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Principia School
Celebrating Upper School Seniors: Graduation 2024


This past May, the class of 2024—representing 20 states and 10 countries—donned their caps and gowns to walk across Ridgway stage one last time, marking the school year’s end with the happiest of celebrations. Many time-honored traditions were observed at graduation, including the presentation of the class banners. Each was met with cheers as class representatives walked their class banners across the stage. None compared, however, to the 2024 graduating class, which held their banners aloft and cried out with their fellow classmates in the audience. 

After newly appointed Spiritual Life Director Brad Warrick (US’90, C’94) shared readings, senior class-elected speaker, Paris, took to the stage to share words of encouragement with her classmates. Her speech addressed the fear graduates might feel in the face of the ever-expansive question, “What comes next?” “Standing here now,” she said, “I wish I could tell you the secret… but the truth is, there is no remedy for being afraid. The artistry of it all lies in how much of yourself you are willing to reveal to the world despite the fear.” She ended her speech with a quote from Shirley Jackson’s book, We Have Always Lived in the Castle. “It’s spring, you’re young, you’re lovely, and you have the right to be happy.”

The messages of encouragement and bravery continued with graduation speaker Tessa E.B. (Bray) Frost (C’02), who encouraged graduates to embrace the new and leave the fear of being different behind as they grow into the lives they are meant to live. “You’ve already started to feel and see the true north of real spiritual manhood, womanhood, and personhood… Alongside your friendships [and] your awards, you’ve been cultivating… the moral courage [and] the understanding of your built-in completeness as God’s spiritual creation… [which] will be invaluable as you take each next step in the life you’re meant for,” says Frost. 

Referencing the West African proverb, “When you pray, move your feet,” Frost continued. “You can’t desire something, pray for something, and just sit there—you gotta move. …Take up the moral courage to be who you already are—made in the image and likeness of God. …Trust your heart’s desires to the God who is loving you into being. And then move your feet.”

As the students accepted their diplomas, turned their tassels, and threw caps into the air, Frost’s final message echoed: “Take another look with me,” she encouraged the audience, “at the incredible beauty, purpose, and promise in front of us. Their place in this world is vital.” Addressing the students, she said, “The world will be infinitely better and more beautiful because you are in it.”

As always, graduation ended with the Principia Hymn, the final line being a promise and a reminder to us all: And by our lives to others show / That as we sow we reap. 

View the full graduation address.