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Graduation 2021

“For last year’s words belong to last year’s language and next year’s words await another voice. And to make an end is to make a beginning.”
– T.S. Eliot, Class of 1906

Family, faculty, and friends stood witness as members of the Class of 2021 made an end to their time at Milton Academy during the School’s 222nd graduation exercises on Friday, June 11. With flowers in hand, the graduating class made its way to the formal ceremony on the lawn. Following an invocation by Chaplain Suzanne DeBuhr and welcome by Head of School Todd Bland, the student speakers, Benjamin Simpson and Thea Chung—elected by classmates to speak on their behalf—addressed the audience. Delivering the commencement address was Dr. Meika Tylese Neblett, Milton Academy Class of 1990 and physician executive at RWJ Barnabas Health.

View photos from the day.

Watch a webcast of the ceremony.

Speech by Benjamin Simpson ’21

Thank you Coach Stone. Good Morning Dr. Neblett, Ms. Donahue, Mr. Bland, Mr. Ball, Ms. Sugrue, Mr. Ruiz, faculty, staff, family, friends, and the Class of 2021. My grandfathers are pretty tough people. My Grandpa Kelly grew up as a migrant farm worker in California and my Grandpa Bob went to night school while working as a truck driver. They both did whatever it took to support their families. Both served this country. Grandpa Bob was in the Army during the Vietnam war. Grandpa Kelly was on the Naval submarines during the cold war. Both had a resilience and grit that helped them to form solid foundations on which to build a family. Both instilled values of support that lasted generations. Both embodied the importance of always being there for each other no matter what.

In November of 2020, my family got a phone call in the middle of the night that Grandpa Bob was being rushed to the hospital. Normally my family would have dropped everything and figured out some way to help him. That’s what we do. That’s what Grandpa Bob taught us to do.  As we all know, the world was, and continues to be, in the midst of a global pandemic. We couldn’t hop on a plane. We couldn’t burst into a hospital. We couldn’t leave our house without putting people’s lives at risk. 

My mother took that risk but the rest of my family had to remain home with only a call or text to keep us updated on my grandfather’s condition. Recently, Grandpa Kelly also became very ill and was taken to the hospital. Yet again we were faced with the terrifying and disheartening reality that we couldn’t be there. I couldn’t be there to tell them not to worry about Nana or Grandma, to say that Grandpa Bob’s car would be driven and clean by the time he got home, to say that Grandpa Kelly’s garden would be taken care of, or even to say “I’m here. I love you.” Not being able to be there, to support them, is what stung the most. 

This year we lost the ability to be there for each other. We lost time together. We lost access to the places where we could be together. We tried our best to fill the void created by this lack of connection but I don’t think you’ll disagree when I say meeting someone on Zoom isn’t the same as face to face.

For me, this loss hit particularly hard at Milton. Here we create and explore communities that help us define who we are. As underclassmen we learn and connect with the seniors we hope to be like some day. We find our people. We are shown by our friends and teachers not only how to support, but that we are supported. From having a heartfelt discussion in the back bus after a long day of competing, to eating lunch and laughing at a dumb joke one of your friends makes, to just seeing someone smile when you call their name from across the quad, we all connect with one another in various ways that leave lasting impressions.

Freshman year we all had to take the fun and slightly intimidating PE requirement: Project Adventure. In this class we participated in various team building activities. The goal of these activities was to form a bond to connect a new class; creating a sense of community. The final adventure of project adventure was walking the rafters of the RSG while our friends held on to our rope harnesses below. It was… supposed to be fun…  but as someone who fears highs it was… terrifying. But until recently I didn’t exactly appreciate the value of it all. In the moment it was just a game. A year later it was a… traumatic memory. However now, Project Adventure feels pretty significant. I learned to allow my classmates to support me, figuratively… and literally, as I walked 40 feet in the air on a thin steel beam. Here we learned that we couldn’t just say “I’m here to support you.” You had to mean it. You had no choice. No matter who was holding your ropes and no matter whose ropes you were holding on to. Just like a family would. Carlos, Alyssa, and Tanisha held my ropes. Do you remember who held yours?

