The Last Hurrah 

The Class of 2022 celebrates their final days on the Hilltop.


After the Class of 2022 finished their final classes, the School community engulfed them in a symbolic group hug during the Sundial ceremony. Director of Spiritual Life Bobby Fisher led a moment of reflection and recognized everything the Class had accomplished during their time on the Hilltop. Seniors led the School into the dining hall for their final sitdown dinner before gathering together in Clark Memorial Chapel one last time. After receiving well wishes from Head of School Tim Richards and Class of 2022 Form Dean Pat Boyd, the seniors left the chapel, letting out loud cheers and hurrahs — celebrating the culmination of their academic journeys. 

Seniors were engulfed in a group hung during the Sundial ceremony. 

As the Class of 2022 rollicked outside, the form deans and faculty members continued with the Moving Up Ceremony and offered words of prayer and wisdom to the remaining classes. The Class of 2023 led the way in finding their new seats in the designated sections of the Chapel. 

Juniors and seniors danced the night away at Prom.

On Thursday evening, juniors and seniors headed off to Prom at The Mansion at Bald Hill — but not before posing for pictures at their favorite Hilltop locations. The theme of the evening was a “Golden Gala,” and by the end of the night, the DJ had everyone on the dance floor. Back on the Hilltop, the freshman and sophomores had a night of fun of their very own at the UnProm Carnival and Dance organized by Form Deans Charlotte McMahon and Aijha Clark and the class senators. 

Seniors went on the annual whitewater rafting trip.

After an evening of dancing, the seniors woke up and traveled to Charlemont, Massachusetts, for the annual senior trip to Crab Apple Whitewater. They traversed twenty-five miles down the Class I, II, and III rapids of the Deerfield River. Despite the chilly weather, the class enjoyed splashing and paddling around in the water before some got soaked when they went overboard. After heading back to the Hilltop, and having a chance to dry off and warm up, they headed to Campbell House, the Head of School’s residence, for the Senior Form Dinner. 

Coco Williams read a prayer during the Baccalaureate Service.

After a fierce thunderstorm on Saturday afternoon, the clouds cleared and the sun came out. Seniors joined their family and friends for a reception on Chauncey Courtyard. Everyone made their way to Clark Memorial Chapel for the Baccalaureate Service.  Senior Form Dean Pat Boyd, Ian Wolanin, and Coco Williams led the School in thoughtful prayer. Associate Director of College Counseling Sarah Gawronski choked back tears while reading words of gratitude. Tears continued to flow as Bobby Fisher delivered the familiar words of benediction to the Class of 2022 one final time. “Life is short. We don’t have much time to gladden the hearts of those who travel with us. So, be swift to love and make haste to be kind,” he said, quoting Henri-Frédéric Amiel. 

Seniors and their families gathered in Strong Field House for the Senior Awards Dinner. Richards thanked Doug and Maarita Dubitsky for their service as co-chairs of the Pomfret Parent Executive Committee. He shared his final thoughts with the soon-to-be graduates, commending them for their accomplishments and reminding them to always stay positive. Quoting author Quentin Vennie, Richards advised them to “surround yourself with people who bring out the best in you. And strive to be a reflection of what you want to receive.” Richards closed his remarks with his final words of wisdom for the class by saying, “Do whatever you can to brighten the lives of others. And make it a priority to surround yourselves with people who want to make your souls truly blossom.” 

Director of Studies Doug MacLeod and Director of the Grauer Family Institute Gwyneth Connell presented the department awards, honoring students for their achievements in arts, English, history and social sciences, mathematics, science, wellbeing, and world languages. 

Kyle Jones received a Faculty Award of Distinction. 

Richards presented Faculty Awards of Distinction to Grace Bullied, Ever Hyman, Kyle Jones, Austin Kendig, Philippe Lamarre, and Marikate Marshall, recognizing them for their lasting contributions to the Pomfret community. In the opinion of the faculty, the six seniors made Pomfret a better place and strengthened our community in noteworthy ways by sharing their leadership and drive, scholarship, integrity, creativity, and courage.

While the focus of the evening was on the graduating seniors, their success was made possible by the dedication of a supportive faculty, four of whom received awards as well. History Teacher Patrick Burke received The David A. Brush Award, and Math Teacher Caroline Wardlow accepted The Sooho Cho ’74 Award. Science Teacher Annie O’Sullivan collected The Prize for Teaching Excellence, and the Scripps Endowed Chair for the Arts Chip Lamb earned The William “Terry” Murbach Award.  
 
Before the ceremony came to a close, Associate Director of College Counseling Art Horst recognized the six members who were inducted into the Cum Laude Society last fall and announced the addition of twelve new members. Members of the Society demonstrated superior scholastic achievement and good character, honor, and integrity in all aspects of school life during their time on the Hilltop. 

Before heading off to spend their last night in their dorms, seniors gathered for the final form meeting. Surrounded by their friends and teachers, they shared with one another the memories they made here on the Hilltop.

 

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CHELSEA CUTLER ’15 is a singer, songwriter, and producer with over two billion cumulative streams.