April 2019

Governor JB Pritzker ’82 is the 2019 Graduation Speaker

Governor JB Pritzker ’82 is the 2019 Graduation Speaker

JB Pritzker, Class of 1982 and the 43rd governor of the state of Illinois, will serve as Graduation day speaker on June 7, 2019.

“JB Pritzker is an extraordinarily generous spirit who has made an immeasurable difference in the lives of countless people throughout his community and beyond,” said Head of School Todd Bland. “Humble despite his huge influence, he is intelligent, relatable, and a kind-hearted leader—qualities to which we should all aspire. I am delighted to welcome him back to campus.”

Raised by parents who taught him to fight for progressive values from a young age, JB has spent his life advocating for social justice and working toward economic opportunity for all. He is a national leader in early childhood education, pursuing for decades the creation and expansion of early learning programs for low-income children. As a businessman and entrepreneur, he has helped create thousands of jobs. In 2012, JB founded 1871, a nonprofit small business incubator. 1871 brought together the educational and civic resources to support startup businesses, and so far it has helped entrepreneurs create more than 8,000 jobs and hundreds of new companies.

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Graduation Details

This year’s graduation ceremony will be held on the lawn in front of Robert Saltonstall Gymnasium on Friday, June 7, 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 two students 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. 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 6. 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.

More Details About The Ceremony

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, June 6 until about 1:45 p.m. on Friday, June 7. 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 campus arrival on the morning of graduation and they 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

Wednesday, May 1
Community Engagement Day for Classes I & II – 8 a.m.–1:15 p.m.

Thursday, May 2
Senior Projects begin

Wednesday, May 22
Class I breakfast hosted by Development and Alumni Relations – 8–8:30 a.m. (Straus)
Class I assembly – 8:30–10 a.m. REQUIRED! (Straus)
Performing Arts Dessert – 6:30–7:30 p.m. (King Theatre)

Wednesday, May 29
“M” Club dinner – 5–7:30 p.m. (Fitzgibbons Convocation Center)

Saturday, June 1
Class I prom at the Boston Marriott, Long Wharf Hotel. Students convene at 5 p.m. on Saturday for an informal photo opportunity. Buses depart at 6 p.m. into Boston. Parents may pick up seniors at 12:00 a.m. on Sunday morning at the Schwarz Student Center.

Monday, June 3
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 4
Last day of classes for Class I (Classes end at 1:15 p.m. on Wednesday, 6/5 for Classes II-IV)
Senior project performances – 4–6 p.m.

Wednesday, June 5
Senior Project Fair and Art Exhibition – 1:30–5 p.m.
Senior Project performances – 6:45–9 p.m.

Thursday, June 6
Senior Project performances – 8:30–10:15 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 7
GRADUATION at 10 a.m. Be here to line up at 8:45 a.m. at Straus. More information regarding the details will follow.

Milton Presents Two Theatre Productions in May

Milton Presents Two Theatre Productions in May

The 1212 play presents a return of Wicked Sketchy, an original production made up of 14 sketches, written and performed by students. For this production, Wicked Sketchy veteran Lyndsey Mugford (I) took on lead writing and directorial roles in this collaborative project. Stage manager Evan Jenness (I) will be running the light and sound cues.

The Spring Play stages The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, based on the novel by Mark Haddon and adapted by Simon Stephens. In the story, 15-year-old Christopher, played by Ben Simpson (III), is a mathematics whiz with some awkward behavior problems. He discovers a neighbor’s dog murdered and sets off to figure out the mystery.

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Symposium Kicks Off Night Of Science And Art

Symposium Kicks Off Night Of Science And Art

Milton students’ research projects were on display at the annual Science Symposium on Friday evening in the lobby of the Pritzker Science Center. The symposium kicked off a Science & Art night on campus, where students shared their work in scientific research, visual arts, performing arts and music—with some participating in a range of events.

