On Saturday, May 28, The Hill School celebrated its 160th Baccalaureate and Commencement exercises. During the ceremony, 165 students (99 boys and 66 girls) received their Hill School diplomas. This was the largest and most diverse graduating class in the history of The Hill.
The Baccalaureate service
was held in the Alumni Memorial Chapel, presided over by The Rev. John Wm. Houghton, Ph.D., Hill Chaplain, with Headmaster David Dougherty offering the Baccalaureate sermon.
View a video clip
of the student procession down the hill and into the old hockey rink.
Mr. Hoyt first offered his sincere congratulations to both the class of 2011 and their parents, then expressed how touched and proud he was to be asked to be a part of this special day by Mr. Dougherty. Calling Mr. Dougherty “the greatest Hill Headmaster ever,” Mr. Hoyt thanked him and Kay Dougherty for their work in transforming the School into greatness, and for their emphasis on moral and academic excellence.
Admitting that he arrived at Hill 51 years ago, mostly awkward and a little rebellious, he credited The Hill with providing him with “structure, friendly but firm discipline, strong sense of right and wrong, and masters (teachers) who cared about his well-being.”
Hoyt also noted that much in the world has changed during the last 51 years, but one thing has endured – the passage of adolescence into young adulthood. He urged the class to “take heart that you’ve been given a great foundation for a successful life.”
Speaking of his own experiences, he said that it “seemed utterly impossible” that he would become a journalist or editor, noting the same of fellow classmates, John Taylor ’60, head of FX Concepts, and Norman Pearlstine ’60, former top editor of Time
and Wall Street Journal
“You will have disappointments, some already have, but they only mean what you want them to be," said Mr. Hoyt. “I know for me that every time a door closed a new one opened.”
“You are entering a different and more exciting and challenging world than I did many years ago," he said. "Just as the news industry is undergoing a 'revolution,' so are other industries such as in retail, finance, law, and medicine.”
“As a citizen, you have an obligation to be active in helping the troubles facing the nation,” he said, adding, “Our country needs your energy and talents as never before; choose something you love. Good luck and God Bless.”
During the previous day’s Class Day awards ceremony, Class of 2011 members Samantha M. Hernan (named Arbor Orator) from Royersford, Pa. and Alexandra “Allie” M. Griswold (named Class Day Speaker) from Collegeville, Pa., had their opportunity to share their thoughts and reflections with their classmates. Next year, Samantha will matriculate to the University of Pennsylvania, while Allie will attend the University of Virginia. Also during that ceremony, a number of sixth formers were presented with academic achievement awards. View a list of the Class Day Awards and the students who received them.Presentation of special awards
Headmaster Dougherty recognized seven faculty members who will depart The Hill after the academic year-- Olivia Ciacci, Peter Hart, Julie Kalis, Meg Watson, Alexandra Parfitt, Jim Williams, and Jesse Young. He also honored three members of the faculty who will retire at the end of the academic session: James K. Finn, Classics instructor and Walter Lemley Coach of Varsity Baseball, who served The Hill for 35 years; Robert P, Parker II, instructor of mathematics, and his wife, Christy Parker, part-time instructor of the arts, who have made Hill their home for 34 years; and Martin Vollmuth, instructor of science and head coach of varsity football, who celebrated 25 years of service this year. Mr. Dougherty also recognized Margie Ritchie Neiswender for her 25 years of service to The Hill as director of instrumental music. He also presented two distinguished faculty awards established by former faculty members of the School.Jim Finn
and Bob Parker
were this year’s joint recipients of the John H. Woodward Master Teacher Award. Courtney Neese
, instructor of English, received the David and Virginia Giammattei Award for Excellence in House and Dormitory Parenting, for her role as a dedicated dorm parent and dorm head for the Rolfe dormitory.
Headmaster Dougherty then called to the stage 14 young men and women to receive Special Prizes – Bob Dougherty
, Callie Francis
, Allie Griswold
, Paige Haley
, Sam Hernan
, Alex Hoey
, Kenny King
, Chris Kontes
, Vince Marino
, John Mauk
, Carolyn Minks
, Tom Shade
, Cara Spiess
, Anthony Urbano. Read more about each special prize and its recipient.
Members of the class of 2011 and their family and friends, and Hill faculty all joined voices in singing School song "A Thousand Hands," followed by the official presentation of the diplomas by Chairman of the Board of Trustees Thomas McN. Millhiser '67. Assistant Headmaster for Academics Ryckman Walbridge called their names, and The Reverend Dr. John Wm. Houghton concluded the ceremony with the benediction.