Our time together is in it’s dwindling moments. We will soon receive a piece of paper saying we made it through Milton. After our graduation, we will move on to another campus, a career, or another path where Milton will be in the past. For some that’s scary, others exciting, and for some it feels it couldn’t sooner

As much as we are all eager, at various levels, to move on, one thing will always remain. The connections. Be it friends, roommates, teachers, dorm parents, or anyone of importance to you, the connections we have all made over the years will remain. The support from these individuals will never fade no matter how far you go. 

I know I can count on my friends both in this moment and in 10, 20, 50 years from now. Someone I have always been able to count on is my advisor, Jeanne Jacobs. Throughout my time in the upper school she has always had my back. She has congratulated me on my successes, supported me during my stumbles, and has never taken my poorly constructed excuses. She has shown me, through surprise cupcakes at advisory meetings, weekend texts to just check in, and many more gestures of kindness, that she will always be cheering me on. Thank you, Ms. Jacobs. I will be cheering you on as you retire and take our next step. These Milton connections will extend far beyond the reach of the classroom, the stage, or our campus. These connections are happening all around us, everyday, and I didn’t even realize it until I spoke with an alum myself. 

Zach Dodes, class of 94’, is a well known writer and producer in LA. At the moment his work can be seen on the hit show  “High School Musical: the musical the series” on Disney +. I reached out to Mr. Dodes to try and gain the perspective of a past student of Milton. However, as someone who is trying to make a career as an actor, you could say I was a little…  very nervous. Here I was talking to someone who has broken into, and succeeded in a field that I dream about even being a small part of. But, as we started talking on the phone that Tuesday night, I lost all those nerves. After a brief introduction we were just two Milton students talking to one another. I found out, like myself, Mr. Dodes is a lifer, was a speechie, sang in the Miltones a capella group.  We connected over our Milton experiences. Mr. Dodes expressed how truly indispensable his time at Milton was. As a writer, he uses the writing skills from his English classes on a daily basis. But, what I found to be the most impactful, is he still runs his work by his old friend and fellow speech team member from Milton.

Mr. Dodes told me about working on a TV show about being in high school. He constantly refers back to his time at Milton for inspiration. Twenty-seven years later those connections remain. Twenty-seven years later Milton connected two people who may have never met. Mr. Dodes and I shared a wonderful hour and a half talking as if we had been friends in high school. And Now that we’re friends, Mr. Dodes, if you need an actor for one of your shows… Call me.

Milton has the power to connect generations of people from all across the globe. These connections can be intentional or out of the blue. About two years ago I met another Milton alum in a small town in the middle of New Hampshire. A complete stranger with whom I bonded over the simple fact that Milton Academy held a special place in our hearts and minds. These interactions made me realize that the support we have received from, and given, Milton Academy does not stop after today.

This year the class of 2021, and the whole world really, was blindsided. Our support systems weren’t always available in the same way we have been used to. Our connections were limited. That’s why I’m so happy to be here with you all today. It seems as if it were a lifetime ago that we were able to be together like this. I’m sure all of our families, including mine, are thrilled to be able to support us. My grandfathers are especially excited. Like I said, my grandfathers are tough. Grandpa Kelly watches us from home now as he makes his recovery and Grandpa Bob is sitting right there cheering us on. 

Whether you are watching us on Zoom or sitting here with us today all of us are connected and supported by this school in one way or another. We are all brought here to support the class of 2021. With all that being said I encourage all of you, now that we can, to connect to those around you. Talk about why you are here, who you are supporting, or even just say hello. I know it’s a bit awkward but… let’s all try, me too!

Thank you for doing that.  I know it was odd, a bit unexpected, but hopefully fun! Thank you for taking that risk. Thank you for being here today, whether in person or on zoom. Thank you for supporting my class and me. And thank you Grandpa Kelly and Grandpa Bob.

Thank you.

Speech by Thea Chung ’21

Thank you so much, Ms. Swain. Good morning, faculty, staff, family, friends, and the Class of 2021.

Never did I envision that our graduation would look like this. All of my life, I have watched this annual ritual. My older sister, Malia, and I would scale what we dubbed “the campus climbing tree,” back in the right corner of the quad, and, from our perch, we would watch Mr. Bland distribute every diploma. We would bet on the winner of the sock of quarters––and I know we weren’t the only ones. We would swing from the low branches, humming along to the orchestra’s playing of “Pomp and Circumstance.” And then from our second vantage point of Straus balcony, we would watch the graduates, after the ceremony, hugging teachers, posing for photos, eating and laughing together. Someday, it would be our turn, we thought. However, Malia graduated last year in a virtual ceremony, with awkward moments of long silences and unmuted parents, and here we are today. 

