The indelible spirit of the Form of 2019, best embodied by their charge to the School community at the start of the year – joy – was ever-present during graduation inside Matthes Cage on Sunday, June 2.
The echo of applause from peers and family members as the 137 graduates crossed the stage to receive their diplomas and academic awards illustrated the gift this form gave the School during their years in Millville. “You leave a school that was made better by your presence,” Interim Rector Amy C. Richards told the group.
As Richards recalled, these students infused the School community with their capacity for kindness. Within four years the Form of 2019 accrued 8,000 hours of community outreach work, and 3,000 hours in their Sixth Form year alone. They’ve taken creative risks on the stage and in the studio and achieved personal and team goals on the courts, fields, water, and turf. As the loud applause after each prize and diploma awarded affirmed, these small acts accumulate into a culture of support and friendship.
“The community they made here is a whole that is greater than its parts,” explained Richards. “Together, we have built a community where minds can grow, and spirits can soar.”
Sixth Form President Estela Lacombe França reflected in her remarks that joy turns into gratitude. “It is the relationships that St. Paul’s School allows us to form that changes it from an incredible institution to one that changes the course of hundreds of lives,” shared França. “When I think about the people who make sure this place is what it is, I am also met with a feeling of indescribable gratitude.”
“Our teachers dedicate years to make sure we are the best people we can be,” said França. “They are dedicating their lives to us. They give you lessons that will stay with you for the rest of your lives. They are more than teachers; they are mentors.”
“We also have a relationship between us and those that make St. Paul’s School run,” added França. “They give us everything and ask nothing in return. They look out for us,” she said of the staff in the dining halls, security officers on grounds, and members of the facilities department.
At the close of the ceremony, the new graduates gained a formmate. President of the Board of Trustees Archibald Cox, Jr. ’58 awarded Richards an honorary degree for her leadership in the School’s year of transition to permanent Rector Kathleen Carroll Giles, who begins her tenure on July 1.
The Baccalaureate address at the morning service was given by Michel Martin '76
, an Emmy-winning journalist and weekend host of NPR's All Things Considered
. She spoke candidly to those in attendance about perseverance and choosing to stay connected to that which is important. As a member of the third form of girls admitted to SPS, Martin acknowledged that she faced challenges while she was a student at the School, but she also spoke movingly about the relationships she formed and the people from the community who helped her along her journey.
Students received the following awards during graduation:
The President's Medal
The President's Medal is awarded to the president of the Sixth Form in recognition of the excellence exhibited during the year in office and as an acknowledgment of the extraordinary responsibility this position holds.
Estela Lacombe França
The Howe Music Prize
This prize was given by Mrs. Mary Carlisle Howe, of Washington, D. C., to that student who shows the greatest interest and activity in music.
The McLeod Prize
Given by Edna V. McLeod in memory of her husband, Ambassador Scott McLeod, the McLeod Prize is awarded to the student who has contributed the most to the dance program through talent, dedication, enthusiasm, and spirit.
Elizabeth Hadley Bassett and Adriana Nicole Termeer
The James Appleton Thayer Medal
The Thayer Medal is awarded to the student whose interests and efforts have contributed most on in the activities of the theatre.
Blake Leigh Letourneau and Helen Lark Ellison White
The Ellsworth Greenley Art Prize
This prize, founded by Howard Greenley in memory of his son, Ellsworth of the Form of 1930, is awarded for excellence in any form of artistic work.
Olivia Janelle Carter
The Prize Presented by the Sixth Form of 1873
This prize is awarded for the best performance in an English course.
Caroline Buckley Bonnett
Keep Prize in History
Endowed by Mrs. Albert keep in memory of her grandson, Albert Keep II of the Form of 1867, the Keep Prize is awarded for the best performance in a history course.
The Charles Halsey Clark Award
The Charles Halsey Clark Award was established by Hong Kong Chinese families in honor of the ninth Rector of St. Paul's School. It is awarded to that student who best demonstrates interest in and an appreciation for Chinese language or culture.
The Charles and Benjamin Cheney Goodwin Prize
Founded by Charles A. Goodwin of the Form of 1894, this prize is awarded for excellence in Classics.
Mabry Elizabeth Sansbury
The Malbone French Prize
Established by the Reverend Godfrey Malbone Brinley of the Form of 1884, the Malbone French Prize is offered to the student in the Fourth, Fifth, or Sixth Form who passes the best examination, both oral and written, upon some well-known French book.
