Academic News

Tze Chun ’98 Will Be 2017 Graduation Speaker

Tze Chun ’98 Will Be 2017 Graduation Speaker

An acclaimed artist and filmmaker, Tze Chun began making movies as a Milton student. He went on to major in film studies at Columbia University. Tze’s debut feature film, Children of Invention, premiered at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival and went on to be one of the most-awarded and best-reviewed films of the year. It won 17 film festival awards, including eight Grand Jury or Best Narrative Feature prizes. Children of Invention was based on Tze’s short film Windowbreaker, which was selected for the 2007 Sundance Film Festival, and for which Tze was named one of Filmmaker Magazine‘s “25 New Faces of Independent Film.”

In addition to continuing work in independent film, Tze has branched out into studio filmmaking and television. Tze’s second feature film, Cold Comes the Night, was released in 2014 by Sony Pictures. The film stars Emmy Award winner Bryan Cranston and Alice Eve. Tze’s television writing credits include Cashmere Mafia, Once Upon a Time, and Gotham.

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March Break Adventures: Hearing From the Students

Over March break, four School trips took students to California, Jordan, South Africa, and Virginia—for culture, service, music and adventure. We asked a student from each trip three questions about his or her experience. Read about what stood out most for each of them.

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Students Present DYO Projects at Annual Science Symposium

Students Present DYO Projects at Annual Science Symposium

The Pritzker Science Center will open its doors to the public on Friday, April 28, from 5­ to 7 p.m., as students in advanced courses present their projects in biology, physics, chemistry and environmental science in the annual Science Symposium.

“It’s a really great opportunity for the students to show how their years of study have come together in these culminating projects,” says science department chair Julie Seplaki. “It’s a chance for them to articulate their process and results. And it’s a lot of fun.”

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Greg Livingston and Kailee Silver Elected Head Monitors

Greg Livingston and Kailee Silver Elected Head Monitors

This Friday, newly elected head monitors Kailee Silver (II) and Greg Livingston (II) take up the mantle as school leaders from outgoing head monitors Semi Oloko (I) and Tyler Piazza (I). Kailee lives in Hallowell House and will be a captain of the cross country and swim teams next year. She is also involved with the Milton Measure, the Magus Mabus music board and Helix. Greg, new to Milton this year, lives in Goodwin House. He participates in the community engagement program and is a varsity football and lacrosse athlete.

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Seniors Are “Going On Project,” But What Does That Mean?

Seniors Are “Going On Project,” But What Does That Mean?

Next week, Class I students will begin their long-awaited “Senior Project”—a Milton tradition dating back to the 1960s. Senior Projects have evolved over the decades, but the premise remains the same: For one month, students can choose to swap class time for a full-time commitment to a personal passion and a project of their own design. The projects that seniors undertake today fit within four categories: scholarly or academic; community engagement; internship; and the arts. Over the winter, interested students flesh out their ideas and plans; recruit a member of the faculty or staff as a project advisor; and submit their proposals to a committee of faculty who determine whether the project meets certain criteria for approval, or needs amendment. The faculty committee looks at the size of the group, how the students plan to divide the work, how many hours each week they’re likely to spend on their plan, and why they’re interested in this particular project. A full project requires 40 hours per week. Many students fulfill their project requirements through two half projects, committing 20 hours per week to each. Faculty and staff sponsors meet with students on campus at least once per week to check in on progress, or discuss any challenges that arise.

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What Does ISIS Really Want? Journalist Graeme Wood Explains

What Does ISIS Really Want? Journalist Graeme Wood Explains

The approach of the Islamic State (also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham, or ISIS) is grounded in theological beliefs and tradition from the earliest Muslims of the 7th century, explains journalist Graeme Wood. Mr. Wood, this spring’s Class of 1952 Speaker for Religious Understanding, is a national correspondent for The Atlantic and lecturer in political science at Yale University. His Atlantic cover story, “What ISIS Really Wants,” was the most-read piece on the Internet in 2015.

“Believers in the Islamic State feel that most of Islamic history after the 7th century was a wrong turn,” he said to students and faculty on Wednesday. “They believe they are reviving something that hasn’t existed in a long time.” Mr. Wood spent the last few years reading and analyzing Islamic State propaganda and speaking with its followers from around the world as he tried to understand who they are, what they believe, and where this is all going.

watch the assembly

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Don’t Miss This Kodak Moment: Graduation is June 9


This year’s graduation ceremony will be held on the lawn in front of Robert Saltonstall Gymnasium on Friday, June 9, at 10 a.m. A live stream of the event will be linked from Milton’s homepage on the morning of the ceremony.

The formal graduation procession begins at Straus Library, where each student receives a flower. A bagpiper then leads the faculty and seniors in a march to their seats. Tradition also dictates that Milton seniors vote for one boy and one girl to speak on behalf of the class at graduation. Diplomas at Milton are given in random order, and the last student to graduate is given a sock of quarters—one from each classmate. View last year’s sock recipient. After the ceremony, students say farewell to faculty, who have formed a receiving line. In the event of heavy rain, the ceremony will move into the Fitzgibbons Convocation Center.

