Whitby School recently conducted its graduation ceremony on the school's Greenwich campus. This year's graduation was especially noteworthy for being the school's 50th commencement exercise. It featured 19 graduates -- the largest class in recent years.
The highlight of the ceremony was the individual student addresses, recounting their many experiences and memories of Whitby. A recurrent theme in the speeches was the sense of community and the enduring friendships they have made, as well as how they have all grown and flourished during their time as Whitby students. The graduates said they would miss Whitby, but expressed how the school has prepared them to meet the upcoming challenges of high school. The schools the graduates will be attending include Phillips Andover Academy, King, Iona Preparatory School, Hopkins School, Greenwich High School, Archbishop Stepinac High School, Greens Farms Academy, Mamaroneck High School, Del Mar School (California), Rabat American School (Morocco) and Waldheim (Netherlands).
Prior to their diplomas being conferred by Barbara Brent and Nely Miguel, interim co-heads of school, and Patricia Franklin, chairwoman of the Whitby board of trustees, the students were serenaded by the sibling chorus singing "Friends," by Elton John.
In keeping with the tradition of having a Whitby alumnus as commencement speaker, this year featured Sonia Sotire Malloy, Class of 1986. Sotire Malloy is a retail industry marketer and entrepreneur and was named small businessperson of the year in 2009 by the Greenwich Chamber of Commerce. She owns the stores Splurge and Splurge Kids in Greenwich. Even though Sotire Malloy graduated from Whitby 26 years ago, she said when she walked onto campus she felt a sense of being at home and told graduates the friendships they make at Whitby will last a lifetime. She also stressed how her academic and personal experiences at Whitby gave her the tools to pursue her entrepreneurial dreams.
Before the funny and sometimes tearful Class of 2012 video, the graduates presented the school with two teak benches for the Whitby playing fields so as alumni, they can return to campus and cheer on the Whitby Wildcats.