MICDS Commencement 2019 5/19/2019

Alumni Association President Welcomes Newest Members

Kevin Coombs ’05 is the President of the MICDS Alumni Association. He welcomed the Class of 2019 to the alumni family at their Commencement. Here are his remarks.

Kevin Coombs '05Good afternoon, graduates from the MICDS class of 2019!

As the President of the MICDS Alumni Association, it is my pleasure to formally welcome you as the newest members of our Alumni Association. We have over 8,000 living alumni in all 50 states and over 30 countries around the world, from ages 100-plus all the way down to…18.

As I sat in your place on this stage, during this ceremony 14 years ago, I didn’t know exactly what to think about this occasion. On the one hand, wasn’t it a foregone conclusion that I’d graduate from high school? Is this really that big a deal? But at the same time, I also thought, “When would I next be back on campus? Will I ever be together with my whole class again? Will I see the people I want to see, and do the things I want to do this summer before leaving for college? I don’t feel any different than I did yesterday. But my whole life is about to change.” A lot of conflicting emotions were swirling around inside me.

What I realized after these initial confusing emotions was that the diploma itself wasn’t the important thing, that “graduating” wasn’t the important thing. These papers and ceremonies are symbols. The value, the meaning, the importance behind these things are in what they represent. Your growth here at MICDS covers just about every facet of life: educational, physical, relational, emotional, spiritual. This development has shaped who you are today, and will continue to shape you in the future. These are the things that we are celebrating today: your growth, experiences, and accomplishments at MICDS, who you are becoming as young men and women, and the bright prospects for your futures.

Your relationship with the school as alumni, and possibly as future volunteers, trustees, employees, or parents and even grandparents of students, will not be as intimate as your time as students. However, I would like to note that your time as alumni of the school will be much longer than your time as students at the school, even those of you in the Old Guard. Your four, six or fourteen years as a student will be dwarfed by the 50, 60 or 70 years you will likely have as alumni.

As your relationship with the school enters this new phase, your experiences while you were here will echo across these decades. Of course there is the direct relationship with the School: visiting campus, donating time and money, hearing about current events and sports scores. But the indirect pieces will be woven into your future in deeper and more subtle ways: the skills and knowledge you gained here, experiences here that will shape your beliefs and decisions in future life circumstances, and of course the friendships that are already well-established, some of which will continue for the rest of your lives. And don’t be surprised at the relationships that will flourish with alumni that you haven’t even met yet.

In the “Timeline” of your future lives, MICDS may not be the pinned tweet at the top, but as new “posts” are added across the years, you can bet that “retweets” from your time here will pop up both in expected and unexpected ways.

So as you hustle off to summer and soon after, to your new campuses, and then after that into the rest of your lives, don’t be shy about coming back and reconnecting, we love seeing you on campus. But also don’t be surprised to see imprints of the school in your own lives and out in the wider world.

Congratulations and welcome again to the MICDS Alumni Association.