On Sunday, May 28, The Governor’s Academy held its 254th Commencement exercises and watched yet another class of graduates make the jump over the wall. The jumping of the wall, where graduates literally jump over the wall behind the Mansion House, has been our tradition since the 1950's and continues to be a treasured and significant ritual for each graduating class.
After spending a few last moments lingering with faculty in the shadow of the Little Red Schoolhouse, friends join hands and take that metaphoric, and often courageous leap into the next chapter of their lives.
Delivering the Commencement address this year was Brigadier General Stephen A. Cheney, USMC (Ret.)
General Cheney served in the Unites States Marine Corps for 30 years, retiring from active duty in 2001 from his position of Commanding General of the Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island. During his distinguished military career he also served as: Deputy Executive Secretary to Defense Secretaries Cheney and Aspin; ground plans officer for Drug Enforcement Policy in the Pentagon; liaison to the Congressional Commission on Roles and Missions of the Armed Forces; and Inspector General of the Marine Corps.
In 2006, General Cheney joined the board of the American Security Project, a nonpartisan organization dedicated to educating the American public and the world about the changing nature of national security in the 21st Century. General Cheney now serves as the organization’s chief executive officer. He has been recognized nationally for his leadership in recognizing climate change as a national and global security issue.
As a long-time public servant and member of the armed forces, General Cheney delivered an address that spoke to both Memorial Day and our school motto, Non Sibi Sed Aliis.
The Thorndike Hilton Cup, “awarded to the highest ranking scholar of the graduating class,” was presented to Ming Zhu of Shanghai, China.
The Morse Flag, which is presented each year “to a senior whose record in all respects meets the highest approval of the faculty “ was awarded to Melissa Cortes, of South Bound Brook, New Jersey.
The Academy Prize was presented to Alexis Quirk of Topsfield, Massachusetts. This prize is “awarded to a senior whose unselfishness and sportsmanship have best exemplified the spirit of the school.”
Chloe Quigley, of Barrington, Illinois was the recipient of the Peter W. Bragdon Head of School Cup, which is “given to that senior, who in the judgment of the Head of School, serves the mission of the school.”
Congratulations to the Class of 2017!
To view the photos of the weekend’s events, click here.