During Spartanburg Day School's commencement exercises Friday morning, 34 students processed in as seniors and out as graduates of the Class of 2021.
The ceremony was held on the school's front lawn, which was filled with groups of friends, family, faculty and supporters.
Head of School Rachel Deems welcomed the crowd to the 58th commencement ceremony of Spartanburg Day School.
"Our purpose today is to celebrate. To gather with our graduates as they are together as a class one final time," Deems said. "This is a day of celebration and, especially this year, a time to recognize their resilience, their optimism and their considerable accomplishments. Griffin spirit has never been more important than this year and on this day."
Former Spartanburg Day School Headmaster Chris Dorrance served as this year's keynote speaker. Addressing the graduates, Dorrance, who served as headmaster from 2001 to 2012, said he looks forward to seeing them become citizens and leaders – to seeing them "take the hard right over the easy wrong."
"The world will remember, the school will remember, your parents will remember what you have done and meant to this school and what you can provide to this society," Dorrance said. "You are ready for the next stage of your life, and you will provide America with much needed oxygen and energy in what I believe strongly will be a time of rebirth and promise."
Valedictorian Hope Moreno reflected on her time at SDS, especially on the strong bonds that formed, both between fellow classmates and with teachers.
"This day marks the ending of a chapter in our lives, and we are about to start a completely new and exciting one," she said. "This is only the beginning of the rest of our lives, and I have no doubt that each and every one of you will go on to make this world a better place. However, I think it is also important that we not forget the community and the people who have helped shape us into who we are today. High school came with a lot of ups and downs, but without these experiences we would not be where we are today or who we are today."
Tara Greer, director of the SDS VISTAS program, was awarded the 2021 Larrabee Endowed Chair Award, an award presented annually at graduation to recognize good teaching and honoring a faculty member who incorporates innovation and creativity in the classroom.
The Caggiano Memorial Alumni Award was presented to SDS alumnus Jay Wakefield '80. The award is presented to an alumnus who has distinguished his or herself on a national or international level or for one who has made a significant contribution to the life of the Day School.
The Gary Clark Headmaster's Award is annually presented to a senior who, through graciousness, good manners, courtesy and through a genuine concern for others, has had a positive impact on the Spartanburg Day School community. This year's award was presented to Lillian Owens.
Hope Moreno was awarded the Groblewski Cup, an award recognizing a member of the graduating class for outstanding leadership.
Congratulations to the Spartanburg Day School Class of 2021!