On May 21, Principia Upper School students, parents, faculty and staff, and community members gathered to honor the class of 2023. The event celebrated the accomplishments of the 36 graduating seniors, highlighted their diverse backgrounds, and expressed gratitude for the faculty members who played a monumental role in their education.
As in years past, 2023’s Upper School graduation featured several notable traditions including the display of flags from all the countries represented by the graduating students. Originating in 1931 when Principia received a gift of 12 flags, the Ridgway stage is now adorned with over 100 flags representing various nations. The flag display symbolizes the diverse backgrounds and international connections of the graduating class.
This year’s ceremony also included the announcement of five students whose outstanding academic achievements earned them Cum Laude honors: Rafael Armando Ascencio García, Gabrielle Joy Dow, Lillian Grace Dow, and Nina Ola Okike.
The commencement address was delivered by Principia Trustee Ian Forber–Pratt (US‘98, C’07), who serves as Deputy Executive Director of Children's Emergency Relief International. Forber-Pratt’s address was inspired by “You Say,” a song by Lauren Daigle. Titled “More Than Enough,” his speech encouraged graduates to lean into two key transitions in order to succeed in the next chapters of their lives: moving from disconnected to interconnected, and from performative to authentic.
“Society is trying to box you in all the time, but the authentic, true, God-created, unlimited, good you is what’s needed in this world.”
Forber-Pratt wrapped up the ceremony by calling upon the Upper School choir to perform the song, “You Say” in its entirety.
Watch the full ceremony here.