That’s right. I’m a lifer. As a child of two Upper-School English teachers, I have experienced home and school as one in the same since the day I was born and arrived home to Hathway House. Since then I have lived in four different faculty homes, have been taught by over 70 faculty members, and have proudly graduated from the Junior Building, Greenleaf, and Ware Hall. I raised monarch butterflies with Mrs. McGuinness in the third grade. I dissected owl pellets with Mr. Shrager in fourth grade. And I humiliated myself playing the “Fiddler on the Roof” in fifth grade. Yes, I literally fiddled on a roof in itchy slacks, an overcoat, and a peddler’s hat, playing horribly out of tune. In the high school, I got crushed by upperclassmen in the glow dance mosh pit, I drank obscene amounts of hot chocolate on Nobles day, and I cheered my heart out at every Dance Concert. 

This prevalent––and sometimes insufferable––overlap between home and school for me has always made it so clear, so literal, just how messy education really is: our home values and identities, our social lives and emotional lives, spill into the classroom. In turn, our classroom discoveries collide with the worlds beyond, shifting how we think about our lived experience. This year, the world of Zoom encapsulated this intersection, as our classrooms moved intimately into our homes. In the midst of this overlap and mess, we somehow grew up.

And growing up right now feels like true chaos. A global pandemic has killed over 3.75 million people and changed, perhaps forever, our ideas of togetherness. In an election year, the pandemic heightened a misinformation campaign from leadership. We repeatedly watched political narrative dispute scientific fact, recklessly risking human life. Meanwhile the Coronavirus exacerbated the racial and class inequities within this country. We have also witnessed persistent police brutality against black and brown communities, and repeated instances of Asian-hate and anti-semitism, standing as proof again and again of systemic oppressions. While some of our BIPOC peers, faculty, and staff carry the collective pain of their communities, exhausted from everyday racism and from the burden of educating others, we have fallen into more fracture. Instability and uncertainty have defined our last year of education and will define our near future. 

And as a class, we have lost time together––in dorm common rooms, in Straus, on the quad––time unmasked, that we needed to really know each other. So I find myself today, asking the question, how do we celebrate in a moment like this? Our urge to honor our accomplishments and to transition out of Milton is inevitably tempered by concern about the world we will enter.

Yet, maybe this instability and this uncertainty have even better equipped us to take our next step beyond Milton. Class of 2021, look at the people around you. I mean, we’re still standing! This year forced us to discover creative ways to persist even when we were at our most vulnerable. In fact, through this vulnerability, maybe even because of this vulnerability, we found ways to connect with each other, to cobble together a shared year out of a lot of mess.

All of us have experienced moments of expected and unexpected connection with each other––virtual and in–person, at school and from home. At our three Beatnik open mic nights this year, we gathered––musicians, writers, artists––and celebrated each others’ work, supporting performers through the sometimes rowdy Zoom chat and quieting the noise of busy Milton for a while. At all hours of the day, emails for club meetings, hackathons, The Milton Paper and Milton Measure, thousands of peer groups, and virtual parties with DJ Will flooded our inboxes, valiant efforts to create communities in spite of our distance. Putting on productions through the shared love of performing arts, the cast and crew members of dance concert, “High School Musical,” and “Into the Woods,” to name a few, demonstrated incredible innovation, as they premiered virtual and intimate in-person shows. Sports teams found ways to bond, enduring masks through excessive sprints and short seasons with little competition. As the weather warmed, the quad came alive, once again populated with friends, music, food trucks, Connect Four, and of course many Wolcott spikeball nets. Though we all needed some time to relearn social skills, we rediscovered the joys of talking over each other without the Zoom delay and laughing in each others’ presence. We built times and spaces to enjoy each other, even when the year seemed rigged against us, even when the mess sometimes felt like too much. 

And out of our efforts to connect with each other comes much more than enjoyment. 

Last spring, Black Lives Matter protests erupted across the globe in response to the murder of George Floyd, turning our attention to an epidemic of grief and anger. I wanted to be part of this fight for justice. Mr. Nobles, my photography teachers, emailed, asking for help designing a project to document the protests. 

