The class of 2021 recently celebrated their graduation on June 4. Here are some of the highlights.
A commencement ceremony is full of pageantry. From the processional of robed faculty and graduates to the bestowing of diplomas, graduation raises our hearts and minds in celebration of the character and accomplishments of our senior class. New to our celebration this year were new flags that represent key aspects of Clapham School.
In case you missed all the pageantry of our Commencement Ceremony, the video of the livestream is now available on YouTube.
Each year students volunteer or are nominated to give speeches at graduation. Clapham does not issue class rankings, so student speeches are not quite like the typical valedictorian speeches at other schools. Instead, this opportunity to address the audience is open to any who desire to say something at graduation. Here are some quotes from our student addresses.
"A seed has life within, but it needs to be planted and watered. My soul was truly cultivated during my time here at Clapham. This is not surprising given that Clapham’s school verse says:
'For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters,
Which spreads out its roots by the river,
And will not fear when heat comes;
But its leaf will be green,
And will not be anxious in the year of drought,
Nor will cease from yielding fruit.'
Learning happens in community and intentional thought is affirmed and not quenched. The water of learning continues to nourish my soul-garden."
"2 Timothy 1:7 says, 'For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.' As many of us leave the place that we have attended since childhood, we can go out into the world not with fear of the future, but with confidence that we have been prepared with love for the Spirit and the hope of salvation, that we have been given power, love and self-control by the same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead."
"Clapham has prepared us for the future by kickstarting our understanding of our own beliefs and also taught us to analyze and learn from the beliefs of many men and women of the past. Proverbs 16:16 says, 'How much better to get wisdom than gold! To get understanding is to be chosen rather than silver.' We have been trained to seek out and understand knowledge that is presented to us and, by the grade of God, we seniors may continue to grow in knowledge and understanding as we go throughout our lives."
The commencement address was delivered by Dr. Egan who challenged the graduates to find deep meaning and purpose in life through their embrace of suffering and sacrifice. He pointed to the bond that is created when we learn deep things together and bear one another’s burdens together.
"My dear friends, there’s something special that happens in our souls when we bear deep things with one another. This happens when we read and discuss great ideas. We forge a deep and lasting friendship because of the depth of the ideas we have borne together. The same is true when we bear burdens with one another. Our souls are knit together in ways that will last a lifetime."
Each year graduating seniors receive gifts from the school. Graduates receive two books by Leland Ryken, emeritus professor of English at Wheaton College, that propel them into a life of learning. The titles are A Christian Guide to the Classics and Realms of Gold: The Classics in Christian Perspective. Our hope and prayer is that these graduates would remain active and dedicated in the lifelong pursuit of wisdom through immersing themselves in the greatest thinkers and ideas of western civilization.
A new tradition begun last year is giving each student a cutting of a plant. This year’s plant is the pothos (Epipremnum aureum). These cutting came from the plant that was in our classroom all year. As graduates move into dorm rooms these plants will serve as a symbol of the growth we see in them and as a reminder of their time here at Clapham.
As part of the commencement ceremony, each of our graduates signs their name in what we affectionately refer to as The Book. This is their first official act as Clapham Alumni.
Class of 2021 Graduates
David Le Roux
Congratulations class of 2021!