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Deerfield Academy

Commencement Page

This is where you find information about all things Commencement.

COMMENCEMENT 2021

Sunday, May 30 / 10:00 am

As Dr. Austin mentioned in his video prior to the break, we will welcome parents to graduation on May 30. At this point, the invitation will be limited to the Commencement ceremony on Sunday, May 30, at 10 am. We are committed to a Commencement for the Class of 2021 that is in keeping with our traditions leading up to and during this event; we are working closely with EH&E, following recently-released state guidelines for graduations, and the guidance of our local public health officials. We developed a strong and trusting partnership with local public officials and our neighbors in Franklin County over these past several months, and we are committed to continuing to be a “good neighbor” as we potentially bring hundreds of people into the area for Commencement. At this time, we are confident that we will be able to at least welcome parents and guardians back to campus, and we will definitely provide livestream viewing for all those who are unable to attend in person.

As we continue to outline the details, we will be sure to update this page and send direct email communication as well. Thank you in advance for your patience and understanding as we finalize these plans.

  • There will be an in-person “Head’s Welcome” on Saturday, May 29;
  • The Class of ’21 will gather for the traditional final Senior Class Meeting, aka the “Senior Cry,” on May 29;
  • Every graduate will be allowed six guests for the Commencement ceremony on Sunday, May 30;
  • Guests should be prepared to sit closely together as one “household” during the ceremony;
  • We will ask families to make their travel/arrival plans to arrive on Saturday, May 29, and to pre-register all attendees;
  • Registration and additional details, including important Covid-19-related information for the weekend, will be posted on this site on April 20.

To help your graduate plan: Recommended student attire for the Commencement ceremony: a face mask (this is mandatory), a blue blazer, white shirt, khakis, and Class tie (can be ordered from Hitchcock House); or a white dress. 

In the coming weeks we will be working with the Senior class leadership to finalize the details of their Senior Week. Of course all plans will be dependent on local public health indicators, but we are confident that we will be able to create a meaningful, fun, and memorable final week for the Great Class of 2021.

Commencement 2020:

Deerfield Academy celebrated the Commencement of the Class of 2020 on Sunday, August 9, 2020 at 10 am EDT through a special virtual event on Vimeo and YouTube. Our virtual celebration provided an opportunity to mark this important milestone in the lives of the graduating class with their families, friends and the entire school community.

Please enjoy the replay via Vimeo; Chinese, French, Korean, or Spanish subtitles or English Closed Captions are available.

Click on the links for the Commencement Program and Awards Program* PDFs.


*All awards listed except the Deerfield Cup and the Robert B. Crow Award which was announced during Commencement.


Processional
Mr. Eric Goodchild, Bagpiper

Invocation
Dr. Daniel Houston, Interim Dean of Spiritual and Ethical Life

Welcome from President of the Board of Trustees
Mr. Brian Simmons P’12, ’14

Welcome and Remarks from Head of School
Dr. John P.N. Austin

Senior Addresses
Kareena Bhakta and Nicholas James Fluty

Presentation of Commencement Prizes
The Deerfield Cup
The Robert Crow Award

Introduction of the Keynote Speaker
Ms. Amie Creagh, Assistant Head of School for Student Life

Keynote Address
Hannah Pittard ’97
Novelist and Professor, University of Kentucky

Remarks from President of the Executive Committee of the Alumni Association
Vanessa Lavely ’00

Presentation of the Class of 2020
Dr. Ivory Hills, Academic Dean

Deerfield Evensong
Words by Richard Warren Hatch, Music by Ralph Herrick Oatley

Benediction
Dr. Daniel Houston, Interim Dean of Spiritual and Ethical Life

Please find transcripts of the speeches below:

Welcome from President of the Board of Trustees
Mr. Brian Simmons P’12, ’14
Welcome and Remarks from Head of School
Dr. John P.N. Austin
Senior Addresses
Kareena Bhakta and Nicholas James Fluty
Keynote Address: Hannah Pittard ’97
Novelist and Professor, University of Kentucky
  • I didn’t get my diploma (or my diploma arrived damaged). Who do I contact?
    If your diploma did not arrive or you need a replacement, please contact the Manager of Student Information Systems, Erin Donnally Drake (edonnallydrake@deerfield.edu). 
  • How can family and friends watch the ceremony?
    The ceremony is available on Vimeo.
  • Will the ceremony be accessible or simulcast in other languages?
    Closed captions and subtitled translations of the ceremony are available on Vimeo. Viewers can select their language preference on that page: Chinese, French, Korean, or Spanish subtitles or English Closed Captions.
  • How will seniors learn about Latin honors, academic awards and other distinctions?
    The 2020 Commencement Program and Awards Program lists this information excluding the Deerfield Cup and Robert B. Crow Award which was announced during the Commencement broadcast. An electronic version of these programs can be found above.
  • Will the ceremony be available for later viewing?
    Yes, it is be available on both Vimeo and YouTube.