On June 3, the Santa Fe Prep community gathered on Brennand Field in celebration of the Class of 2022 and the school’s 55th Commencement ceremony. Surrounded by their families, friends, and teachers, the 57 graduating seniors were treated to a series of stirring speeches and an exciting moment of musical theatre when Lauren Hartzell took the stage to perform “Vanilla Ice Cream”—a welcome notion on the warm summer day.
Each of the morning’s speeches shared a theme of the lasting influence Santa Fe Prep has on its graduates. Head of School Aaron Schubach remarked, “Experience tells me that Prep is likely to be the most formative institution in your life. Education is a fascinating concept: it’s invisible, slow-acting, long-lasting, portable, and durable. What you learned here is meaningful; take it with you.”
Yangchen Rotto, recipient of the Douglas Schwartz Class Speaker Award, echoed this sentiment when she spoke about the archived memories of Prep that have become books in the metaphorical libraries of her life and the lives of her classmates. The focus of Valedictorian Olivia Wholberg’s speech was the butterfly effect—the theory that the future is always in flux and that small events and moments from the Class of 2022’s collective history at Prep will continue to shape that future long after their time as students has ended.
In his commencement address, alumnus Alexi Horowitz-Ghazi ’08—a reporter and producer for National Public Radio—looked toward this same in-flux future as he spoke about following one’s sense of genuine curiosity and not being afraid to wander from the expected path. “You have to pay very close attention to the things that perk up your ears or stir your heart. You have to pay attention to the little sparks that set you on fire… You will become yourself in your attempt to become whatever it is that you love.”
If you missed the festivities or would like to revisit any of these special moments, a recording of the full ceremony and other end-of-year events is available on Prep’s YouTube channel.