Our photo team of four arrived at our first protest on Blue Hills Parkway, at the intersection of racially segregated neighborhoods. Masks tightly secured and clipboards in hand, we approached everyone we could, asking permission to take their portraits. / People came in waves, and we worked fast. Over the next three months, we attended five protests in the Boston area, taking portraits of over 250 protesters eager to bear witness to this moment. Every walk of person and every shade of emotion entered my viewfinder. 

Through a viewfinder, the momentary relationship between a subject and a photographer is intimate and intense. The social distance closes, and the subject is quiet, candid, exposed. At these protests, I felt a deep sense of responsibility to capture honesty, to photograph truths. I could see in my subjects how anger fights with hope, messy and undeniable, and I believed that our portraits, if carefully composed, could communicate this emotional collision. 

Photographing these activists, I could suddenly see that human connection, direct and intimate, makes the case for why intellectual work, creative and academic, matters at all. While scientific data often justifies the need for change, the truths of human experience force us to ask ethical questions and resist single solutions. Covid-19 has challenged scientists to develop a vaccine faster than ever, but human experience asks us to reckon with the disease’s disproportionate impact on black and brown communities. Demographic data identifies patterns surrounding police violence, but George Floyd’s pleas to breathe take people into the streets. And so the human connection we all fought so hard to find this year has a profound reward. When we connect with intention, we grow to care about each other and thus feel accountable to one another.

Accountability is a constant conversation this year on campus in the context of not only the pandemic but also economic and racial equity. But perhaps too often we demand accountability without requiring of ourselves the connections that lay the foundation for it. When we work to connect with the complex lives of human beings, across different identities, we are more likely to be moved to make those lives healthy, just, and whole. 

In the Class of 2021, we have so many leaders, guiding us in shaping a world we are determined to see, a movement of change fueled by accountability. Jana encourages us to engage as young agents of change. George leads us in climate activism on campus. Walker challenges us to openly examine gender. Bella inspires us to speak out against systemic oppression. They, and so many of us, in public but also personal ways, have held us all responsible for initiating community-based change. Furthermore, when we choose that seeking moments of connection is at the heart of leadership, we all become leaders. And when I think about how daunting it feels to head out into this current messy world, I realize that I feel really hopeful in the hands of our generation. 

So, no, graduation doesn’t look the same as it did when I swung from the limbs of that tree as a little girl. And no longer am I just a spectator. We are now the ones observed by siblings, by grandparents, friends, teachers, waiting for us to leap from the tree, eager to see what we will do, who and how we will choose to be. Milton and the chaotic events of this world have asked us to adjust in the face of change and the unpredictable––have taught us, if we embrace the lesson, how to be better to each other. And maybe by the time I’m back at this quad for my younger sister Siri’s graduation in 2028, I know we will find the world a little better than when we stepped off this stage on the day we graduated. 

Thank you.

Speech by Dr. Meika Neblett ’90

“Wade in the water,

Wade in water, children,

Wade in the water.

God’s gonna trouble the water.”

This is an old slave song, used to guide slaves to the path of freedom on the Underground Railroad. The slaves were supposed to wade in the waters to dull their scent, so that they would evade the hunting dogs on their trail. The refrain “God’s gonna trouble the water” could represent the difficult path that the slaves were about to face, but the song was reminding them: Stay strong and remain steady, because you are not alone.

OK, where am I going? you may ask. In thinking about this speech today, I couldn’t help but hear music. Milton was such a musical place, we sang in chorus in Lower School, participated in talent shows, produced many musicals, sang at morning assembly, sang on the quad, in a cappella groups, and in bands.

Considering what we have all been through the past year, this song came to mind. We’ve had some rather tumultuous waters lately: COVID, political unrest, Black lives at stake, and lots of violence here and abroad. I am not trying to compare your path or your life to that of the slaves. But—stay with me here—I want you to know that you have the tools and the power to make it through any storm, no matter what you may find in your journey. Your senior year was not typical. It was not filled with parties, dances, and not even a traditional prom. Nevertheless, you have become stronger and learned a lot about what you are capable of.

