Whitby School celebrates 50th commencement

Whitby School held its graduation ceremony on June 7 and this year’s graduation was especially noteworthy for being the school’s 50th Commencement exercise and for featuring 19 graduates — the largest class in recent years.

The graduation ceremony was marked by a sense of accomplishment and reflection by both students and faculty. Students recounted their many experiences and memories of Whitby and a recurrent theme in the student addresses was the sense of community and the enduring friendships they have made as well as how they have all grown and flourished during their time as Whitby students.

Prior to their diplomas being conferred by Barbara Brent and Nely Miguel, Interim Co-Heads of School and Patricia Franklin, chair of the Whitby Board of Trustees, the students were serenaded by the sibling chorus singing Friends by Elton John.

In keeping with the tradition of having a Whitby alumnus as commencement speaker, this year featured Sonia Sotire Malloy a graduate of the class of 1986.

Ms. Sotire Malloy is a retail industry marketer and entrepreneur and was named small businessperson of the year in 2009 by the Greenwich Chamber of Commerce.

She currently owns the stores Splurge and Splurge Kids in Greenwich. Even though she graduated from Whitby 26 years ago, when she walked onto campus she said she felt a sense of being at home and told graduates the friendships they make at Whitby will last a lifetime. She also stressed how her academic and personal experiences at Whitby gave her the tools to pursue her entrepreneurial dreams.

The graduates presented the school with two teak benches for the Whitby playing fields so as alumni they can return to campus and cheer on the Whitby Wildcats.

Kurt Putnam, Head of the Upper School, closed the ceremony by telling this unique group of graduates that they will face many challenges but should be prepared to get out of life based what effort they put into it.

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