Ring ceremony ushers in seniors’ last year


Emma Kateman ’17 shakes President Rick Commons’s hand before receiving her senior ring on Sept. 11. Credit: Sophie Haber/Chronicle

Sophie Haber

The Class of 2017 joined together Sunday evening to begin their last year as high school students at the annual ring ceremony.

By quoting the graduation address from Harvard School for Boys salutatorian and World War II veteran William Taylor Jr. ’43 that he found in the school archives, President Rick Commons reminded seniors of their privilege to be graduating high school in a time when their worries are of how they will achieve their goals of higher education instead of if they will have an opportunity to.

“I ask you to remember your good fortune in the context of today’s anniversary of the September 11 attacks, in the context of William Taylor’s words to his senior class and in the context of a troubled and war torn world around us, which needs to be healed by gifted people like you,” Commons said. “I ask you to avoid the tiny minded tendencies to forget how lucky you are to be facing the pressures of your senior year.”

Prefects Jordan Khorsandi ’17, Lauren Genender ’17, Carolyn Hong ’17 and Mat Hogan ’17 opened the ceremony, welcoming classmates to their final year of high school and delivering speeches about traditions embedded in the schools’ history and motto, as well as the experiences that led the class to where it is today.

Seniors then each received a ring or pin from Interim Head of Upper School Liz Resnick.

“These pins and rings are more than just souvenirs,” Genender said. “They are heirlooms of our Harvard-Westlake family and symbolic of our high school journey together.”

Chamber singers and Bel Canto seniors performed “Deep River” by Roy Ringwald for classmates and their guests.