On a happier note, 2020 wasn’t all bad. Wearing sweatpants and tees became fashionable; my favorite pastime was practicing Tik Tok dances; we all gained weight, but we learned how to cook; we busied ourselves with games like “the floor is lava.” We learned to better appreciate the selfless dedication of truck drivers, grocery stockers, toilet paper factory workers, and teachers. Many racist and confederate monuments toppled. And we voted into office the most diverse government America has ever had with 124 lawmakers who identify as Black, Hispanic, Asian/Pacific Islander, Native American, LGBTQ—and, of course, we have our first female, Black and Indian Vice President of the United States.

I am a Black female physician executive, I lean in and sit at the table, but I had an advantage. I’m a Milton Girl.

I want to thank the Board of Trustees, Head of School Bland, and the student selection committee for inviting me here today to speak. It is truly an honor. Today, I want to tell you a little about myself and hope that you take one piece of my story with you.

My father grew up in projects in Brooklyn, and my mother grew up in a working-class family here in Boston. They wanted two kids, a house in the suburbs with a white picket fence, and they wanted us to attend Milton. My parents knew that attending Milton would afford my brother and me a good education and lifelong meaningful connections. And Milton did that and much more. Many of you read my story in Milton Magazine, but just to recap: I live in South Jersey with my husband and two dogs, I am a trained ER doctor and Chief Medical Officer of the hospital. I am honored to be here speaking to you today. I mean it when I say that Milton taught me everything I needed to know and raised me to be the woman I am today. I learned confidence, discipline, respect, and an unshakable work ethic.

I spent 13 transformative years at Milton. My entrance exam was a puzzle, and I nailed it!

Kindergarten started my reign of female superiority. As a 5-year-old, I decided I was in charge of recess, and as we were let out into the field I would yell, “Half past kissing time, girls chase boys!” (or “boys chase girls,” depending upon my mood) and with that command, all of the kindergarteners would run around chasing each other for 30 minutes, until we were exhausted and ready for naptime.

Seventh grade was my neon period, which never really made a good comeback. I did have neon pink corduroy pants and socks to match.

By ninth grade, I was hanging out on the Quad playing hacky sack, listening to classmates play guitar. I was busy on the speech team, and I spent most of my free time on the courts playing varsity tennis.

In tenth grade, I made friendships that have lasted for 30 years with Sarah, Lily, Dierdre, and Roxana. Four brilliant, unique, successful, and wonderful Milton women.

In 12th grade, I must say that I had the best week of my life. It included senior ditch day, my birthday, a Madonna concert, and Graduation, with many parties to follow (I did also get stung by a bee and ended up in the hospital for a few hours, but it was such a good week, I choose to forget that part).

Just like my parents wanted for me, Milton has afforded me the amazing life that I’ve had. I must admit that I haven’t had many struggles. Maybe that makes me naïve or lucky, or maybe I just didn’t see challenges as struggle, but as another mountain to climb, and I knew I had the tools to climb it.

In no particular order, over the past 30 years:

I practiced medicine all over the world—delivered babies in Zimbabwe, treated gunshot wound victims in South Africa, and traveled to Ghana on a medical mission delivering care to the poor.

I’ve done some unique things. I flew to Brazil for a yoga retreat, was featured on the Oprah show for a makeover, and worked with gorillas in Atlanta—collecting semen samples for an infertility study.

I trusted my instincts and left a job when I reached the glass ceiling and left a husband when I wasn’t treasured. 

I never backed down from a challenge. I worked in the emergency department on September 11, 2001, caring for traumatized people as they walked over the Brooklyn bridge, overwhelmed and covered in ash; worked in the ED during Superstorm Sandy with water past my knees; I have marched for exploited women, marched against the war, marched for abortion rights, and marched for Black lives.

Medicine has filled most of my life. I’ve seen and touched a beating heart, I’ve done surgery on a brain, I taken things out of places I’m not allowed to discuss right now, I’ve cried with many families, I’ve stopped at car accidents, answered the call on airplanes, and I still remember my first cadaver dissection in medical school, and I love the smell of formalin in the morning.

I was once told I was not good enough to be a doctor just because I am Black. But little did they know I’m a Milton girl.

