Congratulations to the Class of 2024!

By Hannah Garcia June 10, 2024

Four years ago, students of the Class of 2024 were dancing in living rooms and playing in orchestras via Zoom as the COVID-19 pandemic forced their first year at BB&N online. Their high school careers started in unprecedented times, but their final day was as triumphant as these students were resilient over the past four years. 

President of the graduating class, Adam Murray ’24, chose a poem inspired by a faculty member that was there for him throughout his time on campus, “If the Man in the Mirror.” Senior Class Speaker Ana Chrysela ’24 walked up to the podium next to address the 131 members of the Class of 2024, their families, and faculty and staff. Crysela aptly compared her classmate’s journey through BB&N to Homer’s The Odyssey, the classic tale of the King of Ithaca’s arduous 10-year quest to return home after the end of the Trojan War. In her artistic metaphor, the teachers are Athena, shape-shifting when needed to help, while the crewmates are her peers. The steadfast and loyal dog Argos represents the unwavering support of students’ friends and family as they navigated the trials and tribulations of growing up. While Ana conceded that the metaphor didn’t always hold up–for example, she didn’t sacrifice her ‘crewmates’ to get to graduation– the message still remains that “change is hard but necessary,” and she closed by reminding students to “show yourselves love, today, and for the journey ahead.” 

After a musical interlude of “Ode to Joy” by graduating members of the orchestra, a parent of the graduating class took the stage to deliver a speech to students, as is tradition at the school. Board of Trustees member and three-time BB&N parent Chuck Brizius P ’19, ’21, ’24 had the honor of speaking to mark the close of a 20-year era where his family had a daily connection with BB&N. Brizius referenced the exit of Jürgen Klopp from Liverpool Football Club and his tenure at the club. For the people at 80 Gerry’s Landing Road and beyond, “the true essence of community is the realization that in order to achieve a shared goal, everyone must first understand that responsibility is shared.” Like Klopp, instead of emphasizing wins and losses–or in this case tests and grades–the purpose of life isn’t quantitative, it’s qualitative. As Brizius imparted, “when all is said and done, people aren’t going to care so much what you did for a  living. What they’re going to remember instead is the impact you made on the lives of others.”

Following a relaxing interlude of “Desafinado” performed by the senior jazz band, Head of School Dr. Jennifer Price shared stories from this class’ 14 years at the school, celebrating a group of students who “remained uKnighted through times of both triumph and tragedy.” Though BB&N official values didn’t change until last year, unknowingly, these students embodied them throughout their time on campus.

Dr. Price got to know these students well over her tenure here, and it’s clear that they love this school and the people in it. Even as students at the Lower School, Beginners teacher Dana Bentley noticed that “these were kids who loved school, who felt that school was their place, their kingdom.” There is an innate kindness in these students, and the Class of 2024 consistently “found a way to carve out room for a large and diverse range of personalities and identities.” They consistently found ways to include each other with kindness and poise, all while maintaining individual integrity. 

To round out the musical performances, senior members of the a cappella group The Knightingales evoked feelings of nostalgia with an arrangement of “Forever Young.” After conferring the diplomas and one last “Go Knights!” from Dr. Price, the Class of 2024 triumphantly processed by their cheering supporters, capping off a storied career at BB&N.