Class of 2021 Graduates In Person



Luminaries in main circle for the Senior class

After a challenging year, members of the Class of 2021 will end their time at the school with an in-person Commencement on June 5.

The class of 2020’s graduation was held virtually due to COVID-19; however, this year the school will host an in-person ceremony on Hoyt Field, with masking and social distancing protocols in place. Only Seniors, their families, and a limited number of faculty members will be permitted to attend. Other community members, including students in lower grades, can watch the event via live-stream. 

At the beginning of May, Mrs. Christy Cooper, dean of the Class of 2021, announced that the annual speaker for this year’s commencement will be Julie Cotler Pottinger ’87. Pottinger, better known by her pen name, Julia Quinn, is a novelist famous for the Bridgerton series, which has been adapted into a popular Netflix series of the same title. In April 2021, all eight of Pottinger’s Bridgerton novels made the New York Times bestseller list, setting a record for the most books by one author on a single adult bestseller list. Mrs. Cooper said, “I went to the class council for the Senior class and we talked about different possibilities [for a speaker]… and they were very, very excited about Julie Pottinger. [Pottinger] was so thrilled that she changed her flights and is going to arrive early so that she can spend more time with the class. She is going to actually come the night before and attend the awards dinner and even the fishbowl, if she wants to.”

This month, paper bags for the tradition of Senior Letters were hung in the English wing. In the weeks leading up to graduation, members of the community can write notes to the Seniors and leave them in their bags. Olivia Mooney ’21 said “I love the tradition because when I was an underclass student I was really excited to write them to Seniors and wish them luck in their future endeavors. It’s a really sweet way of letting people know you appreciate them.”

The school has been holding an array of special events to honor the Class of 2021 in the month preceding graduation. Seniors stayed out late on Thursday, May 20, for a stroll through the Senior Art Show and enjoyed an ice cream feed on Senior Grass on Friday, May 21. On May 22, students were invited to a Senior Recital, where senior musicians performed for the last time in Elfers Hall. Other annual events include the Senior Awards Dinner, Baccalaureate, and Senior Dance, which is to be held at Fairfield Farm. On June 2, the School plans to host an event known as the Gauntlet, where Seniors walk through a line of underclassmen, followed by food trucks and farewell remarks. 

This year’s commencement ceremony is the culmination of extensive work by students, faculty, and staff. It also provides a time for the Class of 2021 to reflect on their high school experience. Mrs. Cooper said, “I’m proud of the class because I think it has been a really hard year, and while there have been ups and downs, they have managed to remember what is most important. And that is to be together and to be here and to stay positive.”