On Saturday, June 3, Dana Hall School held its 142nd Commencement Exercises. The 83 members of the Class of 2023 pinned flower crowns in their hair, threw pennies into the Pond and entered the tent filled with faculty, friends and family. Though the weather was unseasonably cold in Wellesley, the conditions did not dampen the spirit and pride felt on Wayside Field.
After the procession of faculty and graduates, Head of School Katherine Bradley welcomed students and their guests. Board of Trustees Chair Courtney Caruso ’05 spoke to the seniors about the many ways in which Dana Hall has shaped them. “Perhaps what I value most from my time at Dana is the sense of self I grew while I was here, and that voice that lives within continues to guide me today,” Caruso said. “You will find times when things don’t feel right… but the power you have is the power to know this. There is truly no problem too big to solve. There is always the option to take a pause and reassess. Because Dana has showed you that your power is in your ability to make choices for yourself, and, even more importantly, that you always have options.”
Jana Husami ’23 was selected by her classmates to deliver the Senior Address, and she shared with the assembled graduates, “At Dana, one of the most important lessons I learned is not to be afraid to ask for help — and maybe, more importantly, to always be willing to give it. As we leave our safety net here in order to thrive in our new environments, we must reach out. Taking risks and making mistakes… is what makes us human, so show up and ask questions when things get hard.”
Chloe Suen ’00, member of the Dana Hall Board of Trustees, took the podium after Husami and delivered the Commencement Address. In her speech, Suen shared how growth is the key to a fulfilling life. “The past couple of years have been full of uncertainty, fear and difficulties, but you have also learned a few things: the importance of community and of coming together to support one another during life’s darkest moments; that resilience is developed by facing difficulties, not avoiding them; that adaptability is vital to overcoming unforeseen obstacles,” she said. “No matter how difficult the past four years might have been, you have persevered with remarkable resilience, strength, and determination, and you have emerged from these challenges stronger than ever.”
Associate Head of School Rob Mather P24, 26 announced the graduates, after which Associate Dean of Students Kathy Hamel, who is retiring this summer after 23 years at Dana Hall, delivered closing remarks. “As we all move forward, I urge you to never forget the values that you have learned here; I know that I never will,” Hamel said. “Remember the importance of kindness, respect and empathy. Remember to leave things better for those who come after you. Remember that glitter sticks to absolutely everything. Remember to stay true to your passions and dreams, even when the road ahead may seem uncertain. And most of all, remember that you really do have the power to make a difference in the world if you want to.”
After putting their arms around each other and singing the Alma Mater for the last time this year, the newest Dana alumnae received hugs and congratulations from their teachers and families.