The class of 2011 headed for the Dell, many sporting their "Hill Alumni" t-shirts, and celebrated their new alumni status with the traditional plunge into the water.Congratulations to The Hill School Class of 2011!
Carolina Del Valle Achong (Victoria Island, Lagos, Nigeria); Ian James Agnew (Pottstown, PA); Daniel Ehtisham Alam (Greenwich, CT); Nina Yvonne Alpert (Crofton, MD); James Hawkins Alt (Morrison, IL); Erika Leigh Andersen (Gilbertsville, PA); Mohammed-Ali Barry (Springfield Gardens, NY); Ousman Barry (Springfield Gardens, NY); Nathan D. Basalyga (S. Abington Twp., PA); Nicholas P. Bell (Honey Brook, PA); Hana Elizabeth Betts (McLean, VA); Patricia A. Boyer (Ridgewood, NJ); James George Brennan (Pottstown, PA); Kyle David Brown (Phoenixville, PA); Hanna Piroshka Buzsaki (Millburn, NJ); William G.F. Callicott (Florence, SC); Philip B. Carr (Virginia Beach, VA); Robert A. Cendali (Boulder, CO); Gavin Chan (Kowloon, Hong Kong, China); Sinead Chiang Cheung (Repulse Bay, China); Gabrielle Holly Churchill (Tracy, CA); Ryan Benjamin Clinesmith (New York, NY); Ethan J. Compton (Sanatoga, PA); Mark A. Constantine (Haddonfield, NJ); Christopher Michael Coppins (Chester Springs, PA); Nicholas Stephen Cornwell (Neshanic Station, NJ); Xavier Barrett Corpening (Newtown, PA); Jonathon Monroe Corson (Pottstown, PA); Catherine Elizabeth Cosentino (Cold Spring Harbor, NY); Maura Elizabeth D’Amico (Riverside, CT); Alejandro Henrique Dardik (Caracas, Venezeula and New York, NY); Marcello DeAngelis (Warren, NJ); Mary Margaret Delany (Phoenixville, PA); Nicholas Tyler DiLeo (Coopersburg, PA); Katherine Larkin Dolan (Morristown, NJ); Robert Wallace Dougherty (Collegeville, PA); William T. Duffield (Birchrunville, PA); Ellen A. Dvorak (Phoenixville, PA); Benjamin T. Eberhardt (Pennsburg, PA); Alan Edward Endres (Grand Island, NY); Ain Yasmin Faiz (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia); Jack Frederick Fanelli (Pottsville, PA); Julian Umberto Fazi (Hollidaysburg, PA); Jesse Ian Fleck (Holmdel, NJ); Dylan Trudeau Fox (Chester Springs, PA); Callie Rose Frances (Ponte Verda, FL and Paoli, PA); Joshua Dylan Freilich (Collegeville, PA); Katherine Elise Gibbs (Orinda, CA); Samuel E. Griffiths (Carversville, PA); Alexandra Mayne Griswold (Collegeville, PA); Steven Yuan Gu (Audobon, PA); Paige Mary Haley (Limerick, PA); Elaine W. Han (Collegeville, PA); Selimah Marie Harmon (Summerville, SC); Peter Edward Harrison (Rumson, NJ); Trey C. Harry (Baltimore, MD); William J. Hering (Watchung, NJ); Samantha Michelle Hernan (Royersford, PA); Alexander M. Hoey (Macungie, PA); Caitlin Anderson Hope (Barrington, IL); Sarah Diann Horton (Douglassville, PA); Daniella Louisa Hunter (Paramus, NJ); Jakson R. Hutchinson (Pottstown, PA); Woo Hyeok Kang (Seoul, Republic of Korea); Megan McGinn Kelly (Bethlehem, PA); Laura Grace Kendrick (Lawrenceville, NJ); Emily Marie Kerwin (Pottstown, PA); Latthapol Khachonkitkosol (Washington, DC); Jae Woo Kim (Ridgewood, NJ); Kenneth Robert King (Willingboro, NJ); Maureen Michelle Kohar (Jakarta, Indonesia); Christopher Allen Kontes (Greenwich, CT); Lillian A. Kraemer (Pitman, NJ); James S. LaBranche (Cold Spring Harbor, NY); Nicholas Powell LaBranche (Cold Spring Harbor, NY); Devon Christopher Larkin (Sinking Spring, PA); Jennifer S. Lauterbach (Chadds