As members of the Class of 2015 sweltered in temperatures that soared above 100 degrees at the traditional Senior Ring Ceremony Sunday, Sept. 14, President Rick Commons told seniors to “lead with your goodness.”
The height of the heat that day reached 115 degrees on the field at 3:30 p.m., according to security officer Drew Thompson, who checked the temperature on his iPhone. The ceremony lasted only an hour, and seniors processed around the bleachers instead of across the field like past years.
The school provided mist machines, tents for guests and umbrellas for students sitting in the upper region of the bleachers. Refreshments were also available throughout the ceremony.
“I’m not sure if it was just the sweat, but I really feel like my grade stuck together today as we will for the rest of the year,” Julia Safir ’15 said.
As the senior class sat in the sun wearing sunglasses, hats, and floral headbands for girls, senior prefect Jensen McRae ’15 welcomed guests and fellow classmates in what she said she hoped was “a warm and friendly manner.”
Senior prefect Hana Kateman ’15 spoke next about her appreciation for the school’s sense of community, recalling her seventh grade experience as part of the “otter” team in the Jacobson Cup, a longstanding middle school tradition.
“I will never forget how excited I was my first day of seventh grade,” she said.
Kateman later told students and guests that her excitement that day was only matched by the excitement she felt at the ceremony.
Prefect Jackson Beavers ’15 joked that to him, red and yellow represented “In-N-Out Burger.” Beavers later discussed the importance of the school colors and the meaning of “possunt quia posse videntur,” as written on the school crest.
Prefect Matt Beyer ’15 addressed students and guests last, commenting on Harvard-Westlake’s academic excellence and his classmates’ numerous achievements.
Head of School Jeanne Huybrechts called seniors up to receive their rings or keychains. Seniors shook hands with Head of Upper School Audrius Barzdukas and Commons.
Commons praised the students for their humor and kindness towards each other.
“Morgan Brown once said, ‘We’re not funny, but we think we are,’ which is funny,” Commons said.
Seniors in Chamber Singers performed “Our Time” by Stephen Sondheim for guests and classmates. Chamber Singers also performed “Kuimba!” by Victor C. Johnson.