On Saturday, May 29, Dana Hall School held its 140th Commencement Exercises. The 80 members of the Class of 2021 attended the ceremony either in person or via Zoom from all around the world. Though the weather was unseasonably cold in Wellesley, the conditions did not dampen the spirit and pride felt under the large tent on Wayside Field and around the world.
Head of School Katherine L. Bradley opened by welcoming students and their guests. Board of Trustees Chair Marcia Teng Ishizuka ’77 spoke to the unique ending to the senior class’s time at Dana Hall. “Class of 2021, you may feel that you are graduating into a period of turmoil and uncertainty; don’t be afraid or put off by this. Be engaged with what is out there. Find something you believe in passionately and then do it with conviction. Even if you can only begin in small ways, it is important to start.”
Madeline Guerrero ’21 delivered the Senior Address and shared with her classmates, “I have no doubt in my mind that you will all go on to do great things in life and have a profound impact on this world. But there will come a time when you face an unforeseen obstacle that looks to scare off this success, and that is when you need to remember who you are. You are a force to be reckoned with. You are a passionate, determined and caring human behind who will make us all incredibly proud. You are a Dana girl.”
Gretchen Cook-Anderson P23, member of the Dana Hall Board of Trustees, took the podium after Guerrero and delivered the Commencement Address. In her speech, Cook-Anderson introduced the graduates to the word bodacious, which she learned from her Aunt Sugar and has used as a guiding mantra throughout her life. “I can tell you this bodacious life is not for me alone. It offers all kinds of possibilities for you, too—as far as your bold dreams will sail you. As you leave the comforting confines of this amazing school, I and so many others cheer you on. We’ve got your back. We’re in your corner.”
Assistant Head of School Rob Mather announced the graduates, including the 14 remote graduates who donned their flower crowns and held up their diplomas in China, Iraq and Thailand. Outgoing Senior Associate Director of Admission and Financial Aid Nancy Mortarelli delivered closing remarks. After singing the Alma Mater for the last time this year, the newest Dana alumnae received hugs and congratulations from their families.
"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."