Montclair Kimberley Academy graduated 104 students during its Commencement ceremony on Saturday, June 10 in an outdoor ceremony on Van Brunt Field in Montclair.
Faculty and Board of Trustees members led the procession of the Class of 2023, and Head of Upper School Dr. David C. Flocco delivered the welcome address. He acknowledged the extraordinary trajectory of this class whose high school years were as unique and challenging as they were wonderful. He said to the students, “You give me hope for the future. [I believe] MKA has delivered on our mission to help you engage with the world and understand human complexity. If that is the case, your inclination is to accept and understand people from all different backgrounds, cultures, and walks of life.”
Two seniors shared reflections at the ceremony. Morgan Decter noted many of the impactful and pivotal events that the Class of 2023 experienced together. She spoke to her classmates and said, “MKA is all about its students, all about each other. We are part of a unique community, where we are taught to embrace our differences.” Senior Class President Clay Hudson paid tribute to the people who have influenced his life. He shared, “I am overcome with gratitude for the students and faculty for embracing me, and crafting and upholding a culture around striving for greatness, many of them offering themselves as role models and voices of reason.” He continued, “We are expanding upon a legacy and a standard for leadership, versatility, and relentless pursuit of our dreams. We, perhaps greater than any class, understand the importance of leaving a school better than we found it.”
Head of School Nigel D. Furlonge was joined by President of the Board of Trustees Naveen Ballem M.D., F.A.C.S. ’90 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 2023, Nigel expressed his gratitude to the MKA faculty, staff, and school leaders who supported and impacted this class of seniors along their journey. He said to the seniors, “We celebrate you and those mountains you have climbed and will climb. We are proud of you and who you’ve become. In your process of becoming, may you continue to develop an even sharper sense of what to push for – and to know when and where to back off, pivot, revise, stop, or start anew.”
Student Government President Amari Urquhart and Senior Class President Clay Hudson officially concluded the ceremony by ringing the Montclair Academy bell, which dates back almost a century.
The Class of 2023 is matriculating to the following 73 schools:
University of Arizona, Babson College, List College/Barnard College, Boston College (3), California Polytechnic State University, University of California Berkeley, College of Charleston (2), University of Chicago, Clark University, Coastal Carolina University, Colby College, Colgate University (4), University of Colorado Boulder, Columbia University (2), List College/Columbia University, Cornell University (2), Dartmouth College (2), Duke University, University of Edinburgh, Elon University (2), Emory University, Fairfield University, Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, Fordham University, George Washington University, Georgetown University (2), Gettysburg College, University of Hartford, Harvard University (2), High Point University, Hofstra University, Indiana University (2), Johns Hopkins University, Kenyon College (2), Lafayette College (3), Lehigh University (3), Marymount Manhattan College, University of Michigan, Montclair State University, Morehouse College, The New School, New York Institute of Technology, New York University (2), Northeastern University, Oberlin College, Ohio State University, Pennsylvania State University, University of Pittsburgh, Pratt Institute, Princeton University (2), Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Rhode Island School of Design, University of Richmond, University of Rochester, Rutgers University (2), Savannah College of Art and Design, University of South Carolina, University of Southern California, Stevens Institute of Technology (2), Stockton University, Syracuse University (4), Texas Christian University, United States Military Academy at West Point, Vanderbilt University, Vassar College, University of Vermont, Villanova University, University of Virginia (2), Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Wagner College, Wake Forest University (4), University of Wisconsin (2), Yale University