“Remember the impact one person can make,” Head of School Margarita Curtis said to the 191 members of the Class of 2011 this past Sunday. She added, “Believe in yourselves and what you can do…” And as ever, Dr. Curtis reminded the newest members of Deerfield’s Alumni Association that they are always welcome back at the Academy—Deerfield will always be there for them.
Student-elected speakers Kendall Carpenter ’11 and Eliot Invernizzi Taft ’11 shared their nostalgia with their classmates and guests as they reminisced about first and last trips to the Rock, the wisdom passed to them by members of the faculty, and ultimately, how Deerfield shaped their teenage years. Despite all the happy reflections, Eliot Taft urged his fellow graduates to “push forward and not dwell in memories.”
The Commencement address was presented by Matthew H. King ’77, deputy assistant director of Homeland Security Investigations, who shared with the Class of ’11 some of the lessons he learned both at Deerfield and later in life; he stressed the importance of resilience. Mr. King closed by quoting President Theodore Roosevelt: “It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat.”