The Class of 2021 has experienced many firsts for Santa Fe Prep: our first remote start to the school year, the first remote college counseling process, and on Friday, they were the first class to graduate on Brennand Field (as opposed to in the Upper School Quad, to allow for greater social distancing). The 51 graduates gathered with their friends and family under a beautiful blue sky, with a backdrop of cottonwood trees and the Sangre De Cristos. When the Elrington Bell was rung four times to mark the occasion, the sound could be heard loud and clear, despite the distance.
Prep trustee and parent Stephen Badger gave the commencement address, encouraging students to listen to and cultivate their own inner voice. He shared these wise words about forging one’s own path: “Sometimes this [voice] will be at odds with others or the common consensus, and your inner voice won’t always say what you ‘want,’ nor will your purpose always present the ‘easy’ path. Difficulty helps us define ourselves though, and so I’d suggest that you actually seek out what is difficult, especially if it is in service to others and to your purpose.”
Co-valedictorians Xander Hnasko and Revely Rothschild closed the ceremony with a reflection on the Latin roots of the word “valedictorian” to guide their classmates in their next steps: “Vale comes from the verb valeo, valere, valui, meaning, to be well, to be strong, to have power, to have worth, to be efficacious. The expression vale is therefore the imperative form of the verb: it is a sort of commandment, a call to be bold, to declare your worth, and to pursue wellness in all aspects of life.”
Class of 2021, well done. We admire your boldness and know you will pursue purpose, service, and most importantly, your true selves, as you move forward.