"Bet on yourself."
That was the advice of Braintree Mayor Joseph C. Sullivan, whose remarks were one of the many highlights of Thayer Academy's 142nd Commencement held June 8 in front of Main Building.
As Commencement Speaker, Sullivan recounted his days as executive director of the Massachusetts State Lottery. In that world, he told the graduates, the house always wins; however, in the real world, people have far more influence on achieving their dreams.
"The odds are just statistics," said Mayor Sullivan," and you can beat statistics every day of the week with hard work, grit, and determination."
The day saw 120 graduates receive diplomas in the bright sunshine. Offering the Invocation, Bayden Ibrahim '19 thanked those in attendance and offered congratulations to her fellow classmates.
"This is a day to slow down and remember," she said.
Head of School Ted Koskores '70 P '10, '13 welcomed members of the Thayer community before emphasizing the accomplishments of the Class of 2019 -- from the football team's bowl bid to the numerous awards earned by the student magazine Voice to a rapidly growing Global Scholars Program.
"All of you have enriched our lives and made Thayer a better place," Koskores told the graduates. "It is our hope that Thayer will always be a home to you."
Eben Butler '19, this year's Senior Speaker, quoted Cardi B — "Knock me down nine times, but I get up 10" — in praising his class' tremendous resiliency. Adding healthy doses of wit and humor to his remarks, Butler thanked the Academy for preparing them for the future.
"The light is green for us, and it's time to apply everything Thayer has given us on the road ahead," Butler said.
Tim Kemp '19, this year's Valedictorian, urged his classmates to cherish the "unassuming moments" that made up the last four years of their lives.
"What makes Thayer special is the community," he said.
Both Butler and Kemp received standing ovations from the enthusiastic crowd.
Callie Habegger '19 offered the Benediction and reminded her classmates that they were ready for the world.
"Wherever the future may take us, the lessons learned and memories made will guide us," she said.
On the Friday before Commencement, the entire Upper School gathered to wrap up the academic year at Last Chapel. There, Upper School Math Department Head Kevin Cedrone P '22 delivered an address where he thanked students, including several by name, for their outstanding contributions to the year.
"The Class of 2019 has set a high bar for those who will follow you," he said.
Cedrone ended his comments by requesting that students touch a plaque outside of the CFA honoring the life of Greg Smith '96, who died shortly after graduation in a drunken driving accident. Cedrone echoed the plaque's inscription that Smith was a young man "who laughed often and loved much." He urged the class to never forget Smith and to understand just how loved they truly are.
After Last Chapel and before Saturday's graduation, a steady stream of students could be seen reading the plaque before reaching down to touch it.
For a recent newspaper article on Commencement, please click here.
Last Chapel and Commencement Award Winners are listed below:
The Bill Holbrook Memorial Arts Prizes: Amanda Zhang in Painting and Drawing; Henry Richard in Pottery; Sarah Naanaa in Graphic Design; Benjamin Robey in Film; Ruby Lippert in Theater; Michael Nessralla in Photography; Honour Rhodes in Dance; Reilly Sheehan in Instrumental Music; Logan Clancy in Vocal Music; and Kiley Clancy in Tech Theater.
French Prizes: Sidra Eschauzier in French II; Kate Pulgini in French III; and Olivia O' Connor in French IV.
Latin Prizes: Christopher Carrabes in Latin II; Molly King in Latin III; and Garner Thompson in Latin IV.
Spanish Prizes: Jake Brini in Spanish II; John Carbone in Spanish III; and Matthew Scapicchio in Spanish IV.
Mandarin Chinese Prize: Gavin Toland in Chinese II; Jovanna Walker in Chinese III; and Karina Kilburn in Chinese IV.
The Richard R. Downey Jr. Memorial Prize for Excellence in Foreign Language: Maria Theodore.
Math Prizes: Abigail Golden in Algebra I; Shourya Gupta and Jake Brini in Algebra II; Samantha Hughes in Geometry; and Kevin Wu in Pre-Calculus.
Computer Science Prizes: Austin Bennett and Allison Deegan
Freshman Science Award: Charles Solari
Sophomore Science Award: Samantha Hughes
Charles A. Pitkin Chemistry Prize: Massimo Zhang
Rensselaer Medal: Sananca Shen
The W. Lawrence Cahall Jr. Scholarship for Excellence in the Study of Science: Vinh Tranh
The Peter Scott Cahall Science Prize: Matthew Scapicchio
The Naomi R. and Saul B. Cohen Science Award: Allison Deegan
William J. Holbrook American History Prize: Grace Casey
U.S. History Prize: Garner Thompson
Merton L. Emerson Essay Award: Erika Plante
Special Historian Award: Grace Quealy
Roland Stanley Cooper Memorial Prize for History: Charles Solari
Most Improved Freshmen English Awards: Nicole Li, Cooper McNally, Brooke Mulroney, Gianna Quattromoni, Grace Stanton, and Theodore Wilson.
The Harriet Gemmel Sophomore Short Story Prize: Sidra Eschauzier
The Junior English Essayist Award: Erika Plante and Olivia O'Connor.