“This is the life of the Milton student,” said Julie Seplaki, chair of the science department. “They’re skillful and talented scientists, artists, musicians and actors. Science and arts always had events on the same night, but this is the first year we’ve brought the two together as a way to recognize our students’ varied talents.”

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Ultimate Disc Team is Flying High in Its Second Season

Ultimate Disc Team is Flying High in Its Second Season

On a quintessential spring afternoon, the ultimate disc team warms up on Headmaster’s Field. White discs shoot back and forth as the players practice passing and wait for the arrival of their opponent. In the second year as an official intramural co-ed team, the majority of team members are new players. Coaches Martin McDermott and John Lee say Milton’s program is young compared to some of the more established school programs, but the students are having fun learning the game and improving with each practice and game.

Alexander Shih (I) is the captain and one of two seasoned returning players. “ I like playing ultimate frisbee because the whole sport is based around good sportsmanship and honesty, something called the ‘spirit of the game.’ It is the only sport I know of that is self-refereed. This is a testament to the honest and friendly people that play the game.”

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After a Season of Wins, Milton’s Robotics Team Takes on the World

After a Season of Wins, Milton’s Robotics Team Takes on the World

Capping a year filled with resounding successes—including three high placements in a national tournament—Milton’s robotics team traveled to the VEX Robotics World Championship this week. Five students: Tony Tao (II), Christy Zheng (I), Avery Miller (II), Alexander Shih (I) and Dima Zayaruzny (III) competed in the world championship in Louisville, Kentucky.

Milton’s competitors have approached each match this year with positive attitudes, realistic about their chances against seasoned teams with more time to practice and work on their robots, Alexander said. That mindset has helped make their wins even more special.

“I am looking forward to seeing a lot of really cool robots and meeting really cool teams at worlds, including friends we met at nationals and states,” he said before the trip. “The most fun part about competing at these high-caliber tournaments, for me, has been meeting a lot of teams like ours, who are there to have fun and are not completely focused on winning.”

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Olivia Wang and Beck Kendig Elected Head Monitors

Olivia Wang and Beck Kendig Elected Head Monitors

Last week, newly elected head monitors Olivia Wang (II) and Beck Kendig (II) took up the mantle as school leaders from outgoing head monitors Asia Chung (I) and Michael George (I). Olivia, who is from Shanghai, lives in Robbins House. She is a board member for the Asian Society, an opinion section editor for the Milton Measure, and on the editorial board for the F Word. She competes on the swim team and the track team. She also served on the Self-Governing Association (SGA) as a Class II rep. Beck is a boarder in Wolcott House and he is from Marblehead, Massachusetts. He is an OBK tour guide, a co-head of the Style Club, and a writer for the Milton Paper. He is also a captain of the ski team, a player on the varsity soccer team, and served on SGA as class rep his sophomore year.

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Exploring Their Interests: Seniors Begin Projects in May

“The opportunities are virtually limitless. The system to be employed offers the broadest sort of curriculum, the complete freedom of individual expression,” Milton senior Sam Harrington wrote in the Orange and Blue in February 1969.

The student newspaper was announcing the faculty adoption of a concept now treasured by Milton students: the senior project. Over the last 50 years, Milton seniors have completed their coursework at the end of April, using the month of May to go “on project” to pursue a topic of their interest through research, community service, arts and performance, and shadowing professionals.

“We have some professionals who have worked with our students year after year, like Dr. [Curtis] Cetrulo ’88 at Mass General Hospital, Dr. [Gregory] Kechejian at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Milton and Irene Li ’08, who owns Mei Mei Kitchen in Boston,” says academic dean Jackie Bonenfant. “We’re always open to parents and alumni who want to share their work with our students, because it’s an opportunity for them to see what’s out there.”

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Milton Football Players Recognized as Outstanding Scholar-Athletes

Milton Football Players Recognized as Outstanding Scholar-Athletes

Milton seniors Eddie Duggan and Jiho Mun will be honored as top scholar-athletes at the 44th awards dinner of the Jack Grinold Eastern Massachusetts chapter of the National Football Foundation and Hall of Fame on May 19. The Scholar-Athlete award is one of the most prestigious in high school football. Eddie and Jiho were nominated for the award by Coach Kevin MacDonald.

