The Class of 2023 Graduates
Newton Country Day’s 143rd Graduation Ceremony was held in the Sunken Garden on Thursday, June 8. A week of gloomy skies cleared for the day as the families of the 52 graduates of the Class of 2023 gathered under the tent in the Sunken Garden to celebrate the spirit and accomplishments of the senior class.
After the procession into the tent, Headmistress Sister Barbara Rogers welcomed everyone before introducing Class President Elizabeth McDougall ‘23. After McDougall gave the Invocation, Alice Husson Prize recipient Julia Cressotti ‘23 took the stage to thank the faculty and staff.
“On behalf of my class, who I know share my sentiment, I would like to thank the teachers and faculty of NCDS for making these strange four years one for the history books,” said Cressotti.
“Mainly, we are thankful that they have impressed on us the importance of taking initiative. The initiative to do our best to succeed. The initiative to speak up for ourselves when we struggle. And, most importantly, the initiative to learn for the sake of learning.”
Graduation speaker Dr. Helen Boucher P ’17 ’22, Dean of Tufts University School of Medicine and Chief Academic Officer of Tufts Medicine, then addressed the crowd, delivering the Graduation Address.
After reflecting on her own connection to the Sacred Heart Network of Schools as a graduate of Sacred Heart Greenwich, as a former teacher at Duchesne Academy in Houston, and as a past parent at NCDS, Dr. Boucher shared some advice with the Class of 2023.
“Keep an open mind,” she said. “You may know what you want to do with your life, and that is wonderful. That said, you are starting on a new journey today – commencement means “the beginning” – you will encounter new people, places, and things that will change your perspective and your life. So be open to saying yes to that class, that team, that activity, or that person who does not look or speak like you. I promise you that you will be amazed at what you find.”
After the conferring of the diplomas, the Mary Quinlan Salutatory Address was delivered by Sophia He ’23
“I applaud us for the chances that we found, risks that we took, and lessons that we learned, through which we have discovered a better version of ourselves we once deemed impossible,” said He. “It is exactly because of these uncomfortable moments that today’s celebration is so joyful, and it is the strength of character in response that makes the Class of 2023 so successful.”
Following the distribution of prizes, Delaney Woolbert ’23 delivered the Janet Erskine Stuart Valedictory Address. Woolbert spoke of the camaraderie of the Class of 2023 while looking to the future.
“Maybe it’s a good thing to not have the future figured out,” said Woolbert. “What I do know is that to whom much is given, much is expected. These next years are an exciting time for us to share the values NCDS has instilled in us and the gifts we have acquired during our time here with a new group of people. We are all stewards of the talents God has given us, and we are called to use these gifts to serve and love one another.
“But at the end of the day, all we can do is our best, and if something turns out in a way we wouldn’t have planned, it will just make for an even better story to share come reunion time.”
After the Sacred Heart Awards were distributed, Chair of the Board of Trustees Maura T. Murphy ’99 delivered the closing prayer. Families then joined their graduates for photos and celebration as they were welcomed into our alumnae community.