On the sunny and joyful day of Friday, Jun 7, 2019, Purnell School graduated its 52nd Class
Reverend Elyse Nelson Winger
The Commencement was attended by the school's faculty, staff, students, trustees, families, and friends. The Reverend Elyse Nelson Winger, Chaplain of Illinois Wesleyan University presided and offered the Invocation and Benediction. The graduating class and attendees were addressed by Jeremy Jeffery P'14, the Chair of the Board of Trustees, and by Anne M. Glass, Purnell's 8th Head of School.
Each graduate was feted as she received her diploma with personalized accolades and well-wishes written by her Advisor. In addition, special awards for presented to members of the graduating class:
Head of School Award: Jaden Petrus
Founders' Award: Tamiyah Tucker
Senior Award: Alexandra Michalchuk
Trustees' Award: Xinyi Zahn
Stahl Cup Award: Jenna Humcke
The graduating class elected sisters Sage and Jaden Petrus to deliver the Senior Address. Sage and Jaden together presented a heartfelt speech filled with gratitude for Purnell that also highlighted the unique contributions and gifts of the each of their classmates.
Ms. Glass honored the legacy of the graduating class for sowing the seeds of joy, generosity, and justice into the very fabric of our campus community. She noted that the Class of 2019 took the lead in our community's embrace of one of our three Founding Guidelines: Consideration of Others.
This year's theme of Kindness served to inspire and celebrate positive action and to build a more welcoming and empathic community. Ms. Glass commended the Class for combining the wisdom of their lived experiences, their aspirations for a more just society, and their courage to help lead new initiatives on our campus.
"I have watched with awe and pride how you have shaped our community according to your commitment to honor yourselves and each other - in ways that are simultaneously inclusive and empowering... You have reminded us to support each other each in ways great and small. You made a difference here. You did so because you combined your wisdom and kindness with your agency and determination. And you leave today with the skills and heart to do the same in the communities you move on to join. You appreciate the grace of reciprocity of kindness and the impact you can have on the people around you. You have learned to listen, use your voice, and organize in collaboration and partnership with each other."
Ms. Glass urged the graduates to "carry the feeling of the beautiful community you have helped build here at Purnell into your next chapters in life. Because sometimes the small differences make all the difference.
"It is never simply about what you know; it is about how you want to live.
So I tell you today, Live justly, wisely, and with kindness."
Ms. Glass left the graduates with her final wishes:
"Have the courage to sail off to new adventures,
Have the grace to remember those who launched you on your way,
and have the good sense to come back and visit us often."
Purnell is enormously proud of the Class of 2019 and excited for their next adventures!