La Lumiere School held its 53rd commencement ceremony Saturday outside overlooking Sullivan Field at the heart of campus. Seniors and their parents parked cars in a semi circle to form the audience around a stage with a jumbotron behind it. Each graduate of the class of 2020 donned a cap and gown and sat in a chair directly in front of their family’s vehicle. With the sun shining and a gentle breeze blowing off the lake, the open-air, drive-in graduation began.
Despite the necessary physical distance between attendees, the event brought together the senior class in a way that honored and stayed true to the close-knit nature of the school.
“It is a beautiful day, we are in a beautiful place—and you are all here again together, and that is beautiful,” began Adam Kronk, Head of School, from the podium. His remarks and the entire program were livestreamed for members of the class and their loved ones around the world who couldn’t attend in person, including international students from 15 different countries who make the student body so unique.
In his commencement address, senior Kaveh Jalinous—who served as the school’s Head Prefect this year and will attend Columbia University in the fall—encouraged his classmates to maintain their identities as they journeyed forth from high school. “You can’t guarantee that you will get a great job, have the perfect family, or go through life avoiding hardships and struggles. In fact, you can’t even guarantee that you’ll make it through each day. I know it may sound harrowing, but there really is something beautiful about this idea—something almost fulfilling. The beauty of life lies in its unpredictability,” said Jalinous, of South Bend. “Consider if the things that make you happy, the things that make you feel most at home in this world, are in the front of your mind or hidden deep within your brain—and strive to make them the center of attention,” he urged them.
Announcing awards for distinguished achievement (listed below) and reading the names of each of the 47 graduating students, Assistant Head of School and Academic Dean Andrew Hoyt also implored them all to continue giving and put what they’ve learned into practice, “Your light shines brightest when you give it away. You will leave here today with a diploma from La Lumiere School. Carry forward these values, and use your education to serve the world and make it a brighter place.”
The following awards were given during the ceremony for distinguished achievement:
Alan R. Hannah “Unsung Hero” Award: Elijah Mustillo
James R. Moore Scholar Athlete Award: Connor Fife and Eesha Patel
Senior Award for Service to Younger Students: Connor Fife
Senior Award for Stellar Academic Performance: Michael Sacks
Aameer Sahi “One of Us” Award: Elena Alick
Trustees’ Award for Leadership Based on Character: Kaveh Jalinous
Head of School’s Award for Growth and Development: Domingo Monroe
The La Lumiere Alumni Memorial Award: Elena Alick
The ceremony was recorded and can be viewed here.
Additional photos can be provided upon request.