The Governor's Academy held its 259th Commencement exercises on Sunday, May 29. Due to the rainy weather, Saturday’s Baccalaureate and Senior Awards Ceremony were held indoors in the Pescosolido Field House. The sun was shining on Sunday for Commencement during which 104 Seniors received their diplomas on the Mansion House lawn. While traditionally held on Saturday at 5:00 p.m., the Morse Flag ceremony was postponed due to thunder and lightning to Sunday morning at 9:00 a.m. After a challenging two and a half years, the Class of 2022’s families and guests were thrilled to be in Byfield to celebrate the class’s accomplishments.
After receiving their diplomas, graduates followed the faculty to Little Red Schoolhouse to say “goodbye for now” and then walked to Mansion House together to take 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 Dr. Susan Baldridge, Professor of Psychology at Middlebury College and incoming Executive Director of The Association of Boarding Schools (TABS). She has also served in a variety of administrative roles at Middlebury College including Dean of the Faculty, Vice President for Strategy and Planning, and Executive Vice President and Provost. In 2020, she published the book, The College Stress Test: Tracking Institutional Futures Across a Crowded Market.
In her address to the Governor's Class of 2022, Dr. Baldridge offered two suggestions. First, she encouraged the class to choose their habits and be consciously intentional about their choices. Second, she said, “decide what person you want to become and make the choices that allow you to be that person.”
Maura Fiorenza of Wilmington, 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 Eliana Mlawski of Weare, New Hampshire. She was also 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”.
The Academy Prize was presented to Aleem Ogunsanya of Sicklerville, New Jersey. The prize is “awarded to a senior whose unselfishness and sportsmanship have best exemplified the spirit of the school”.
Congratulations to the Class of 2022!