Class of 2003 Graduates Among Farewell Speeches and Awards

The Phillips Academy Class of 2003 received their diplomas on the morning of June 8th, officially bringing to a close a weekend of farewell events including a Senior-faculty dinner, a Senior concerto concert and a candlelit baccalaureate service. The ceremonies began with a graduation procession across the Great Lawn. Led by the Clan MacPherson Pipes and Drums of Lawrence, MA, and members of the faculty and administration, the 143 boys and 157 girls of the Class of 2003 marched to the vista towards Samuel Phillips Hall. After the Seniors took their seats in front of approximately 3,000 well-wishers, Instructor in French Hale Sturges II, and Instructor in English Jean St. Pierre inducted 58 of them into the Cum Laude Society. The Society, founded in 1906, recognizes academic excellence and sterling character in secondary school students and corresponds to the Phi Beta Kappa Society in college. Following the induction, outgoing President of Student Government Sikanyiselwe Maqubela ’03 delivered farewell remarks to his classmates. Maqubela spoke of his experiences the previous summer on an Outward Bound trip in Utah. He likened his journey at Andover to a strenuous climb up a mountain and Commencement as the end of the trek. “Today is the day we summit the mountain,” he said. Following her speech, Mrs. Chase and President of the Board of Trustees David M. Underwood ’54 presented awards to five outstanding members of the graduating class. In the prize ceremony, Sarah Demers ’03 won the Yale Bowl for athletics and scholarship. Y. Jeanette Park ’03 received the Faculty Prize for outstanding scholarship during her Senior year. Sara Duvisac ’03 won the Non Sibi Award for honoring Andover’s motto through efforts on behalf of others. The Madame Sarah Abbot Award, given to a young woman for strong character, leadership and outstanding scholarship,” was awarded to Katherine Dlesk ’03. Maqubela was awarded the Aurelian Honor Society Award for “sterling character, high scholarship and forceful leadership.” Head of School Barbara Landis Chase also gave her annual Commencement address. Comparing living life to writing a book, she spoke of its seeming unpredictability, saying, “We do not always write what we set out to write. We do not, for all our plans and hopes, always end up doing what we set out to do.” Mrs. Chase concluded her speech by telling the graduates to “take comfort in the knowledge that the people you love and the people who love you will be there to help you connect the dots in your life. To courage from your own faith and convictions. …and take our blessing with you as you go.” After the awards presentation, the cheering graduates formed a circle on the Great Lawn in front of the Addison Gallery of American Art to receive their diplomas. Mrs. Chase announced the name of each student as his or her diploma was randomly picked out of a box and the diploma was passed around from student to student until it reached its recipient.