Family, friends and faculty of The Georgetown School of Arts and Sciences gathered at 5:00 pm on May 27 in the historic Winyah Auditorium to honor the Class of 2016.
Sara Gayle Cyr, Nathan Frank Gates, Zachary Quinn McKinley and Brian Anthony Williams proceeded down to the stage to the traditional music “Pomp and Circumstance.” Reverend Eric S. C. Manning of Bethel A.M.E. Church gave the invocation, taking his text from the book of Proverbs. The president of the school’s Board of Directors Mrs. Joyce Gates welcomed the crowd warmly.
Zach McKinley gave the salutation, expressing his deep gratitude to his family and teachers for their part in his education. “Without all of you, I don’t know where I’d be right now,” he said, “So thank you for everything.” He said that he and his fellow students were like brothers and sisters, looking out for each other. McKinley will attend USC next year.
Nathan Gates gave the valediction, pointing out how all the small things eventually add up to a complete education. He thanked his teachers for their generosity and commitment: “They have given so much of their time,” he said, “especially in moments when they didn’t have to.” He had a word for rising juniors and seniors. “College pressure can get overwhelming,” he said, “But just do the work and then suddenly it’s all over and you’ve done it.” Gates chose a scholarship to attend the Honors College of USC over offers from UCLA and UVa.
The other members of the TGS Class of 2016 have big plans as well. Cyr will attend St. Andrews University with an equestrian scholarship. Williams is accepted at UNC Pembroke and Wingate University. He is considering a gap year in order to travel and work abroad.
Dr. Wade Razzi gave the faculty address, in which he defended the idea of a liberal education and talked about TGS’s graduation requirements, stressing that education without service to others is of little value. “Every day is an opportunity for learning,” he said, “ and for using that learning to benefit others.”
Head of School Dr. Gary Gates then certified the graduates and called the roll. He praised the each student individually for his or her particular contribution to the common life of the school and congratulated each one on a bright future.
With loud applause and mortar boards flying, the Class of 2016 was on its way! After the benediction by Reverend Manning, the third commencement exercises officially ended.