The Governor's Academy held its 258th Commencement exercises on Sunday, May 29. After a very unconventional year that saw members of the Class of 2021 living and learning in Byfield and across the globe due to the COVID-19 pandemic, 114 Seniors received their diplomas. Due to the rainy weather, Saturday’s Baccalaureate service and Senior Awards Ceremony and Sunday’s Commencement exercises were held indoors in the Pescosolido Field House. While there were COVID-19 precautions in place such as mask-wearing and distance between chairs, members of the Class of 2021 and their families were thrilled to be together to celebrate their accomplishments.
For those graduates, families, and friends who were not able to attend Commencement in person, the Academy livestreamed all Commencement weekend events. Over a dozen Seniors attended Commencement over Zoom proudly waving to the crowd in the Field House as Dr. Quimby read their names. After receiving their diplomas in the Field House, graduates stepped out into the cold, rainy weather, followed the faculty to Mansion House, and took a metaphoric leap into the next chapter of their lives. The jumping of the wall, when graduates literally jump over the stone wall behind the Mansion House, has been a tradition since the 1950s and continues to be a treasured and significant ritual for each graduating class.
Delivering the Commencement address this year was Frank G. Cousins, Jr. P’20, former President of the Newburyport Chamber of Commerce and member of the Board of Trustees. Prior to his three years as president of the Chamber of Commerce, he was Essex County sheriff for two decades. He has also served as a Newburyport City Councilor and Massachusetts State Representative.
In his address to the Governor's Class of 2021, Cousins spoke about the past year’s challenges of the global pandemic and racial tension across the nation. He urged this year’s Govs graduates to reflect on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s vision of a “beloved community” where all of humankind strives together for peace and justice. Cousins told graduates, “As you enter your next level of learning, you have an obligation to bring Dr. King’s vision to fruition. You are the next generation of leaders”.
Bimba Carpenter of Wenham, Massachusetts was awarded the Morse Flag, which is presented each year “to a senior whose record in all respects meets the highest approval of the faculty”.
The Thorndike Hilton Cup, “awarded to the highest ranking scholar of the graduating class,” was presented to Juneseek Kim of Dajeon, South Korea.
The Academy Prize was presented to Hollen Knoell of Milford, New Hampshire. The prize is “awarded to a senior whose unselfishness and sportsmanship have best exemplified the spirit of the school”.
Colin Bourque of Haverhill, Massachusetts 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, has best served the mission of the school”.
To view the complete list of award winners, click here.
Congratulations to the Class of 2021!
View the gallery of images from Commencement Weekend 2021!