Aaron Louis Magloire
The Spanhoofd Prize
Established by Mr. Carl Schurz Petrasch in memory of Mr. Edward Spanhoofd, a master in the School from 1880 to 1929, the Spanhoofd Prize is awarded for the highest rank in German, as determined by the marks for both recitations and examinations.
The St. Paul's/Seikei Japanese Prize
This prize is given, in honor of those who have encouraged or participated in the exchange of students between the two schools, to the student chosen by the Language Division on the basis of grades, classroom performance, and participation.
Xavier Maarshane Johnson
The Ambassador Duke Spanish Prize
Presented by Angier Biddle Duke of the Form of 1934, the Spanish Prize is awarded to the student who passes the best examination, both oral and written, on a work of a Spanish or Latin-American writer.
The John Hargate Medal
Endowed in 1911 by the alumni in memory of the Reverend John Hargate, M. A., of the Form of 1861, this medal is offered to the student who attains the highest rank in Mathematics.
The Vanderpoel Prize in the Natural Science
Endowed by Mr. Waldo Newcomer of the Form of 1886 and Mrs. Newcomer in memory of Aaron Melgert Vanderpoel of the Form of 1885, this prize is awarded to the student with the most distinguished record in science.
Catherine Paige Reynolds
The Ferguson Scholarships
Established in 1882 by the Reverend Henry Ferguson, Rector from 1906 to 1911, these scholarships are the School's most distinguished prizes for its scholars. Winners are chosen in the Fourth Form and in the Fifth Form through two days of examinations in four disciplines.
Fourth Form: Garrison Alexander Famiglio
Fifth Form: Yoon Suk Choi
The Charles S. Knox Memorial Cup
Given by the Lord Fermoy of the Form of 1905 in memory of Charles S. Knox, a master at St. Paul’s School from 1872 to 1920, the Knox Memorial Cup is awarded to the student of the graduating form who has attained the greatest distinction in scholarship during his or her years at St. Paul’s School.
Caroline Buckley Bonnett
The Schlager Prize for Valor
Given by Mr. and Mrs. S. Lawrence Schlager, this prize is awarded to that student who, during his or her years at the School, has exhibited courage, strength of character, and a determination to succeed.
Keith Angelo Dean
The George W. Chase Award
Established in 1997, the George W. Chase Award is given to the student, irrespective of form, who through his or her cheerful, thoughtful, and enthusiastic leadership in the house has set an example of selfless inspiration to others. These are the qualities that Chase helped to nurture during his 34 years at St. Paul’s and that symbolize the best qualities of the School community. The winner is selected by heads of house.
Olivia Janelle Carter
The Clifford J. Gillespie Medal
This medal was established in 1997 by two grateful Trustees in honor of Clifford J. Gillespie and his 33 years of dedicated service to the School as teacher, coach, and Interim Rector. It is awarded to the student who best embodies the qualities which characterized the career of Mr. Gillespie: honesty, integrity, and an eagerness to undertake the tasks great and small which make the School a better place.
Elena Amau Guild
The Reverend Dr. Everett P. Smith Prize
This prize, given to the School in 1970 by Mr. Jarvis Cromwell in memory of his uncle, the Reverend Dr. Everett P. Smith of the Form of 1887, is awarded to that student who has contributed conspicuously to the morale and well-being of the School, its students, or the community.
Abbe Loraine Riffle
The Benjamin Rush Toland Medal
Ben Toland, best scholar and athlete of the Form of 1938, was killed in action, serving beyond the call of duty in the assault on Iwo Jima. During his 24 years, he, to a remarkable degree, united intellectual achievement, athletic ability, and a gallant spirit. This prize is awarded to the Sixth Former who best combines these qualities.
Angus Goss Gruner
The Rector's Awards
This award is made at the Rector's discretion to graduating Sixth Formers whose selfless devotion to School activities has enhanced our lives and improved the community shared by all at St. Paul's School.
Helen Lark Ellison White
Caroline Buckley Bonnett
Samuel Middleton Hobbs
Alejandro Omar Toledo-Navarro
Mary Katherine Langan
Dañielie Isabel Ramirez
Adia Roshumba Burrows
The Rector's Medal
The Rector's Medal is awarded at the Rector's discretion to a graduating Sixth Former who deserves special recognition for service to the School.
Aaron Louis Magloire
The School Medal
This medal is awarded for excellence in the performance of School duties.
David Stockett Roselle