All Eyes on Them
Pomfret celebrates the 128th Commencement.
One by one, members of the Class of 2022 slowly rose to their feet and filed across the Commencement stage to receive their diplomas. Before them, more than 500 proud parents, grandparents, siblings, faculty, staff, and friends looked on with wide grins. It was a picture-perfect ending to a picture-perfect day — and all eyes were on them.
The beautiful, sunny morning started with a delicious breakfast at the Head of School’s house before the Class gathered on the Sundial for a final group picture. At the start of the ceremony, they were led by the faculty and members of the Board of Trustees through a gauntlet of their cheering classmates to their seats.
Bridget Horst, selected by her fellow seniors, started the program by sharing remarks comparing her experience at Pomfret to falling in love with a new album. “I don’t love an album the first time I hear it. It’s only when a song plays again and again that I really fall in love with it,” Bridget said. “I’ve now completely fallen in love with the music our grade has created over the past four years.” At the end of her speech, she introduced a surprise musical performance of Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros’ song “Home” by her classmates Javier Alonso Valcarcel, Austin Kendig, and Brooke Zahansky.
Following the musical performance, Richards presented the Commencement Awards. Kaitlyn Makenzie Curley was named Second in Class, and Shelby Dubitsky earned First in Class honors. The Wendell D. Mansfield Cup, awarded each year to a sixth form student who, by vote of the faculty, best exemplifies in school life the qualities of desire, drive, and determination, was awarded to Tatum Fisher. School President Javier Alonso Valcarcel received the School’s highest honor — The Founder’s Medal — for his scholarship, character, leadership, and determination.
Pat Boyd continued the ceremony by introducing the Commencement Speaker — the Honorable Eric D. Coleman ’69, Connecticut Superior Court judge and former member of the Connecticut legislature. Judge Coleman expressed his excitement for the Class of 2022 and shared with them the rules of citizenship: commitment, participation, and involvement. He encouraged them to become citizens of the alumni association, as he has done; he is currently serving on the executive committee. He went on to share with the graduates the importance of becoming part of the global and national citizenry and charged them with righting the many wrongs in our society. He reminded them that democracy is not a spectator sport and encouraged them to enter the world as responsible citizens who drive change. “You’ve passed your written test and your road test. You're about to receive your official driver's license,” said Coleman. “Congratulations, graduates. Now, let's get to driving that change!”
Before delivering his final words to the Class of 2022 during their Commencement Ceremony, Head of School Tim Richard piled on top of his head the numerous pairs of sunglasses given to him by the graduates. After selecting the right pair, he offered the Class his congratulations on their many successes.