During Spartanburg Day School's commencement exercises Friday morning, 50 students processed in as seniors and out as graduates of the Class of 2023.
Head of School Rachel Deems welcomed the crowd to the 60th commencement ceremony of Spartanburg Day School.
"On this last morning together as a class, you are encircled by those who love you, believe in you, who want the best for you, and by those who will always welcome you back to the Day School," Deems told the seniors. "Although the goodbyes are filled with emotion, we know you are ready. Ready for a world that awaits you and a world that needs you. I have considered it a privilege to witness your potential unfold, your talents honed, your kindness shared. I have great confidence in the paths you will choose and that you will do your part to change the world for good."
Spartanburg Day School alum and Advisor to the White House Chief of Staff Nina Srivastava '14 served as this year's keynote speaker. Addressing the graduates, Srivastava encouraged them to enjoy this rare period of freedom this summer, before college and jobs; to take time to reflect on and articulate values; and to look for the people working harder than you and find the motivation to keep going. Finally, she advised the class to not be concerned with expectations because, "you are ready."
"You all just participated in your last walk as a Griffin which is indeed very, very special," Srivastava said. "But it does not have to be your last. I hope you will go out and do big things and come back because you are ready."
Valedictorian – and youngest brother to the keynote speaker – Cam Srivastava, shared a story about his grandmother, who immigrated from India and overcame hardship to start over in a new country.
"All of us are about to start over in new places where virtually no one will know our names, our accomplishments or our families," Cam said. "...As long as you have the will, anything that comes your way can be managed. Even past college, there might be many moments in our lives when we have to start anew after feeling like we finally made it... If you're on top it doesn't necessarily mean life won't throw you curveballs that will knock you down. if you do get knocked down you can work your way up if you have the hunger and drive to do so."
Chrissy Roush, Lower School VISTAS teacher, was awarded the 2023 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 Anna and Justin Converse. The Caggiano Award is presented to an alumnus, supporter or faculty member 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 Converses are parents to two Griffin graduates and have served SDS through the years in many capacities, including as former students, on the board and in the Parents' Community.
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 Emily Ledford.
Will Cothran and Cam Srivastava were awarded the Groblewski Cup, an award recognizing outstanding leadership.
Congratulations to the Spartanburg Day School Class of 2023!