As part of Commencement exercises, Williston Northampton honored members of the class of 2023 with senior awards. The awards were conferred at Williston Northampton School’s 182nd Commencement ceremony by Dean of Faculty Corinne Fogg ‘99. Below are the remarks from the ceremony.
Good morning, Williston. Sarah, we are deeply grateful to have you with us today as we celebrate the ambitious and talented class of 2023. Your sentiments this morning–and the wisdom shared of a life of integrity and purpose–will resonate with our community long after our ceremony concludes. I am always stirred, as an educator, by schools’ selections for graduation speakers. In this liminal moment of one’s academic life, we have a final opportunity to remind you, the graduating class, of a passionate life well lived and of all the potential that lies before you. Take punctiliously from Sarah’s words and from her noble pursuit–and embrace a calling beyond the ordinary. As a proud Williston alumnus, Sarah, you have led a life of service and scholarship, using your gifts for nation and calling. Thank you for celebrating with us.
We delight this morning in a transitional moment of celebration and recognition. The class of 2023 has led with enthusiasm, curiosity, joy, inquiry, and love. The heart of our campus beats with the spirit of our students, and the class of 2023 moves to a rhythm that we can all follow.
Over the last months of school, Williston students have shared passions and talents broadly and innovatively with our school community – and beyond. Rejoicing in the culminating endeavors of Williston students has included student-centered showcases from our Williston Scholars; dialogue that cultivated belonging on Why Not Speak Day; performances by our actors, dancers, and singers; a gallery of work from our artists; senior day for our athletes; and a genuine return to joy on this campus. It gives me great pleasure to now share with you the most notable of our student accomplishments and to recognize overall distinction within the Class of 2023.
On Thursday afternoon we held our Athletic Awards Assembly to celebrate another incredible year of success for Williston’s Athletic teams. The Athletic Department presents a senior award, the Blanket Award, to honor exceptional participation in the Williston athletic program. Seniors who have been at Williston for more than one year are eligible for this award if they missed only one season, not including their senior year. 22 seniors were presented the Blanket Award on Thursday. I ask that they all stand now and be recognized.
I would also like to acknowledge the senior recipients of our top 4 athletic awards and ask those individuals to stand now and be recognized.
The George Denman Bowl (for boys), and the Alumnae Bowl (for girls) are “awarded to seniors whose contribution to the athletic program has been characterized by exceptional achievement, faithful participation, and loyal devotion to the best interests of the school.”
This year, the George Denman Award was given to:
- Felix-Antoine Bouchard
This year, the Alumnae Bowl Award was given to:
- Emily Crovo
The Athletic Leadership Awards is presented to seniors who have distinguished themselves in terms of the quality of the leadership they have demonstrated as student athletes. The recipients exemplify what it means to be an outstanding teammate, competitor, and representative of the school. Their selfless leadership, sportsmanship and integrity have provided inspiration to their coaches and teammates throughout their time at Williston.
This year the Athletic Leadership Awards were given to:
- Luke Ballard
- Louisa Coughlin
Yesterday afternoon we held our Academic Awards Ceremony which celebrated outstanding academic achievement for the year. There were over 100 different students who received prizes for their academic accomplishments in upper school classes during the school year. At this time I ask that all recipients of course awards and prizes stand and be recognized for their achievement.
We also recognized overall excellence at each grade level and I’d like to highlight the winners of each of the prizes and ask them to stand, and we can applaud them together as a group.
For the 9th grade there are three prizes:
- Ha Anh Minh Quan was the recipient of the Head of School Prize
- Brandon Gou was the recipient of the Yale Prize
- Zola Piekarski was the recipient of the Bowdoin Prize
For the 10th grade there are three prizes:
- Alyssa Matricciani was the recipient of the Head of School Prize
- Isabel Baxter-Paris was the recipient of the Smith College Prize
- Jack Berrien was the recipient of the Williams College Prize
For the 11th grade there are four prizes:
- Caroline Aufiero was the recipient of the Head of School Prize
- Catherine Spence was the recipient of the Lincoln Granniss Prize
- Soleil Richardson was the recipient of the Dartmouth Prize
- Emily Hamann was the recipient of the Harvard Prize
Before presenting the senior class prizes and awards, I am pleased to make announcements about the Williston Scholars program. This year we offered 7 courses within our Williston Scholars program and there are 10 seniors who will be recognized at this time for their exemplary work. As I read the names of the seniors, I ask that they come forward to receive their certificates from the Director of the Williston Scholars Program, Chris Pelliccia.
