Despite an overcast day, graduation for the Class of 2023 was anything but gloomy as the seniors took center stage to celebrate the resilience and accomplishments of their time at BB&N. With a group of students whose high school careers were anything but ordinary, their final hurrah at the school was as remarkable as the people graduating.
President of the graduating class, Tim Guan ’23, began the ceremony with a poem, as is the tradition, and offered his gratitude to the people that helped him and his peers get to this milestone. Senior Class Speaker Radford Legg ‘23 walked up to the podium next to address the 129 members of the Class of 2023, their families, and faculty and staff. Legg recounted the time he spent over the last month of school compiling a self-help guide, “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Buck-y: Three Steps to BB&N Success.” His address focused on how much his class learned and grew over their four years together, with some clever corn puns weaved in as a reference to his junior project. “There’s no pathway to unknown adventure,” Legg remarked, noting that while classes in the Nicholas Athletic Center for two years weren’t planned, it’s something to never forget. Despite the twists and turns that their years at BB&N sent their way, the Class of 2023 will never forget that “are so lucky to be here, and we know how special that togetherness is.”
After a musical interlude by a quintet comprised of three seniors, it was time for the beloved tradition of graduation having a parent or guardian of a senior speak. Leo Sarzana ’23 introduced his father, Jesse Sarzana who is both an alumnus (Class of 1993) and current faculty member and former coach of many sports at BB&N. Following the rule of threes introduced by Legg, Jesse gave three pieces of advice to the graduating class: be kind, show up, and work hard. Reflecting on his time as a coach and faculty member, he emphasized the importance of practicing kindness, because “with practice, you can only improve” and showing up for people and at events, noting that “you’ll never know unless you actually show up.”
Following an emotional performance of Billy Joel’s “Vienna” performed by graduating chorale members, Head of School Dr. Jennifer Price thanked the students for fulfilling the school year’s objectives of kindness, grace, and understanding. When asked why she focused on kindness and not academic excellence this year, Price mused “I have learned the valuable lesson that if a student doesn’t feel cared for or seen, they are never going to learn to the depth and breadth of their abilities.”
Through the reemergence of events like Community Day and One School One World, as well as “little moments” like helping peers learn steps in Frozen Jr. and not posting a video of Dr. Price singing karaoke on YouTube, “the magic of this school is that moments like this happen all the time, these are moments that not many see, but are the ones that really matter.” Price then asked the graduates, “Can you demonstrate that kindness, grace, and understanding that you have shown here and hopefully had modeled for you by your classmates, your teachers, and your families?” As echoed by both the Head of School and the speakers from the day, they can and they will, “and in the end, that will make our world a better place.”
After conferring the diplomas and a jovial toss of graduation caps, the Class of 2023 triumphantly processed by their cheering supporters, capping off a joyous occasion that will be long remembered.
Click here for a photo gallery from the graduation.