The Matthew Callahan Healey '09 Memorial Prize: Anne Kennedy
Thayer Academy Parents' Association Community Service Awards: Eben Butler, Kiley Clancy, Donovan Mannion, and Christina Meucci.
The Harriot Boynton Thompson Scholarship for Harvard and Radcliffe College: Charlotte Nickerson and Maria Theodore.
Morris and Ernestine Litchfield Scholarship for Harvard and Radcliffe College: Charlotte Nickerson and Maria Theodore.
The Reuben and Lizzie Grossman Awards: Kiley Clancy and Donovan Mannion.
The Patrick C. Walsh Memorial Scholarship Award: Moses Flowers
The ISL Award of Excellence: Dylan Amonte and Tim Kemp
The Brown Book Award: Allison Deegan.
The Columbia College Book Award: Erika Plante.
The Dartmouth College Book Award: Austin Bennett
The Harvard Book Club Prize: Olivia O'Connor
The Brandeis Book Award: Jackson Humphreys
The St. Lawrence Book Award: Madeleine Farrell
The Williams College Book Award: Aimee Matos
South Shore Smith Club's Book Award: Sophie Antone
Wellesley College Book Award: Yolanda Lin
Yale Book Award: Garner Thompson
Saint Michael's College Book Award: Alison Swierczynski and Michael Nessralla
Saint Anselm Book Award: Kara Walser
University of Rochester George Eastman Young Leaders Award: Bradford Campbell
University of Rochester Frederick Douglass and Susan B. Anthony Award: Ciara Sage
University of Rochester Bausch & Lomb Honorary Science Award: Matthew Scapicchio
University of Rochester Xerox Award for Innovation and Information Technology: Alan Xu
The Patrice Donovan Community Service Award: Mary Clare Boselli
The Julian H. Cherubini Prize for Scholastic Excellence: Olivia O'Connor
Cherubini Prize for Achievement in the Arts: Erika Plante for Visual Arts; Thomas Briggs for Performing Arts.
The Fernand LaChance Award: Charlotte Nickerson
Nancy Dinatale Taylor Prize: Cassandra Davidson
Thomas J. Berry III Prize: Lillian Bradley
William C. Gould Jr. Prize: Cassandra Davidson
Colin F. MacDonald III Prize: Myles Wilson
Maureen E. Bucken Prize: Anna Bagley
Leo R. Flynn Prize: Margaret Schwartz
Nicholas and Rose Papani Prize: Sidra Eschauzier for Instrumental; Margaret Schwartz for Vocal.
Thomas J. Geraghty Prize: Jovanna Walker
Frank E. Remick Prize: Luca Milano
Ada Helen Gilbert Claff Prize: Allie Wetterberg
William J. Holbrook Prize: Jefferson Driscoll
Edith Giles Mitchell Prize: Vinh Tranh
Class of 1992 Community Spirit Award: Eileen Gooding
Ward S. Donner Prize: Mikaila Kitchen
Nancy Dinatale Taylor Award (for Outstanding Female Athlete): Brittany Raphino
Thayer Academy Outstanding Male Athlete Award: John Daley
The Maureen E. Bucken Girls' Athletic Award: Honour Rhoades
The Thomas J. Berry III Award: Owen Drometer
Gilbert A. Booth Awards: Eben Butler and Christina Meucci
Ward S. Donner Awards: Timothy Kemp and Maria Theodore
Phoebe Lee Hosmer Foreign Language Prizes: Ruby Lippert in French; Adam Fogel in Latin; and Katharine Barrett in Spanish.
Leighton S. Tower History Prize: Finn Doherty and Charlie Hewit
Louise E. Saul Award for English: Charlotte Nickerson for extraordinary interest in the study of literature; and Jenna Hersh for outstanding achievements in writing.
Maurice R. Seymour Prize for Mathematics: Emily Feng
Charles R. Mangat-Rai Prize for Computer Programming: Louis Lu and Olivia Floody
Helen Alden Breen Dramatics Award: Caroline Bacon
E. Ione Lockwood Music Award: David Havens
The John M. Rodocanachi Art Prize: Cheryl Xue
Nathaniel Augustine Thayer Scholarship: Conor Davidson
Jotham B. Sewall Prize: Tim Kemp
The Walter and Prudence Abell Distinguished Service Awards: Kiley Clancy and Pablo Hernandez
Head of School Award: Bayden Ibrahim and Donovan Mannion
Bayden Ibrahim '19 delivers the Invocation at Commencement flanked by Braintree Mayor Joseph C. Sullivan and Upper School Dean of Students Kristan Gately.
Senior Speaker Eben Butler '19 offers his remarks.
Valedictorian Tim Kemp '19 delivers his address at Commencement.
Braintree Mayor Joseph C. Sullivan told graduates to bet on themselves.
Callie Habegger '19 offered the Benediction at this year's Commencement. In background is Braintree Mayor Joseph C. Sullivan.
Head of School Ted Koskores '70 P '10, '14 welcomes members of the Thayer community.
Students pause to reflect at the memorial plaque for Greg Smith '96.