Montclair Kimberley Academy graduated 108 students during its Commencement ceremony on Sunday, June 12 in an outdoor ceremony on Van Brunt Field in Montclair.
Faculty and Board of Trustees members led the procession of the Class of 2022, and Head of Upper School Dr. David C. Flocco delivered the welcome address. He acknowledged the extraordinary challenges this class and their families faced while such a large part of their MKA experience was lived during a pandemic. He said to the students, “Life will continue to be complicated. How you deal with those complications will define who you are because it’s not about what happens to you in this life that matters most: it’s about how you react to what happens to you in this life that matters most.” He went on to share that even though the graduates are moving on, “If MKA has taught you anything, it’s that there isn’t only one person, there is an army of people here to support you.”
Two seniors shared reflections at the ceremony. Trrusha Jariwalla said, “The most major epiphany I had looking back on these past few years was this: the people around you were there for a reason and that we aren’t finding ourselves – instead, we are building ourselves. …So as we embark on new paths and new journeys, let’s first celebrate our memories, experiences, and friendships together – because we made it to the finish line. Together.” Olivia Okun-Dubitsky also spoke, and her words resonated with all in attendance. She said, “We can choose to remember that the dictionary hasn’t defined everything yet and it is up to us to expand it.” She affirmed that “What I do know is that we will define our own futures. We will choose to add to the dictionary of wonderful things, pushing possibility with courage and grace. So here’s to our choices well-made and to the beautiful choices we have yet to make.”
Head of School Nigel D. Furlonge was joined by President of the Board of Trustees Kathleen M. Logan in awarding the diplomas, together with faculty members and Trustees, who as parents of seniors, participated in the tradition of awarding their own children their diplomas.
Addressing the Class of 2022 in his first Commencement, Mr. Furlonge shared, “At MKA, you have learned to strive for excellence in the pursuit of knowledge. Asking questions and being curious will allow you to lead in this ever-evolving project of democracy. I am reassured knowing that you are poised and ready to engage in a world that desperately needs your capacity for excellence, your vision for a better tomorrow, and your integrity as leaders. I want you to know, and I mean this, that I sleep better at night knowing that you are in this world, at this moment, in this time.”
Student Government President Brennan Columbia-Walsh and Senior Class President Kofi Oduro-Manu officially concluded the ceremony by ringing the Montclair Academy bell, which dates back almost a century.
The Class of 2022 is matriculating to the following 58 schools:
Amherst College (2), Bates College, Boston College (5), Bucknell University, Carnegie Mellon University (2), Cornell University (2), Dartmouth College (2), Duke University (3), Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Emerson College, University of Florida, Fordham University, Franklin University Switzerland, George Washington University (3), Georgetown University (2), Gettysburg College, Grinnell College, Haverford College, College of the Holy Cross, Indiana University, Johns Hopkins University (4), Kent School, Lafayette College, New York University (7), Northeastern University (5), Northwestern University (3), Ohio State University, Parsons School of Design, Pennsylvania State University (2), Pratt Institute, Princeton University (3), University of California Irvine (2), University of Chicago (2), University of Maryland, University of Miami, University of Michigan (2), University of Pennsylvania (3), University of Pittsburgh, University of Rochester, University of Southern California, University of Tennessee, University of Texas at Austin, University of Virginia, University of Wisconsin, Saint Peter's University, San Diego State University, Savannah College of Art and Design, Skidmore College, Swarthmore College, Syracuse University (3), Tufts University (3), Tulane University (6), Villanova University (2), Virginia Polytechnic Institute, Wake Forest University (3), Williams College, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Yale University (2)