In addition to the presentation of academic, arts, athletics, achievement, and citizenship awards, and acknowledgments, graduating student musicians, vocalists, and dancers delivered moving performances. Michael Wong '21 was the Arbor Orator for the evening. He drew laughs from his classmates as he delivered his humourous talk about their time at The Hill. View photos of the Class Day Gala below. You may view the evening's ceremony in its entirety on LocalLive.
Dr. Lake Offers One "Last Lecture"
During dinner, Dr. Pat Lake, Senior Master of Classics, offered one 'Last Lecture' to the class of 2021. He first offered a humorous parody of the year, "MadLibs style," complete with feedback from the class. He then told an anecdote about the importance of doing one’s best. At the day camp he attended as a kid, they did an all-camp cheer to start every day, “I promise to do my best today!” He transitioned from the innocence of that to a brief discussion on what holds us back from doing our best, particularly as we leave the safety of one domain we’ve mastered, such as The Hill School, and move on to a new challenges: college, career, life.
Finally, he tied all of that into a hero story and discussed the importance of “liminal moments” in our lives, when we transition to new states of being/versions of our identity (e.g. birth, marriage, graduation, etc.). He discussed in some depth the symbolic significance of The Dell jump, which he termed the “secular sacrament” of their “Hill baptism,” a moment when they will wash away their former identity to be initiated into the larger family of Hill alumni. The final point: those liminal moments are successful if we enter them resolved “to do our best,” even in spite of our fear of failure.
Presentation of the Sixth Form Leadership Award
During the Gala, Head Prefects Aiden Dunn '21 and Kiki Lange '21 presented Preston G. Athey, Class of 1967 and Chairman of the Board of Trustees, was presented with the Sixth Form Leadership Award. The Sixth Form Leadership Award honors a member of our Hill School family who has been an exemplary leader and responsible role model for students. Recipients, through their distinguished career and service, personify the value of leadership-building qualities inherent in a Hill School education.
"On behalf of entire class of 2021, we would especially like to thank you, Mr. Athey, for your leadership and service during this past year as we battled the COVID-19 pandemic and all the challenges it presented. Because of your support and leadership, we were fortunate to spend most of this last year together on campus making memories to last a lifetime. For that, we are so grateful."