On June 15, the senior class officially embarked on a new chapter in their lives as they celebrated the end of their tenure at Ross School. Held in the Center for Well-Being, Graduation began with the High School Chorus performing the School’s Alma Mater, followed by opening remarks by Interim Head of School Gregg Maloberti.
The Commencement Address was given by Brian Dooley, director of the Human Rights Defenders program at Human Rights First. Human Rights First is a U.S.–based independent advocacy and action organization with the mission of pressing the U.S. government and private companies to be respectful and supportive of human rights across the globe. He was followed by Larissa Gaias '07, a developmental psychology doctoral candidate at Arizona State University, who offered words of wisdom to the graduating class as the Alumni Speaker.
Then Patty Lein, Director of Upper School, introduced the student speakers: Fara Kaner, Speaker of the House; Asma Najem, Class Representative; and Riko Kawahara, Elected Speaker. “I want to share with you all one of the many things I learned during my past two years at Ross,” Asma began. “It’s a very simple concept that I think applies to many of the moments we go through in life, and that is: the catalyst to change is to take a risk.” She added later, “We all ended up at Ross for different reasons, but I think that we all understand now that the easiest road might not be the best sometimes; that we might need to try the hard way, trust our guts, believe in ourselves, and just go for it.”
Following the speeches, special awards were bestowed to faculty and students whose extraordinary work deserved recognition. The Courtney Sale Ross Award, recognizing the faculty member most exemplary of the Ross School vision of leadership, academic excellence, and personal integrity, was awarded to Upper School math teacher Linda Hanrahan.
Meanwhile, Fara Kaner received the Ross School Board Award, for a senior who demonstrates outstanding leadership qualities. Kate Nelson received the Anders G. Holst Award, for a senior who demonstrates courage in creativity. Sam Kramer received the Patti Silver Award, for a senior who demonstrates outstanding integrity, honesty, and citizenship in the Ross community and the global community. And Asma Najem received the Steven J. Ross Humanitarian Award, for a senior who demonstrates the pursuit of excellence, magnanimity of intention, and personal integrity.
With all of the awards distributed, there was only one thing left to do: hand out diplomas. Graduation ended with the Ross School drummers' Recessional. Congratulations Class of 2013!