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Meet Josh Jordan ’11

Meet Josh Jordan ’11

When people ask Josh Jordan ’11 how he came to know seemingly everyone at Milton Academy, the answer is a bit complex.

Many of the Upper School faculty were his teachers, mentors and coaches—now they’re his colleagues. He serves on the Staff Committee. He coaches several Upper School sports teams. He spent his college summers planting and landscaping the campus with the facilities department. He’s worked in the Middle School’s after-school program—a job his father, a Boston school teacher, also held at one point. Josh now spends every day in Lower School classrooms as a floating teacher and substitute, going where he’s needed by Milton’s youngest students.

“I like to joke with the kids that I have a stunt double,” he says. “I’ll pop into a classroom for a bit and then see the same kids minutes later when I’m on lunch duty. I’ll ask them if they’ve seen my twin anywhere. Having this versatility, I’ve been able to get to know every student from kindergarten through fifth grade, which I love.”

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Wednesday is Community Engagement Day

Every two years in the spring, Class I and II students participate in Community Engagement Day. The morning assembly on Wednesday, May 1, will begin with seniors reflecting on what community engagement has meant to them over their years at Milton. Class I students will then head out to pick up trash along all the roads around the perimeter of campus in support of the Town of Milton’s recent clean-up day. In the afternoon, they will host a field day on campus for 300 students from the Taylor Elementary School, where many Milton students participate in weekly community service.

Class II students will break into groups and fan out to surrounding communities in Boston, Brighton, Randolph, and Milton to visit with elders; spring-clean at a family shelter; work on an urban farm; and help out a food bank; to name just a few. A group of Class II students will also host Epiphany Middle School students on campus for workshops in poetry writing, chemistry (i.e., slime-making), and jazz.

Class III and Class IV will spend the day focused on leadership programing.

Parents’ Association News, April 2019

A huge thank you from the Parents’ Association to all of our unsung heroes, the parents who give generously each year—giving their time, their resources and their ideas—to make all the USPA-sponsored events for Milton students, faculty and staff a resounding success. Thank you! YOU make it happen, and you’re still making it happen, as we have a few more things on the calendar.

Volunteers are still needed for the Spring Fling on Friday, May 31.

Saturday, May 11: Class II Boat Dance
Always a good time, the Boat Dance departs from the Boston docks and provides students with a fun evening on the water. Parents may take photos at school before students depart for the evening. The USPA will provide pizza in the Schwarz Student Center upon the students’ return from the Boat Dance.

Tuesday, May 21: Last Meeting
Upper School Parents’ Association Meeting, 7 p.m., CSG Conference Room
Speaker: Rod Skinner, director of college counseling

Friday, May 24: Milton-Nobles Day

Friday, May 31: Spring Fling
3 p.m. on the quad for all students. A SignUp Genius link will be forthcoming, as volunteers are needed to set up, monitor, and break down the games to make this event a blast.

Saturday, June 1: Class I Parents Reception/Senior Prom
Students and parents gather informally on the quad for photos between 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. Students depart on buses for prom at 6 p.m., and the Class I reception follows immediately in Straus Library for parents. The USPA will provide pizza in the Schwarz Student Center upon the students’ return from prom at 12 a.m.

Friday, June 7: Graduation
Not a USPA-sponsored event, but clearly all parents have had a hand in reaching this momentous day!

Featured Videos

Record-Breaking Throw

Track and field captain, Ify Ofulue (I), breaks her own school record in the shot put with a 39′ 5.5″ throw.

Arts @ Milton

A treat for newly admitted students: Our musicians, dancers and speechies lent their talents during Revisit Day to showcase the array of arts offerings at Milton. Watch these clips of the performances in King Theatre.


