the Class of 2010
Welcome again, to
the friends and families who have come here today to celebrate Lincoln School’s
Class of 2010 and congratulations, seniors. Before I share my reflections on the seniors, I’d like to
acknowledge a group of people without whom this event would be possible
Sitting out in
front of me and to my right are a collection of people who have taught you to
include others on the playground, who inspired you speak your first words in
French, Spanish and Arabic, who put ice-packs on twisted ankles, who taught you
what a metaphor is, who hiked with you at Alton Jones, who introduced you to
Avagadro’s number, who introduced you to a dance step or an old rock ’n roll
tune, who marked you late (and sometimes didn’t – I now understand), who read
you your favorite book, who held your hand, who put on your stage make-up, who
expected the very best of you, and who has had faith in you every step of the
way to this stage this afternoon.
The staff and faculty of Lincoln School make coming to school each and
every day -- for me -- not only a
pleasure but a true honor. Please
join me in recognizing this outstanding collection of educators.
I would also like
to take this opportunity to recognize a woman who has wisely and strategically
led Lincoln School as the President of the Board of Trustees for the past four
years. Dione Kenyon, Class of
1972, has been a volunteer on behalf of Lincoln for more than twenty years. She will be finishing her term in June,
and I know I speak for those who have worked with her and all of you gathered
today when I express my deep gratitude for the tremendous amount of time, care,
vision and love she has given to Lincoln.
On a personal note, Dione has been a mentor, inspiration and good friend
to me during her time as Board President.
Thank you, Dione.
So here we are
getting ready for the culminating portion of our afternoon – the awarding of
diplomas. What does a diploma stand
for? The word diploma comes from the 17th Century via Latin from
Greek meaning ‘folded paper.’ A
diploma officially recognizes and honors the work accomplished by you as well
as the legacy of all the Lincoln women who have gone before you. It instills the institution’s history,
faith, trust and energy in you to carry forward. It is a memento for days filled with triumph and challenge.
originally hand-lettered on a sheep’s skin. Early paper was quite fragile and
difficult to make, and parchment made from the skin of a sheep, goat, or calf
was much more plentiful and durable. Of course technology made way for a more
durable paper, the printing press was invented, we can now mass-produce and
even employ Photoshop to create these ‘folded papers.’
As has been our
practice for many years, we order fairly standard-issue diplomas from a
reputable diploma company in Scranton, PA – no -- not Dunder-Mifflin – The manufacturer embosses our seal in gold
onto high quality paper and print – some in English and some in Latin – in
fancy scroll lettering depicting the dates, formal names, and words confirming that
you have completed all Lincoln requirements.
I will remember
the Class of 2010 as the smart, fun, strong and opinionated young women who
have experienced a great deal of change at Lincoln. Some of that change you have inspired, and some of the
change has been imposed – usually by me.
Over the years we have debated, disagreed, grown, appreciated, changed,
honored, pushed limits, revolutionized and compromised. That’s what learning is all about. As I have been known to say, “without
change, there would be no butterflies.”
As you know, I
continue to contemplate opportunities for growth at Lincoln -- wanting to remain ahead of the curve
in independent education. And so,
as I was preparing for commencement, I began asking: why are we even printing
these “folded papers” called diplomas any more? We should be out in front as a
school who has truly gone paperless. In an effort to reduce our carbon
footprint, we could save the environment
from the ink and the chemicals used to produce paper. And we could capture back the valuable time
it takes for the Board President and Head of School to sign these
documents. In fact (get your phone
out), I think I will simply text you the website address where you can open,
view and print your Lincoln e-ploma.
Simple, very green and truly customizable. I kid you not:
your diplomas can be found at www2.lincolnschool.org/e-ploma.
Or, we can take
change in another direction. We
could award you hand-drawn diploma, very personalized, created only for Lincoln
School and for each one of you.
What’s more – we could ask an artistic alumna – or faculty member – or
Lincoln parent – to create it – incorporating the images that mean the most to
graduates across the generations. But
that would take a lot of time, and planning, and care, AND TOO, would be a
I think of the
Class of 2010 in three categories: the innovators, the conservators, and the
negotiators. Some of you work
relentlessly to honor, admire, and appreciate what has come before, others of
you push boundaries of thought, convention and complacency. The rest of you (the negotiators) balance
in the middle providing the mortar between the bricks of past and future.
And so, to
satisfy the innovators, allay the fears of the conservators, and reduce any
sense of conflict for the negotiators, I am awarding the Class of 2010, not
one, not two, but three diplomas this year.
- The first, is the
cream-colored, gold embossed, standard-issue-shipped-from-Scranton variety.
- The second, is a
hand designed diploma created with the flair of an artist and and the love of
faculty member, parent, and alumna Dr. Cate Hibbitt,
- and the third is
located on our website at the address I mentioned earlier.
So – much that is the same and much that
is different. That, in many ways
illsutrates the Lincoln experience across so many generations.
It seems fitting
on our 125th Anniversary that you, the Class of 2010, graduate at a
moment in time for Lincoln that has been carefully chronicled amidst the
landscape of unprecedented change in our world.
I leave you—each
of you – and your friends and family gathered here today with a few words
for each of you as individuals.
These words aren’t printed on the “folded papers” you are receiving on
diploma that awaits you on-line (REALLY??? REALLY!!!) will carry the following words that describe
you -- from my point of view -- as
the individuals you have become over your time in our community.
is like it is|
like a laser|
|Gigi || Stronger
|Tyler || A
river runs through her|
|Sarah || Relishes
|Amy || Joyful|
|Alex || One-of-a-kind|
the job done|
|Kara || Keen
eye, kind heart|
|Mimi || Spunky
and… cheeky |
for the team|
|Danae || Persistent|
the tough questions|
|Kelsey || Pragmatic|
deep like the ocean|
|Jill || Risk
|Chae Lin ||Poet
|Miriam || Worldly|
|Ruta Ziukaite ||Unflappable|
Class of 2010 on a job well done.
I’d like to invite Board President Dione Kenyon and Academic Dean and
Upper School Director , Kathleen Macdonell to join me in the presentation of diplomas.