34 seniors graduate as Class of 2017

Thirty-four seniors, seven of them having attended Spartanburg Day School for their whole academic careers, were awarded diplomas Friday morning during graduation exercises in the Senior Courtyard.

Diplomas were presented by Head of School Rachel Deems. President of the Board Ned Page handed each graduate a gift – a book of their choosing, signed by faculty and staff.

The keynote address was delivered by Elaine Freeman, trustee emerita of the SDS Board of Trustees, long-time school supporter, former SDS parent and SDS grandparent (grandson Wilson Grant graduated with the class). After pausing to take a "selfie" with the class, Freeman spoke to the "social media generation" about the great responsibility that comes with having technology and knowledge at their fingertips.

"Think of the path you will continue to choose. May it always be one of personal and civic honor," she said. Freeman encouraged graduates to think critically in a biased knowledge landscape, because "you have been educated to do so."

"May you be blessed each and every moment in this 'real world,'" Freeman said. "You will make it a better place."

Devin Srivastava addressed his fellow classmates as this year's valedictorian. Senior Class President Sam Spencer presented the senior gift: frisbees for a new frisbee golf course.

The Larrabee Endowed Chair award was given to 4K teacher and long-time SDS employee Kim Ballenger, whose son, Noah, graduated with the class. The Caggiano Memorial Alumni Award went to Betsy Richardson '71 for her many years of dedication and support to the school.

Mrs. Deems also presented the Gary E. Clark Headmaster's Award to senior Rollins Turner and the Groblewski Cup to Devin Srivastava.

Click here for video highlights of the day.

34 seniors graduate as Class of 2017