On Saturday, May 30, Dana Hall School held its 139th Commencement Exercises. The 91 members of the Class of 2020 attended the event virtually, as did faculty, friends and family from all corners of the world.
Board of Trustees Chair Marcia Teng Ishizuka ’77 opened the ceremony by welcoming students and their guests, and spoke to the unforeseen ending to the senior class’s time at Dana Hall. “I’m sure this is not the graduation that you imagined three months ago, and yet it is no less significant than any other Dana graduation that has come before you,” she said. “In fact, one could say that your graduation carries more meaning given the shared experience of these difficult times which too shall pass.”
Head of School Katherine Bradley encouraged the Class of 2020 to remember their entire Dana Hall experience, not just their final two and a half months. “During your time at Dana, you have been thoughtful, strong, confident, creative and kind,” Bradley said. “You have pursued excellence with passion—diving into your academics with curiosity and vigor, going after your athletic goals with hard work and tenacity, and exploring your artistic objectives with creativity and skill. Your talents have shined as classmates, teammates and co-stars.”
Julia Burke ’20 delivered the Senior Address and shared with the assembled graduates, “We’re graduating high school in the midst of a global pandemic, so I can say with confidence that this class is marked for greatness. Our light at the end of the tunnel was supposed to be today—the day we graduate and begin a new chapter of our lives. Despite not feeling like it, today is still that day and our light has reached us.”
Assistant Head of School Rob Mather announced the graduates, followed by outgoing Performing Arts Department Head Liz Fenstermaker, who delivered closing remarks. After singing the Alma Mater together but apart, the newest Dana alumnae received virtual hugs and congratulations from faculty and staff members.
"My favorite Dana Hall memory would be the first time I ever sang the Alma Mater with my fellow classmates. That was most definitely the first time I felt like I was truly a part of something. Joining hands with my future Silver Sisters made me truly feel like I was a Dana girl."