Members of Carlisle School’s Class of 2014 celebrated their achievements during Saturday morning’s commencement, the 41st in Carlisle history.
The 40 students in Carlisle’s Class of 2014 included 30 honor graduates, four International Baccalaureate candidates and 13 international students. Members of the class have achieved 100 percent acceptance into four-year colleges in 23 states and amassed more than $4 million in scholarships to date.
The commencement began with an invocation from class salutatorian Emma Hope Warner. First-year Head of School Thomas P. Hudgins Jr. followed with a welcome and opening remarks quoting the poem “The Character of a Happy Life” by Sir Henry Wotton.
Anne Banks Boyd delivered the valedictory address.
“Carlisle has been a place of support, support from faculty, peers and parents,” she said. “We have been encouraged to challenge ourselves not only academically, but through unique extracurricular opportunities as well. Because of this, we are student athletes and artists who are committed to bettering ourselves, the school and the community at large.”
At the end of her remarks, Boyd said, “Carlisle has shown us what it feels like to be part of a supportive family. In the future when we are faced with challenges, I hope that we can all draw on the support we have received here.”
The commencement speaker was Dr. Christopher Howard, 24th president of Hampden-Sydney College.
“The reason you can see so far is because you are standing on the shoulders of giants,” he told the graduates. “The way has been set before you by those who love you and support you.”
Howard outlined that a life of character and leadership is summarized by the “5 Be’s”: be yourself, be humble, be accountable, be courageous and be the change you want to see in the world.
Howard is one of the youngest college presidents in the nation. He is a Distinguished Graduate of the United States Air Force Academy where he received the Campbell Award, the highest academic award in the country for a collegiate football player. He earned a doctorate in politics from Oxford University while on a Rhodes Scholarship and received an MBA with distinction from the Harvard Business School.
He served as a lieutenant colonel in the Air Force reserve, and earned a bronze star for his military service in Afghanistan. President Barack Obama appointed Howard to the National Security Education Board, and he was confirmed by the Senate in 2011.
Howard is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a Henry Crown Fellow at the Aspen Institute.
Diplomas were presented to seniors by Carlisle board President Jack Thomson and Hudgins. Recipients of the Trustee’s Award, which is given to students who have attended Carlisle since the first grade, also were recognized.
Faculty Award winners included: Parker Knight, recipient of The Hooker Garrett Award; Clara Yeatts, who received the Danville Excellence in Teaching Award; Casey Stephens, recipient of the Chatham Excellence in Teaching Award; and Paula Warner, recipient of The Francis T. West Chair for Teaching Excellence.
This year’s Distinguished Alumni Award was presented to Mat Groves Sheppard. The award recognizes a Carlisle graduate who has contributed unselfishly to the local or Carlisle community through volunteerism, achieved excellence in the workplace and exhibited positive leadership in the community or workplace.
A member of the class of 1981, Sheppard helped develop the Carlisle Alumni Association and served as its president, was co-chair for annual giving for two years, chaired the auction gala and taught Carlisle students in Upper and Middle Division Math for 11 years.
(This article was written by Mike Waddell, director of external communications for Carlisle School.)