones who led the effort to pen a new values statement that encompasses the responsible citizenship that we hope to foster in our students. This student-authored declaration, “I will act with respect, honesty, and concern for others and will seek to inspire the same values in our community and beyond,” has been adopted by our administration and will live on at Deerfield long after today.
What continually amazes me, year after year, is that this senior class, though highly accomplished, is not exceptional in their dedication to creating a Deerfield community that is vital, inclusive and distinctive. Every class represents a new and exciting chapter in the Deerfield legacy.