Earlier this month, Chapin celebrated not one but two graduating classes -- the Class of 2021 and the Class of 2020, whose Commencement could not take place in person last year because of pandemic restrictions. The outdoor events at Asphalt Green were both live-streamed, allowing many members of the community to watch these wonderful occasions. Here are highlights:
Class of 2020
The Class of 2020 returned to Chapin to take part in their Commencement celebration activities on June 4. All but five of the 62 students -- now alums -- gathered in the new Athletic Center for the time-honored morning Assembly. They also enjoyed the chance to reunite with their former classmates and teachers and to pose for photographs in their traditional white outfits. At Asphalt Green, the alums enjoyed an uplifting Commencement address from Diane Spillios, former Head of Upper School and Upper School English Teacher, and the awarding of their “diplomas” by their Head of School at the time, Dr. Patricia T. Hayot, who retired in 2020. (Because they had received their actual diplomas last spring, Dr. Hayot presented each with a rolled-up copy of the poem “Ithaka” by C.P. Cavafy.)
“I know some worry that a year has been lost, but I do not agree,” Miss Spillios told the graduates. “You, the Class of 2020, have learned so much while we were living under house arrest in this year of pestilence and turmoil. You now know many things that others did not know when they were your age. You have demonstrated incredible grit and adaptability and now know that the one thing we can all count on is change.” She ended her inspiring remarks with these words from Alberto Rios’ poem “A House Called Tomorrow”:
Look back only for as long as you must,
Then go forward into the history you will make.
Be good, then better. Write books. Cure disease.
Make us proud. Make yourself proud.
And those who came before you?
When you hear thunder, Hear it as their applause.
Class of 2021
On the sunny, warm afternoon of June 8, after an exuberant Assembly in the Athletic Center, the 62 members of the Class of 2021 walked proudly across the flower-adorned stage at Asphalt Green, becoming official graduates of The Chapin School. The ceremony included traditional songs performed by the Upper School students and the Choral Club; remarks from LeeAnn Black, Chair of the Board of Trustees, and Upper School Head Allison Bishop; a humorous and powerful Commencement address by alumna, former Chapin faculty member and trustee Wanda M. Holland Greene ’85, Head of School of The Hamlin School in San Francisco; and, of course, the awarding of the diplomas by Head of School Suzanne Fogarty.
In her video address, which was entitled “Lessons from a Stationary Bike,” Ms. Holland Greene declared, “I’m not suggesting you go out and buy a bike or even ride one. In fact, Class of 2021, you are not bike riders on a bike route at all. You are the route itself. You are 62 marvelous and diverse paths forward, facing the future bravely and rightly. So, with sound minds and strong bodies, go find your way in this here and now.”
Congratulations to the Class of 2020 and the Class of 2021 on your extraordinary achievements. We wish you much success and happiness in the years to come. We look forward to welcoming you back to Chapin soon!
Below, browse photographs of Commencement taken by Chapin staff and photographer Virginie Carolina. Photos 1-53 are Class of 2021 and photos 54-107 are Class of 2020.