With great pride, the Mayfield Junior School community celebrated the Class of 2020 as they officially graduated on June 4. Like many other graduates during this unprecedented time, the milestone event was not what they expected or imagined. We could not gather, as usual, shoulder to shoulder in the Smith Gymnasium, to cheer and shed a few tears when the class stands together on the risers one last time. Yet the moment was not lost. The traditional ceremony and events surrounding graduation were reimagined for a COVID-19 world. Photographs were organized and taken early, speeches were pre-recorded, and choral collaboration was achieved via Zoom – all brought together in video and live stream for a 3-day celebration.
On June 2, faculty recognized graduates for academic achievement via a video shared at a specified time so all could virtually watch together. The following day Monsignor Connolly presided over a live broadcast of the Baccalaureate Mass from the new Holy Child Chapel. On Thursday, June 4, a graduation video made it official via Facebook and YouTube with several inspiring speakers, including MJS alumna Kate Salembier ’16, MJS parent Pamela E. King, Ph.D., and a special guest, Tony Award winner Renee Elise Goldberry. Graduates watched the pre-recorded video at home before families caravanned to school to receive diplomas in a drive-through event complete with blue carpet and multiple photo opportunities. In his address, Head of School Joe Sciuto spoke with admiration and assured the class, “You will not be defined by a worldwide pandemic. You will be defined by who you are individually and as a class, and you will be defined by the grit and determination you have shown these last few months.”
Each graduating class imparts unique gifts and talents on our community, and the Class of 2020 is no different. Their collective journey at MJS and the opportunities, events, and traditions shared, create a bond like no other. In his address, Student Council President Thomas Lieb spoke from the heart, “I am proud to be among this group of artists, scientists, athletes, dancers, tech gurus, actors, debaters and most of all good people. I believe that will make the class of 2020 one of the strongest classes ever to leave Mayfield.”