At the 128th Commencement Exercises on Sunday, May 27, Head of School Alex D. Curtis and the Board of Trustees of Choate Rosemary Hall bestowed diplomas and certificates to the senior class comprising 238 graduates.
Olympic gold medalist, equal pay activist, and alumna Hilary Knight '07 delivered Commencement remarks to the Class of 2018.
A 12-year veteran of Team USA, Knight has won seven gold medals at the International Ice Hockey Federation World Women's Championships and competed in three Olympics. She and her teammates earned Silver in the 2010 Vancouver games as well as the 2014 Sochi games. In 2017, she led the fight for equal pay – demanding USA Hockey make a commitment to better the financial support of the women's national team. Then, in February 2018 at the Pyeongchang Games, Knight's lifelong dream finally came true: Olympic Gold. Read more about her Olympic win and her fight for equal pay in the Spring 2018 Bulletin.
In her remarks, Knight attributed her Choate education with giving her the necessary preparation for life's next steps, but the challenge, she told graduates, is to be prepared for life's curveballs. She stressed the need for honing a mentality of consistency, staying the course with hard work and determination, and above all, making an investment in one's self.
In his valedictory remarks, Dr. Curtis invoked a passage from Martin Luther King, Jr.'s 1958 book, Stride Toward Freedom: The Montgomery Story: "Men often hate each other because they fear each other; they fear each other because they don't know each other; they don't know each other because they cannot communicate; they cannot communicate because they are separated." He praised Dr. King's masterful skill of working across difference, noting, "[He] well understood that it's pretty easy to hate and to inflict hurt when we are separate and don't know each other; but that once we do know one another, it's far more difficult." Dr. Curtis urged graduates "to make a commitment to get to know people, to engage positively with others. If you can do that, I promise that you will be better for it – and so, too, will everyone around you. Walls will come down; tensions will lessen; and divisiveness will diminish."
At the ceremony, three students were awarded the School Seal Prize: Donessa Jenae Colley of Bloomfield, Conn.; Richard Lopez of Inglewood, Calif.; and Scott Mullaney Romeyn of Durham, Conn. See The Choate News Commencement 2018 Special Edition for additional prize winners.