Greenwich Academy ‘sisters’ part ways

DSC0013A vision of white illuminated the Greenwich Academy campus as 89 young women, donning extravagant white gowns, were honored at the 185th Greenwich Academy commencement ceremony Thursday afternoon.

Gathered under a grand white tent on the school’s grounds, GA seniors heard speeches from Head of School Molly King, class speaker Caroline Johnson, and Chairman of the Board of Trustees Richard Chilton Jr. But the most anticipated and well-received speech of the day, however, came from legendary NBC news correspondent and best-selling author, Tom Brokaw.

Mr. Brokaw credited his presence to personal friendships at the academy but more importantly, he said, to his love of commencement festivities, calling them “ceremonies of renewal.”DSC0060


“On these occasions we are all part of the American dream… which has always been more than the sum of its parts, and it begins here with education,” he said.

Mr. Brokaw implored the class of 2012 to recognize the boundless opportunities available to them, both as future leaders of the age of technology and as part of the first generation of women without the glass ceiling of gender bias looming above them. Women have “arrived at the place that they have always deserved as full and equal partners in every endeavor in life,” he said.

Mr. Brokaw also urged seniors to continue to excel at something he said men have never fully grasped … bonding.

“Sisterhood is not just a trendy phase. It is an essential part of the definition of a modern woman,” he explained.

As far as technology is concerned, “these are merely tools” that cannot replace human interaction, Mr. Brokaw said. “You can’t hold hands with an iPad.”

In closing, Mr. Brokaw advised the graduating class that “there are no wrong choices” in life.

“Learn a good deal about yourself by getting out of your comfort zone and living on the edge from time to time as a regular habit,” he said. “Just go make a difference.”

Head of School Molly King praised the young women for the differences they’d already made as Greenwich Academy students.

“The class of 2012 leaves a mark on GA that must be characterized as nothing short of profound,” Ms. King said. “There are artistic, athletic and academic achievements that are legendary, and college admission results to match.”

Ms. King’s parting image for her students was that of a hummingbird, an animal with characteristics that match those of the class of 2012.

“Your strength and spirit are incomparable,” she said. “You have, appropriately, the highest aspirations for yourselves. You can tackle a task with furious energy and yet never lose your graceful equilibrium.”

In summation, Ms. King said the class of 2012 is “ready to fly.”

Right after the diplomas were handed out and just before the traditional passing of the torch to the next class was compleete, 2012 class president Caroline Johnson gave a humorous and heartfelt speech, sharing the memories she and her Greenwich Academy “sisters” had made in their time together at the school.

There was always something instantly recognizable about the class of 2012, she said.

“It’s our unity,” Caroline declared.

Recalling triumphs and heartaches gone by, Caroline told her classmates that “being on the inside of part of such an amazing coalition of girls is, in a word, magical.”

In conclusion, Caroline explained that she would not use a famous quote to end her speech. Instead, she would say good-bye in her own words.

“Every single one of you has made high school and the struggles that come along with it worthwhile for someone,” Caroline said, “and although I want to keep you here forever, it’s time to move on.”

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