At the 127th Commencement Exercises on Sunday, May 28, Headmaster Alex D. Curtis and the Board of Trustees of Choate Rosemary Hall bestowed diplomas and certificates to the senior class comprising 255 graduates. Dr. Cady Coleman, Colonel USAF (ret) and former NASA astronaut, delivered the Commencement address. During her career with NASA, Dr. Coleman traveled into space three times, including one mission that had her living on the International Space Station for six months.
In her address, Coleman encouraged students to take risks and stressed the importance of not fearing failure. In his valedictory remarks, Dr. Curtis shared a quote from an address on the nation's space effort that President John F. Kennedy '35 delivered at Rice University in September 1962.
For space science, like nuclear science and technology, has no conscience of its own. Whether it will become a force for good or ill depends on man...
Dr. Curtis told graduates that a Choate education – "with its emphasis on dynamic balance – has prepared you well to pursue not only knowledge, but also to use that knowledge for the good of humanity. In whatever field you endeavor, learn all that you can, question the status quo, and make new contributions – but always balance all your work with thoughtfulness, ethics, and morality."
During the ceremony, 12 sixth form prizes were awarded for five prizes at Commencement. The 2017 School Seal Prize winners are: Amir Alam Idris, of South Euclid, Ohio; Larisa Owusu, of Bronx, N.Y.; Jonathan Bryce Wachtell, of Boise, Idaho, and Cecilia Yuyan Zhou, of Ontario, Canada. See The Choate News Commencement 2017 Special Edition for additional prize winners.