Filled with anticipation and excitement, a large crowd of family and friends, students and faculty gathered in the Winyah Auditorium on May 24 for the 6th Commencement Exercises of The Georgetown School of Arts & Sciences.
Father Richard C. Wilson of Our Lady of Ransom Catholic Church gave the invocation, followed by a warm welcome to the crowd and Class of 2019 by Joyce Gates, president of the Board of Directors of the school.
Salutatorian Grayson, who has attended TGS since the sixth grade, thanked his teachers and friends for a great experience together in the classroom, on the field, and even on stage. “If you asked my ninth-grade self if I would play the Scarecrow in The Wizard of Oz in three years, I would have laughed,” Grayson said. “But now I’m grateful that I decided to step out of my comfort zone. Everyone here has a chance to do that.” He ended his address with a tribute to his mother, Barbara Sossamon, saying, “She is my number one fan—she is the best.”
Brynn, valedictorian, evoked her community service, her internship with St. Frances, and her time leading a group on the school trip as highlights of her time at TGS. “One thing I love about the learning community is the relationship between teacher and student,” she said. “When you are a student at TGS, you are in a place where you can have personal conversations and connections with your teachers, but they still are strict enough to make you to do your work and behave.” Brynn concluded by thanking her grandparents Paul and Patricia Parsley for always pushing her to do her best.
Sarah Exum of the TGS Class of 2015 and a 2019 graduate of the University of Indiana gave the graduation address, sharing wisdom that she received from her grandmother about the “three bones” that are necessary for success: a “wish bone” for dreaming big dreams, a “back bone” for standing up for what is right, and a “funny bone” for keeping life in perspective and not taking yourself too seriously.
Finally Dr. Gary Gates called the roll of graduates, who came forward to receive their diplomas and stand beside him. The crowd saw a mixture of emotion on their faces and tears in their eyes. Dr. Gates thanked each graduate for his or her special contribution to the culture of the school and congratulated them on their fine achievement.
The crowd rushed down to congratulate the newly graduated students and celebrate with a reception in the hall. The Class of 2019 is composed of Brynn (University of S. C.), Grayson (Coastal Carolina University), Cathryn (Flagler University), and (Xavier University).