Graduation is always a history making event. But for members of the Currey Ingram Class of 2020, they made history on May 28, 2020. Currey Ingram Academy was one of the few schools in the nation to host an in-person graduation.
Wearing masks and practicing physical distancing, seniors processed from four corners of Frist Quad to the graduation tent set up in the center. Under the tent, they sat with their immediate family members, who were also in masks. Three lecterns sat on the stage so that the lecterns could be wiped down between speakers. For the first time, Currey Ingram live streamed the ceremony for hundreds of family members and friends who could not attend in person.
For the next decade, commentators and researchers will discuss and debate how profound we will have been changed because of the pandemic. But our graduates have already been changed in profound ways because of their experiences at Currey Ingram Academy. “At Currey Ingram, I have learned to persevere, never give up, keep trying, and to work hard. I have developed the confidence to try new things, meet new friends, and help others,” said Avery Russell, who has attended the School since first grade.
As is tradition, each graduate gives a short speech. Each year, the speeches express deep appreciation for teachers, coaches, friends, and families. But the speeches also reveal skills and qualities that graduates gain from attending Currey Ingram.
“You have changed my life forever by giving me the tools to succeed in college and in life,” said Addison Barnes to his teachers. While Truman Christie-Mizell added, “Currey Ingram has helped me to understand that it’s okay to fail, and that it’s okay to ask for help.”
Ben Elbaz remarked, “I couldn’t have been here though if it weren’t for Mim. Thank you so much for bringing me to this school. It was the best decision you have ever made for me because without it I don’t think I would have had a better future than I do right now. “
And Maren Mohan added, “Everyone here has helped me transform into the person I am today. I want to thank all of you for everything you have done for me, and for bringing so many good things into my life, and for making sure that all of the bad things never made the good things unimportant. “
“I appreciate Currey Ingram for allowing me to be the best I can be and giving me a bright future!” said Adena Rosenbloom who plans to study biology in college.
Albie Vollero Jr. reflected, “When I look back on my time at Currey Ingram, it’s crazy for me to think that when I started here in the third grade, I could barely read. Now, I’m standing as salutatorian, and English is one of my strongest subjects. This shows me the wonders God has worked in my life and the incredible transformation I have had during my time here. I’m a much more confident, outgoing, mature person than when I first stepped onto campus.”
Valedictorian Peyton Solley who excelled academically at Currey Ingram reflects most about the sense of community, “I’ve been going here since the third grade, and back then, this moment seemed so far away to me. This school has been with me for most of my life, and it’s become a home away from home.” Phillip Porter echoed this sentiment, “Ever since the Lower School, I considered Currey Ingram my second home and happy place!”
Following the seniors’ speeches, Head of School Dr. Jeffrey L. Mitchell shared remarks to inspire the students. “Graduates, know that love inspired the sacrifices made for you. You leave Currey Ingram Academy with so many wonderful attributes...attributes that will foster success in your lives...perhaps the greatest gift you can give your parents and family members is to take the investment of time and resources in this Currey Ingram experience and show your parents by your deeds and actions what it has meant to you...not just today but 30 years from today.”
In his speech, Dr. Mitchell acknowledged the profound impact the pandemic has had on our School and on our seniors and framed his remarks around the theme, “Let this be an opportunity to…”
“You have been given an amazing educational experience and you have been given what educators might describe as a ‘teachable moment’ -- a global pandemic that turned society on its head. How are you going to be stronger coming out of this pandemic? How are you going to take the lessons you are learning and run?” he asked. Click here to read his full remarks
In light of the pandemic, the ceremony was altered to allow each senior's parents to present his/her diploma. And following the presentation of the diplomas, graduates and their families (practicing physical distancing) walked to the Upper School so each graduate could ring the Senior Bell.
ADDITIONAL GRADUATION LINKS:
for a video of the graduation musical performance, Times Like These
. (Note: Performers include current Upper School and Middle School students, faculty, and alumni.)
To order graduation photos from Uchida Photography, visit www.ciphotos.com
. Password: ciaevents. Graduation photos are in the Sports & Events Gallery.