The Class of 2022 graduated from William Penn Charter School on Saturday, June 11, in an outdoor ceremony that was also broadcast by livestream. Family, friends, faculty and staff gathered on Maguire field, which was outfitted with a stage and two large display screens to accommodate the day's program.
Head of School Darryl J. Ford expressed his hopes for the Class of 2022, invoking imagery used by the founder of Quakerism. "George Fox spoke of seeing an ocean of darkness and death, but more importantly he spoke of an infinite ocean of light and love that flowed over the darkness," Ford said. "Imagine how we could be with less fear. It is my hope, and I'm certain the hope of your teachers and families and friends, that you leave this old school and enter the wild world and not be afraid, and that you listen less to your fears and more to your dreams."
Student speakers Henry Davis, Lauren Martz and Amani Rivers were selected by their peers and faculty members to address the assembly.
Davis spoke to his class’s resilience in the face of hardship at school and in the wider world: "We have gone through some of the craziest, most unpredictable times and still managed to be one of the most impressive and successful classes here at Penn Charter," he said.
After rattling off some of the many accomplishments of her classmates, Martz remarked on strength that the Class of 2022 has found in community. "It's not just the individuals that make us special," she said. "It's the collective impact we've made and the community we've built along the way that make us truly spectacular."
Rivers spoke of the inspiration she has found in watching her classmates develop over the years. "Watching so many of you break from limited imaginations and go above and beyond has motivated me immensely regarding my own hopes and dreams."
Lane Murray received the Alumni Society Senior Award, presented to a member of the senior class who on qualification of scholarship, character, leadership and athletic ability exemplifies the best Penn Charter type. Four finalists for the award were also recognized: Amanda Ehrenhalt, Gabrielle Polite, Amani Rivers and Jerry Rullo. Charlotte Hodgson received the Phi Beta Kappa award for excellence in scholarship.
Quakers Dozen, Penn Charter’s select a cappella group, and processional music played by an ensemble of student and faculty instrumentalists. Graduates concluded the morning with a celebratory lap around the track as teachers and families gathered at the perimeter to applaud.