Conferral Day celebrates Thayer Academy's Class of 2020

Thayer Academy held Conferral Day ceremonies June 6 to honor the 131 members of its Class of 2020. 

The event was held online because of the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent need for physical distancing. After the event, Academy administrators, faculty, and staff — keeping in mind physical distancing protocols — fanned out to deliver diplomas and awards to the graduating seniors. 

Currently, the plan is to hold more traditional Commencement Day ceremonies later in the summer or perhaps next spring when distancing requirements might be adjusted. The goal is to have an in-person experience for Class of 2020 graduates and their families.

Head of School Ted Koskores '70 P '10, '13 praised seniors and their families for both their resilience and their support during what was an uncertain spring, one in which seniors missed out on several of the milestones which typically mark graduation as they "continue to experience the disquiet and pain stemming from a frightening pandemic and a nation that must more justly address its racial inequalities." 

That said, Koskores also called Conferral Day "a special day" and urged seniors to reflect on all that they had accomplished over their years at the Academy. 

"I do hope you see this day as a time to reflect deeply on all that you have accomplished and all the rich opportunities that lie ahead," Koskores said. "While we are in the midst of difficult times, draw strength from the love and support of your families, friends, and teachers. And draw inspiration, too, from all the challenges you have surmounted not just over these last few months but, really, over the years to arrive at this point in your lives." 

When Thayer Academy does hold its Commencement for the Class of 2020, speakers will be: Valedictorian Garner Thompson, (Elected) Class Speaker Caitlin Caulfield, and (Elected) Faculty Speaker Amanda Taylor. 

Conferral Day 2020 ended with Upper School Director Highley Thompson P '20, '23 announcing this year's Senior Awards: 

Nancy DiNatale Taylor Award: Kendall Roland 

Outstanding Male Athlete Award: Jack Schneider 

Maureen E. Bucken Award: Meghan Webb

Thomas J. Berry Award: Bradford Campbell and Maddie Farrell 

Gilbert A. Booth Awards: Tyler Knightly and Molly King 

Ward S. Donner Award: Ally Deegan and Thomas Gaffey Jr. 

Phoebe L. Hosmer Foreign Language Prizes: Michael Nessralla (French), Garner Thompson (Latin), and Camryn McCrystal (Spanish)

Leighton S. Tower History Prize: Jackson Humphreys and Sam Garber 

Louise E. Saul Award for English: Sananca Shen and Olivia O' Connor 

Maurice Seymour Prize for Mathematics: Sananca Shen 

The Charles R. Mangat-Rai Prize for Computer Programming: Austin Bennett, Ally Deegan, Annabel Doherty, and Garner Thompson

The Helen Alden Breen Dramatics Award: Kendall Bryant and Logan Clancy 

The E. Ione Lockwood Music Award: Thomas Briggs, Karina Kilburn, and Emmett Wilmot

The John M. Rodocanachi Prize: Julia Guidone and Erika Plante 

The Nathaniel Augustine Thayer Scholarship: Erika Plante and Alan Xu

The Jotham B. Sewall Prize: Garner Thompson

The Walter and Prudence Abell Distinguished Service Awards: Jackson Humphreys, Aimee Matos, and Erika Plante 

The Head of School Award: Caitlin Caulfield 

To watch a video on Conferral Day, please click here

To read a Patriot Ledger article on Conferral Day, please click here. 

Thayer Academy Conferral Day Ted Koskores
Thayer Academy Head of School Ted Koskores '70 P '10, '13 addresses participants of Conferral Day, which took place virtually June 6.