While 22 seniors graduated Friday from Bishop Seabury Academy, the private school’s entire enrollment literally stepped up during a ceremony befitting the tight-knit community that provides a college-preparatory education and more.
This is, after all, what families do.
“You know everyone,” said Nick Lutz, taking turns posing for photos with members of his own family and exchanging hugs with members of his extended one, in the gym at 4120 Clinton Parkway. “It’s a little more meaningful when you’re in such a small community.”
In a gym filled with faculty members on stage, seniors in the front row, others behind them and then dozens of family, friends and supporters filling seats on the floor and benches in the school’s new bleachers, the Episcopal school put on its unique morning ceremony with plenty of pomp and circumstance.
Faculty lauded several honorees:
• Marshall Taylor Thurman, co-valedictorian, Scholar Artist and winner of the Headmaster’s Cup and Math and Wilbur awards.
• Reed Grabill, Scholar Athlete and winner of the Science Award.
• David Lawrence, co-valedictorian and winner of the English and Wilbur awards.
• Jack Hoffman, winner of the French Award and the Faculty Prize.
• Elizabeth “Libby” Sutherland, winner of the Latin and Seabury Service awards.
• Zachary Silvers, winner of the Spanish Award.
• William Wolfe, winner of the History Award.
• Mai Hua, winner of the Visual Arts Award.
• Nathan Wilhelm, winner of the Drama Award.
• Angela Thomas, winner of the Music Award.
After all of the seniors graduated, each stepped through a line to greet, shake hands with and often hug grateful members of the school faculty. The graduates then returned to sit in the audience, yielding their places to this year’s juniors, who “stepped up” to take their places.
The ritual continued for each grade level until this year’s seventh-graders left their own row open for next year’s incoming students — yet-to-arrive youngsters who will enter a bond that will grow until graduation, but never go away.
“We’re a family,” said Don Schawang, the school’s headmaster. “We’re a big family.”