Rain gave way to partly cloudy skies and cooler temperatures last Friday as the 104 members of the St. Stephen’s and St. Agnes School received their diplomas. The ceremony was held at Aspinwall Grove at the Virginia Theological Seminary.
Valedictorian Michael Robert Dziuban, who will attend Yale in the fall, said to his fellow graduates and families gathered for the event, “Several years from now, each of us will occupy a position that demands knowledge, skill, and experience, regardless of the field. We will devote time and effort to the causes of learning and mastering our professions. However, we must invest equally in our own characters and values as human beings."
Dziuban said, "How effective is the skilled businessman whose character precludes him from making real connections with people? How good is that doctor who, for all his prowess in examining and operating rooms, cannot establish rapport with his patients? The list goes on. It is not enough simply to be good at what we do. Character, the means of conveying our skills, must be equally as strong…
“Fellow graduates, each of us has special interests and talents, and each will take his or her own path. As we come a little closer to the entrances of these paths, we must remember that each of us, alone, creates the essence of his or her life. With passions, skills, talents, we paint pictures of ourselves, pictures that speak of us genuinely and enthusiastically. The canvas is there, the palette, the brushes all are ready: it is up to us to create the colors, strokes, and lines that will define us,” he said.
THE CLASS salutatorian was Jonathan Andrew Gordon. He will attend the University of Chicago. Alice Rotan Zimmermann was named a Robertson Scholar at Duke University, earning her full tuition, support for three summers of service, research travel and a laptop computer.
Saturday’s commencement was preceded with the traditional prize day on Friday at the Upper School campus on St. Stephen’s Road. The Faculty Excellence Award for outstanding contribution by a member of the K-12 faculty to the life of the school community went to Katie Towle, the middle school art teacher.
The St. Agnes Cup to a senior girl who has demonstrated a profound commitment to the spirit and ideals of the school and whose exceptional contributions to the life of the school have helped make St. Stephen’s and St. Agnes a vital and caring community, was awarded to Sarah Elizabeth Marlay.
The Emmett H. Hoy, Jr Citizenship Award to the senior boy who exemplifies the highest ideals of citizenship and service, and who is characterized by sincerity and a supportive spirit, both within the school and in the community, went to Michael Robert Dziuban.
St. Stephen’s and St. Agnes medals were given to Daniel Reid Richmond; Savannah Elizabeth Schram Thompson-Hoffman, Cyprian Bosa Kibuka, Connor Lindsey Locke, Adrienne Elizabeth Allen, Gregory Joseph Cooper, Newsmaker Uchime Obidegwu and Scarlett Anne Bermingham.
The outstanding athletic awards are given to the best over-all athletes in the senior class. Jennifer Eileen Hauser, Michael Fredarick Schwimer and Michael Kelsy Shotwell won these honors.
“It was a wonderful ceremony,” said Duncan Blair, whose daughter, Katelyn, graduated. She will attend Dickinson College in the fall.