A Friends school, pre-K to 12, on 47 acres in East Falls, Philadelphia


2017 Commencement Ceremony

2017 Commencement Ceremony

Class of 2017 Now OPC

Temperatures may have soared toward 90 degrees last Saturday, but that didn’t stop 117 students from spreading their wings one final time as Penn Charter students. Before receiving their diplomas and heading toward the next chapter in their journeys, the graduates gathered one more time to soak up some wisdom from classmates, faculty members and Head of School Darryl J. Ford.

“I hope that this Quaker school has taught you to take time before you act or react; to listen to the voice from within and to really listen to the voices of others; to tackle differences of opinion both with facts and empathy towards others; and to act with empathy,” Ford said.

“And if all else fails and you remember nothing from this speech, perhaps you may recall the words of William Penn and they may provide Friendly direction. 'Let us then try what love will do.'” 

Harold Anderson, Dylan Burnett and Emily Zurcher (shown, right) were chosen as commencement speakers, and all three offered differing perspectives on how Penn Charter has helped each of them grow from high school students to soon-to-be collegians entering adulthood. Zurcher spoke of how our shortcomings ultimately make us stronger. “Our many mistakes,” Zurcher said. “… are able to make us better because of this community, and because of its values." Anderson will attend the University of Pennsylvania, Burnett La Salle University, and Zurcher will matriculate at Dartmouth College this fall.

Olivia Brody-Bizar (pictured left, with Darryl J. Ford) received the Phi Beta Kappa award for outstanding scholarship. She will attend Dartmouth College.

Co-class presidents Joshua Patton and Amira Martin announced that 94 percent of Class of 2017 parents took part in the Senior Parent Gift to Penn Charter. Parents have given more than $120,000 so far. Because of a special match opportunity, all gifts to financial aid were matched dollar-for-dollar, bringing the total raised to $170,497 (and rising!). Patton will attend Drexel University and Martin Villanova University.

Harold Anderson and Marilyn Pease (pictured, right with Alumni Society President Brian Cash OPC '00) were co-winners of the Penn Charter Alumni Award, presented to a senior or seniors who best display scholarship, leadership, character and athletic ability that exemplify the Penn Charter graduate. Pease, like Anderson, will attend the University of Pennsylvania.

View photos of commencement on Flickr and watch the full ceremony on Vimeo.



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