Chamber Singers

Gospel Choir



Clips from the Dance Concert

In case you missed the show, click here (password is “winterdance”) to watch video of any or all of the performances from this year’s Dance Concert. More photos can be found here.

Featured Photos

Speech and Debate Success

Milton’s speech and debate team competed in the Massachusetts Speech and Debate League (MSDL) State Speech Tournament on April 6. View a list of Milton students who earned recognition.

Competing in the Nationals

Nyla Sams and Jana Amin competed in the Tournament of Champions this past weekend at the University of Kentucky. Nyla advanced to the semi-finals, finishing in the top 12 of 66 competitors in her event of original oratory and placing 9th overall.

“The girls competed with excellence, supporting one another tirelessly throughout the three-day tournament,” stated performing arts faculty member, Patrice Jean-Baptiste.

On May 26, Tyler Tjan, Nyla Sams, Sachin Shetty, Maya Bokhari, Jack Burton, and Talia Sherman travel to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, to compete in the Catholic Forensic League Nationals, while Jack Burton and Neha Modak fly to Dallas, Texas, on June 16 to take on the best of the best in the National Speech and Debate Association Nationals.

Collateral Repair Project

Seniors Vicker DiGravio, Rachel Ding and Olivia Goldenberg create a Facebook page in Josh Emmott’s Globalization and Islam class to raise awareness and funds for the Collateral Repair Project (CRP). CRP is an organization based in Jordan, with the goal of providing services and funds to refugees living in Jordan. View their Facebook page to learn more.

From the Archives
Name this Milton alumnus.

J.B. Pritzker
Hint: This 1982 graduate is featured in the first article of this newsletter.

Senior Advanced Art Portfolio

Advanced Portfolio: Independent
 Studio Seminar is a capstone course that offers seniors the opportunity to explore subjects beyond the traditional studio art curriculum, either as a series of independent works or as class projects. This year, 12 students completed one or both semesters of Advanced Portfolio and focused on painting, sculpture, photography and technology/media. Painting: Sarah Acker-Krzywicki, Erin Brady, Asia Chung, Olivia Goldenberg, Parker Hitt, Amaya Sangurima-Jiminez and Amy Shohet. Photography: Caroline Spahr and Jessica Blanksteen. Sculpture: Seth Gordon and Peter Won. Technology/media: Ryan Vyas.

On April 11, more than 1,100 members of the Milton community came together to celebrate everything that makes Milton exceptional. Raising more than $1.3 million for Milton, Giving Day supports our faculty and our students. Check out our thank-you video, and thanks for all you do to support Milton.

Milton in Asia

Milton parents and alumni gathered at events across Asia this spring, with a Hong Kong Giving Day reception on April 11, a Hong Kong parent dinner on April 13, a dinner in Shanghai on April 15, and a dinner in Beijing on April 17. Thank you to the parents, alumni and friends who joined us and generously hosted gatherings. View photos from our events.

Join Us at Upcoming Events

Don’t miss Milton singers perform the National Anthem at Fenway Park. Purchase your tickets through Milton to cheer on our singers—and the Sox—on Sunday, May 19, for the 1:05 p.m. game against the Houston Astros.

Making summer plans? Spend the day at Tanglewood with Milton on Sunday, August 4. Enjoy a lunch hosted by Trustee Dottie Weber ’60 and Steve Weber P ’04, followed by a Boston Symphony Orchestra concert. Did you know Tanglewood offers free lawn tickets to children 17 and under? Learn more and reserve your spot with us.

Publishing stories: researching, interviewing, analyzing, reporting and responding—is challenging and in some cases, dangerous. Has the profession been affected by the wave of invectives, the efforts to sow mistrust, the drive to discredit journalists’ work? What seems difficult and what is rewarding about reporting on the world? Journalists are critical agents in helping us develop the awareness and the acuity to understand our world and to inform our choices.

Visit www.miltonmagazine.org to read this issue.

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


Jennifer Anderson
Greg White
Liz Matson
Marisa Donelan
Esten Perez
Sarah Abrams