Derin Whitaker ’24 Celebrates College Acceptance with Traditional Toss into Polk Pond

It’s not every day that you are the very first student from the senior class at MICDS to be admitted into college. Such an honor as a Ram is celebrated by one of our favorite rituals—the famous Pond Toss!

That’s right—as the first senior accepted into college, you are lobbed into the refreshingly cold (and memorably murky) waters of the campus pond while the rest of the senior class, fellow Upper Schoolers, faculty, and family cheer you on. This year’s honor was splashed upon Derin Whitaker ’24.

Right before school started, Whitaker was accepted to the University of Arizona. While he has kept his college options open, he has subsequently also received acceptances from the University of Iowa and Mizzou. On Tuesday, he wore a University of Arizona t-shirt to commemorate the first college acceptance of this special season in the lives of our seniors.

“The toss into the pond was very fun! It reaffirmed being a senior and coming to the end of my high school journey,” Whitaker shared. “It felt good to represent the Class of 2024 which I have been struggling [and learning] with, through COVID and all, for the past six years.” Whitaker was flanked by his friends for this momentous occasion. Seniors Davis Schukar ’24 actually threw Whitaker in, with a helpful push from Vikram Checka ’24 and support from Safi Junejo ’24, Wyatt Dickherber ’24, Liam McCarthy ’24, and Lachlan Murray ’24.

“I’ve been watching the pond tossing tradition for a few years now,” he reflected, “but I remember thinking to myself in freshman year ‘Man, I’ll never be the one who gets thrown into the pond!'” Never say never! “What a surreal experience,” he added, “and I’m so glad I was able to contribute to an MICDS ritual.”

Congratulations again to Derin and to all of our seniors who are riding the boat of the college admissions process this year! Whether you receive the first or the last acceptance, we are excited to celebrate the opportunities available to you to dive into after graduating from MICDS. Hooray, Rams!