Ford, PA); Edward Lee (Seoul, Republic of Korea); Samuel Alexander Leech (Phoenixville, PA); Nicholas Hang Leung (Hong Kong, China); Enjolie S. Levengood (Pottstown, PA); Richard Ziyao Liang (Shanghai, China); Han Byul Lim (Ooltewah, TN); Hyun-Jin Limb (Seoul, Republic of Korea); Annika Catherine Lurio (Spring City, PA); Keir John Macartney (Spring City, PA); Shannon Lea MacCabe (Royersford, PA); Kiely Sheridan MacMahon (Marshall, VA); Vincent James Marino (Limerick, PA); Kiersten Elizabeth Markert (Collegeville, PA); Stanley W. Marvel (Newtown, PA); John Vincent Mauk (Wilmington, DE); Annie Dolan McLaughlin (Chester Springs, PA); Joshua Louis Medina (Newark, NJ); Owen Anderson Melhado (Manhattan, NY); Carolyn C. Minks (Rye Brook, NY); William Whitman Mittlefehldt (Williamsville, NY); Neo Mokgwathi (Gaborone, Botswana); Dylan Robert Moriarty (Devon, PA); Nicole C. Morris (Pottstown, PA); David Gannon Moxley (Short Hills, NJ); Connor Lee Murdock (Lewes, DE); Eric Reimann Nehrbas (Barto, PA); Eric Matthew Nova (Pottstown, PA); Peter G. Oberrender (Bridgewater, NJ); Patrick Michael O’Mealia (Rumson, NJ); Emily A. Overholt (Paradise Valley, AZ); Victor David Pandunata (Jakarta, Indonesia); Brayden Elliott Penner (Sparta, NJ); Alexandra Lee Peters (Nazareth, PA); Robert Paul Pflieger (Potomac, MD); Carolyn Josephine Poatsy (Salfordville, PA); Sean Michael Poole (Spring City, PA): Alexander David Pumphrey (Phoenixville, PA); Juan Francisco Ramos (Union City, NJ); Henry William Rand (Avondale, PA); Devon Calla Reese (Mooresville, NC); Avery F. Robinson (Corvallis, OR); Valierie Brooke Rodden (Boyertown, PA); Joan Rodes Sabate (Madrid, Spain); Chelsea Sade Rojas (Brooklyn, NY); Mark Edward Rothman (Limerick, PA); James W. Ryan (Chevy Chase, MD); Ronald A. Schiavone (Morristown, NJ); Isabelle Carina Schlick (Pottstown, PA); (Stephanie Anne Schultz (Pottstown, PA); Joseph Samuel Scotese (Pottstown, PA); Richard Thomas Scott (Far Hills, NJ); Thomas Elton Shade (Spring City, PA); Colin T. Sheehan (Chester Springs, PA); David Foulkrod Sherrerd-Smith (Charlottesville, PA); Ian R. Sholl (Carlsbad, CA); Samuel Turner Simmons (Saint Davids, PA); Christopher Raymond Sitko (Pottstown, PA); Craig Allan Smith (Douglassville, PA); Jeong-hoon Sohn (Seoul, Republic of Korea); Key Sun Song (North Wales, PA); Cara Gleason Spiess (Spring City, PA); Skyler Ann Sprayberry (McLean, VA); Michael Parry Strauss (Helena, MT); Jeremiah John Sullivan (Quarryville, PA); Malcolm Thomas Surer (Paris, France); Kerri-Leanne Taylor (Stockport, England); Samantha Rose Tempesta (Philadelphia, PA); Silvestre Enrique Tovar (Caracas, Venezuela and Miami, FL); Christopher M. Troy (Ithaca, NY); Katharina U. Turcios-Wiswe (Collegeville, PA); Anthony Michael Urbano (Bethlehem, PA); Jaime Velasco (Madrid, spain); Elizabeth S. Veys (Royersford, PA); Kailin Jenna Vollmuth (Pottstown, PA); Bettina Emilia Von Wachter (Miami, FL); Jessica L. Walter (Gilbertsville, PA); Andrew G. Weis (Zionsville, PA); Nicolette D. Wilkes (Douglassville, PA); Elizabeth Margaret Williams (Pottstown, PA); Karl John Wiszumerski (Pottstown, PA); Natasha Taylor Woodruff (Royersford, PA); Yidan Xu (Dailan, China); Varsha Reddy Yerram (Phoenixville, PA); Soo Young Yoon (Fort Lee, NJ); Rousen Zhou (Audobon, PA); Catherine Marie Zimmerman (Elverson, PA).