The Academy is also hosting a reception in the Schwarz Student Center for graduating students, their parents and their guests from 4 to 5:30 p.m. on the afternoon of Thursday, June 8. Milton’s a cappella groups will accompany this reception, so that parents may have one last chance to witness some of the many talents in this class.

Below are important dates for seniors and details about the graduation ceremony and surrounding events.

Important Details About Graduation


Every Class I student will receive five graduation invitations in addition to the invitation that we will send to you next week. Please note, however, that invitations are not necessary to attend graduation, so students may invite as many guests as they choose. Seating is unlimited and available on a first-come-first-served basis.

Sun plan

If the weather is good – and it will be – the graduation ceremony will take place on the lawn in front of the Robert Saltonstall Gym. The stage will be located on the grass closest to the Chapel steps, and Class I students will sit in the front facing the audience. Students in Classes II-IV sit in sections on the sides, invited guests, trustees and faculty sit in the first section of audience seats, and graduates’ families and friends use the seats immediately behind the faculty.

Rain plan

The ceremony will take place in the Fitzgibbons Convocation Center (FCC) if it rains. The seating arrangements will replicate the arrangements for the outdoor ceremony. The size of the FCC allows ample seating for relatives and guests.


A light buffet lunch will follow the ceremony.


Milton’s tradition of awarding diplomas in random order may complicate some parents’ efforts to take their own pictures. We therefore arrange for a professional photographer to take pictures of each graduating senior. You will receive proofs over the summer, at which time you can decide whether or not to order copies. You are under no obligation to make a purchase.

Parking and traffic

We will make special arrangements for parking and traffic for graduation. All parking will take place on Upton Field and in the Junior Building parking lot. Our staff, with assistance from the Milton police, will direct you. Please do not park on Voses Lane, Randolph Avenue or Centre Street.

Because of the number of people on campus, Academy Road, which runs in front of the Robert Saltonstall Gym and the main campus dormitories, will be closed from 9:30 p.m. on Thursday until about 1:45 p.m. on Friday. Parents who wish to load belongings from dorm rooms during these times should use the access road behind the dormitories.

Handicapped and elderly access

If a member of your party needs to be dropped off close to the ceremony site or requires handicapped access, please communicate with a campus safety officer upon your arrival at campus on the morning of graduation and he or she will make appropriate arrangements. Please remember that no cars will be allowed down past the ceremony site after 9:45 a.m.

Graduation parties

We have entered the season of celebrations. It is a good thing for students to gather to mark this time, but such events should not risk the well-being of  those whom we wish to celebrate. In their youthful enthusiasm, some graduating seniors may decide that alcohol and drugs are an appropriate way to mark the transition to the next stage in their lives, and they may exert strong pressure on parents to accept this impulse. We ask you to discourage this thinking and to resist this pressure. Underage drinking is both ill-advised and illegal. Please act responsibly if you host a gathering, and please help your children make good and healthy choices.

Important Events and Required Dates for Seniors

Thursday, April 27
Senior Celebration – 3 p.m. (Quad)

Monday, May 1
Community Engagement Day for Classes I & II – 8 a.m.-2:55 p.m.

Tuesday, May 2
Senior Projects begin

Wednesday, May 24
Class I assembly – 2nd period. REQUIRED!
Performing Arts Dessert – 6:30-7:30 p.m. (Pieh Commons)

Wednesday, May 31
Class I assembly – 2nd period. REQUIRED!
“M” Club dinner – 5-8 p.m. (Fitzgibbons Convocation Center)

Saturday, June 3
Class I prom at the Boston Marriott, Long Wharf Hotel. Students convene at 6 p.m. on Saturday for an informal photo opportunity. Trolleys depart at 7 p.m. into Boston. Parents may pick up seniors at 12:30 a.m. on Sunday morning at the Schwarz Student Center.

Monday, June 5
Projects due (art work and written work)
Senior/faculty Baccalaureate dinner and performances at 5 p.m. Starts in King Theatre with a celebration for the seniors and the faculty, followed by dinner with the faculty in the Robert Saltonstall Gymnasium. REQUIRED!

Tuesday, June 6
Last day of classes for Class I (Classes end at 1:15 p.m. on Wednesday, 6/7
for Classes II-IV)
Senior project performances – 4-5:30 p.m.

Wednesday, June 7
CLASS I from 9-10:30 a.m. (Straus)
Senior Project Fair – 1:30-4:30 p.m.
Senior Project performances – 6:45-9 p.m.

Thursday, June 8
Senior Project performances – 8:30-10:30 a.m.
PRIZE ASSEMBLY REQUIRED AT 10:45 A.M. (Fitzgibbons Convocation Center)
Remember that many of you will be honored at this assembly; please dress appropriately!
Chamber Singers farewell performance – 3:30 p.m. (Straus)
Principal’s and Faculty Reception for Seniors, Parents and Guests – 4-5:30 p.m.
(Schwarz Student Center)

Friday, June 9
GRADUATION AT 10 a.m. Be here to line up at 8:45 a.m. at Straus. More
information regarding the details will follow.

Centre Connection

Centre Connection, Milton's online newsletter for parents, is published five times each year through the efforts of the Milton Academy Communication Office and Parents' Association volunteers.

Communication Office


Erin Berg
Marisa Donelan
Cathy Everett
Liz Matson
Greg White