Congratulations, Class of 2024!

The Class of 2024 gathered for one last time at their Commencement before launching into the world. A vibrant and enthusiastic audience filled the McDonnell Athletic Center (the MAC), with students and faculty filling the north end to line up for their procession while family and friends found seats and connected with others. Promptly at 4 p.m., MICDS band students began playing Pomp and Circumstance, signaling to all that the festivities were beginning. Faculty and administrators processed first, taking their seats that flanked the stage. Then the Class of 2024 began their march up the center aisle, streaming in two-by-two.

Head of School Jay Rainey welcomed everyone and introduced two special faculty awards. The Dorothy Wray Roberts Class of 1917 Faculty Merit Award was made possible by a bequest in 1988 in support of teaching excellence. Eric Kimminau, Lower School Teacher, Olivia Halverson, Middle School English Teacher, and Dr. Ethan Graf, Upper School Science Teacher, received the award.

The Mary Institute Class of 1940 created the eponymous Distinguished Faculty Award on the occasion of its 50th reunion to recognize a member of the faculty whose work with students has been marked by great distinction. Meg Mottl, Lower School Teacher, Christine Mayer, Middle School Spanish Teacher and Fifth Grade Dean, and Cathy Leitch, Upper School History Teacher, were the award recipients. Congratulations to the extraordinary teachers for their well-deserved recognition.

Andrew Condie ’82, Chair of the MICDS Board of Trustees, then presented remarks. He noted that the Class of 2024, and indeed all MICDS students, should reflect on not only what they’ve learned here, but on the people who made this education and experience possible. Read Mr. Condie’s full remarks here.

Valedictorian Mikaela Mikulec ’24 addressed her classmates with an inspiring and heartfelt speech, full of fond memories and an exhortation to the crowd to cheer on the Girls Lacrosse team, of which she is co-captain, at their upcoming playoff game. Read Mikaela’s full remarks here.

Mr. Rainey returned to the podium to present the Rivinus Award, which is selected by the graduating class each year to honor one of their Upper School teachers. This year’s recipient of the Rivinus Award is Kristin Roberts, History Teacher.

The Class of 2024 also chose an Upper School teacher to share wisdom and advice at their Commencement. They selected Max Campbell, History Teacher, who encouraged them to take time to eat breakfast every day, to be ready to pivot, and to embrace new opportunities. Read Mr. Campbell’s full remarks here.

Finally, it was time to present the graduating class for their diplomas. “Mr. Chairman,” Mr. Rainey began, “the MICDS faculty and administration have informed me that these candidates for graduation have completed the necessary requirements and are poised and prepared to receive their diplomas…their passports for the next phase of their lives. I ask that the diplomas be released and awarded.” Mr. Condie then said, “Mr. Rainey, on behalf of the MICDS Board of Trustees, I hereby release the diplomas to be awarded to the Class of 2024.”

Nicole Trueman, Dean of the Class of 2024, read each graduate’s name as they walked forward, accepted their diplomas, and shook hands with Mr. Rainey and Mr. Condie. It was an emotional time for all.

After much applause for the Class of 2024, Lindsey Herzog Shipley ’07, President of the MICDS Alumni Association, took a few moments to induct the graduations into the association and to share a few words of wisdom. Read her full remarks here.

Mr. Rainey then shared his thoughts, reminding the graduates that while the world may appear to be ending, while things have been and continue to be dire, the Class of 2024 is well-equipped to make a difference for the better. “It’s the end of the world as we know it. It’s the end of the world as we know it. It’s the end of the world as we know it,” he quoted the alternative band R.E.M., “And I feel fine.” Read Mr. Rainey’s full remarks here.

After much applause, the MICDS band once again played the new alumni and their former faculty out, before the sound system turned to R.E.M.

Congratulations to the Class of 2024! We can’t wait to see what you accomplish. Don’t forget to come back and visit!