For Work in the History and Global Studies Department:
- Hana Naughton
- Peter Wang
For Work in the Visual Arts Department:
- Aaron Chittilappilly
- Siga Pouye
- Hana Naughton
For Work in the Performing Arts Department:
- Lauren Yee
For Work in the Science Department:
- Cici Yu
For Work in the Math Department:
- Mason Mish
For Work in the Language Department:
- Hana Naughton
- Jenna Guglielmi
The following are the Senior Prizes, awarded each year at Commencement, as voted by the full faculty, and presented by Head of School Robert Hill.
The Henry Teller Prize, in memory of a history teacher and choral conductor, 1947-1983, is awarded to that person in the Williston Northampton community who by active example encourages intercultural understanding and good will. This year the prize is given to:
- TU THIEU
The Tara Michelle Katzner Memorial Prize is awarded annually to that student who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, determination, and dedication. This year the prize is given to:
- HIRA ASGHAR
The Henry E. Donais, Jr., ’59 Award is given “to a Senior who has manifested a love of the natural world and who has taken an active interest in the protection and preservation of the world’s environmental resources.” This year the prize is given to:
- AVA SMITH
The Westcott E. S. Moulton Award, honoring a member of the Class of 1927 and Williston Alumni Secretary, 1961-1973, is presented to that member of the senior class who has shown a high degree of effort in publications, sportsmanship, leadership, and community involvement leading to continued loyalty and interest as an alumna or alumnus. This year the award is given to:
- ALEXIS CAINES
The Tim Wallis, Class of 1962 Prize Honoring a member of the class of 1962, was established in memory of an English-Speaking Union exchange student at Williston; the prize is given at Commencement to that senior “who gets much from the School because they put much in”. This year the prize is given to:
- PIERCESON SQUIRES
The Class of 1942 Prize is awarded in recognition of “Outstanding Service to the School.” This year the prize is given to:
- WILL CHALFANT
The George H. Higgins Prize is given to “that student in the graduating class who has displayed outstanding character in school life.” This year the prize is given to:
- EMILY CROVO
The Katherine M. Ockenden, Class of 1949 Prize Honoring member of the class of 1949, is given to that senior who “in the opinion of the faculty has contributed moral, positive leadership”. This year the prize is given to:
- SIGA POUYE
The L. G. Treadway Citizenship Prize, established by Richard Treadway, Class of 1932, in honor of his father, is awarded to a senior who has been at the school for at least two years, who has maintained a strong scholastic standing, and who has given promise of future achievement. The chief qualities to be considered are personal integrity and contributions made to the best citizenship of the school. This year the prize is awarded to:
- ELSA FRANKEL
The Joseph Sawyer Memorial Prize, honoring the 7th Headmaster of Williston Seminary, 1886-1919, is awarded to a senior who has made outstanding contributions to the intellectual and community life of the school. This year the prize is awarded to:
- MAXWELL GRAFF
The Dorothy Bement Prize, honoring a co-founder of The Northampton School for Girls, is given to a senior who has exhibited excellence in academic endeavors and in contributions to citizenship and the overall life of the school. This year the prize is awarded to:
- LOUISA COUGHLIN
We now come to the final three prizes which carry the greatest distinction; the first two being awarded to the outstanding students in the senior class, the third honoring the first scholar in the class:
The Archibald V. Galbraith Prize, honoring the 8th Headmaster of Williston Academy, 1919-1949, is awarded to that senior who in academics, athletics, and citizenship is exemplary, representing that which is best in the school. The Galbraith prize is awarded this year to:
- LUKE BALLARD
The Sarah B. Whitaker Prize, honoring a co-founder of the Northampton School for Girls, and co-Principal, 1924-1962, is also known as the White Blazer Award. The White Blazer is given to a senior who has made the greatest contributions to the academic, athletic, and community life of the school while exhibiting exemplary leadership and integrity. The White Blazer is awarded this year to:
- KATHERINE KANG
The Valedictory prize is awarded to the first scholar of the class. It is a combination of two awards from an era in the school’s history, when the Edmund H. Sawyer Prize was given for work in the classical curriculum and the Horatio G. Knight Prize was given for work in the scientific curriculum. These prizes are now combined into one. It honors the student who, by record of performance during the senior year, is judged by the faculty to be pre-eminent in academic achievement. This year the recipient of the Valedictory prize is:
- LOUISA COUGHLIN
ON BEHALF OF THE FACULTY AND STAFF,
CONGRATULATIONS AND BEST WISHES TO THE CLASS OF 2023!
WE WILL MISS YOU! REMEMBER YOU WILL ALWAYS HAVE A HOME AWAY FROM HOME HERE AT WILLISTON!