| Members of the class of 2009|
On Saturday, May 23, 2009, The Hill School celebrated its 158th Commencement. Parents, siblings, grandparents, and other family members and friends were on campus to honor the 130 graduates of the class of 2009. View more photos.
The day began with the Baccalaureate service in the Alumni Memorial Chapel, presided over by The Rev. John Wm. Houghton, Ph.D., Hill Chaplain, and Mr. Mark Rigg, Associate Chaplain.
Headmaster David Dougherty gave the Baccalaureate sermon, where he told the graduates, "You should feel thankful for your education – the knowledge you have gained, the skills you’ve practiced. You should feel good about your values, your grasp not just of right and wrong, but your potential for real goodness, virtue."
He continued, "You have developed a real conscience here. And you are disciplined too, mastering time, priorities, yourselves. And you care not only about yourself, but about others. You have learned to love here, really love."
This year's historic Commencement address was offered by Jeanne Glennon McAnaney, a Hill Trustee and active volunteer in the New York metropolitan area. Jeanne is the mother four children including 1987 Hill graduate Eamon McAnaney, who returned to campus to introduce her. In honor of the School’s 10th anniversary of coeducation, Ms. McAnaney was The Hill’s first female commencement speaker in the School’s history.
Ms. McAnaney, one of the first two women to be appointed to The Hill School’s Board of Trustees in 1997 as the School was preparing for its transition to coeducation, first offered her congratulations to everyone present on “this happy day” before delivering one of the most memorable and humorous addresses.
“Listen to your mother,” Ms. McAnaney urged graduates and lightheartedly recounted instances when her children did not heed her advice and the outcomes of those situations. She then delivered a message about “mistakes,” urging graduates to 1) "Not let your mistakes defeat you; 2) Remember that mistakes will keep happening- they are just temporary detours; and 3) If you see a mistake, don’t hesitate to correct it even if it is not your mistake.”
Ms. McAnaney encouraged graduates to embrace the freedom of the next four years and to be sure to take part in all their colleges and universities have to offer. “Do as much as you can, but don’t overdue it,” she said.
In addition, Ms. McAnaney praised Hill teachers and encouraged graduates to reflect on what they learned, noting that the intellectual development they’ve gained at Hill is what makes it great. “You’ve studied with teachers who revere principles, scholarship, and excellence,” she said.
Ms. McAnaney ended her address with this plea never before uttered in a Commencement address: “If at first you don’t succeed, do it the way your mother told you.”
Presentation of special awards
Following Ms. McAnaney’s remarks, Headmaster Dougherty recognized the seven faculty members who were departing The Hill this year. He also presented two distinguished faculty awards.
Ann H. Marshall, Ph.D. was this year’s recipient of the John H. Woodward Master Teacher Award. Ann will leave The Hill this summer after 25 years of dedicated service to take a teaching position in Charlottesville, Va.
Elizabeth Dollhopf, instructor of mathematics, received the David and Virginia Giammattei Award for Excellence in House and Dormitory Parenting, for her role as a dedicated dorm parent Ferenbach House and dorm head for the Dell Village dormitory complex.
Headmaster Dougherty then called to the stage 14 young men and women to receive Special Prizes – Dan Martyn Previtte, Jacqueline A. Yordan, Trevor C. Cordivari, Richard C. Lafferty, Evyn J. Cosgrove, Do Yoon “Harold” Kim, Caitlin A. Klein, Mary-Grace S. Reeder, Honorata K. Zaklicki, Elsa P. Vreeland, Philip Ryan Deitrich, Kelsey A. Guldin, Danielle L. Heffner, and Nicholas A. Rupert. View a photo of the prize winners and read more about their awards.
| Matt Ralston enjoys the Dell with the class of '09|
After singing the School song "A Thousand Hands," Chairman of the Board of Trustees Thomas McN. Millhiser '67 presented graduates with their Hill School diplomas while Assistant Headmaster for Academics Ryckman Walbridge called their names. The Rev. Dr. John Wm. Houghton concluded the ceremony with the benediction.
The class of 2009 followed the faculty out of the rink and headed for the ceremonious dip in the Dell celebrating their passage from students to alumni of The Hill. Joining them in the Dell was Mr. Matthew B. Ralston, the class’ adviser, instructor of mathematics, and Dean of Faculty. Mr. Ralston will depart The Hill this summer after 17 years to become the headmaster of the Leelanau School in Glen Arbor, Mich.
View a video clip of the graduates taking a dip into the Dell.