I want to leave you with five words of advice

  1. You don’t have to choose who you are today; you don’t have to be or do just one thing, you don’t have to declare your college major before the semester begins. Mental ambidexterity is sexy; reinvent yourself as many times as you want, mix art and science, work locally and globally. It’s not “What will you do?” It’s “What can’t you do?” And note there is nothing you can’t do. You are intellectual emulsifiers, and you accept no boundaries for yourselves or others.
  2. Don’t bother with work you don’t believe in any more than you would a lover you’re not crazy about. Resist the easy comforts of complacency, the glitter of materialism, the paralysis of self-satisfaction, and the narcissistic need for praise.
  3. Be worthy of the advantages and opportunities you have been granted. The fulfilling life, the distinctive life, the relevant life, is an achievement. It’s not something that will fall into your lap because you’re a nice person.
  4. Climb the mountain and admire the view—as you look for the next mountain to climb. Remember you are not climbing so the world can see you, you are climbing to see what you are capable of.
  5. You alone are not special. We all are, together. Go out and be great, lead purpose driven lives, lead extraordinary lives.

And if one day, you, too, are invited to come back here to Milton to this very spot to share your story, consider yourself lucky. I do.

Class of 2021 Graduates

Stephanie Abrego Diez, Dorchester, MA
Ellie Casner Ackerman, Westwood, MA
Manuella Mia Wangari Adriko, Kampala, Uganda
Buket Aktas, Milton, MA
Chiemerie Somgolie Akunyili, Clarksburg, MD
Grace Elizabeth Albright, Milton, MA
Devon Reese Alperin, Swampscott, MA
Carlos Roberto Alvarado Jr., Chelsea, MA
Jana Amin, Milton, MA
Max Jordan Andrade, Dartmouth, MA
Ajay Krishna Anisetti, Canton, MA
Chloe Palmer Atkinson, Boston, MA
Lydia Meryem Atkinson, Boston, MA
Emmanuel Aweke, Norwood, MA
Cameron Jordan Babio, Framingham, MA
Colin Davis Baker, Newton, MA
Samuel Hayes Barrett, Hingham, MA
Jack Ryan Beauchesne, Chelmsford, MA
Samantha Hoit Bevins, Hingham, MA
Jack Henry Blais, Milton, MA
Jehan Crowther Boer, Atlanta, GA
Benjamin Amory Botvinick, Philadelphia, PA
Phoebe Jean Ann Boyce, Gloucester, MA
Caroline Bliss Bragg, Brookline, MA
Jasper d’Ablemont Burnes, Boston, MA
Oscar Finlay Burnes, Boston, MA
Diego Omondi Buyu, Boston, MA
Kate Cabrera, Boston, MA
Yingdong Cai, Quincy, MA
Jonathan Pengcheng Cao, Southborough, MA
Mitchell Alexander Cassella, Madison, NJ
Bernard James Cassidy IV, Seattle, WA
Madeleine Elenore Cesaretti, Jacksonville, FL
Victoria Nicole Choo, Hingham, MA
Kenza Chraibi, Marrakech, Morocco
Thea Ellis Chung, Milton, MA
Oliver Paul Clarke, Somerville, MA
Timothy Michael Colledge, Milton, MA
John Preston Crawford, Marblehead, MA
Alexander Wilder Crosier, Wellesley, MA
Jack Steven Darling, Milton, MA
Grace Trynin Denneen, Watertown, MA
Rosemary Natalie Di Troia, Cambridge, MA
Fatou Binetou Diaw, Bay Shore, NY
William Henry DiGiovanni, Milton, MA
Mikhail Alexeevich Dmitrienko, Holliston, MA
Garrett Franklin Doherty, Boxford, MA
Kate Madison Donovan-Maher, Hanover, MA
Ava Lucinda Parmele DuBois, Stonington, CT
Olivia Fairweather Dumont, Newbury, MA
Tanisha Jud-Yannie Dunac, Jamaica, NY
Eliza Phillips Dunn, Hingham, MA
Isabelle Claudia Dupré, Wellesley, MA
Oliver John Eielson, Boston, MA
Erica Erdenesanaa, Milton, MA
Kiley O’Connor Erickson, Duxbury, MA
Bill Damas Eugene, Boston, MA
Dashiell Lyle Evett, Arlington, MA
Youssef Asser Ezzo, Cairo, Egypt
Joseph Philip Fadule, Wellesley, MA
Yutian Fan, Quincy, MA
Weihu Fang, Beijing, China
Aidan Charles Farwell, Randolph, MA
Richard Bates Fearey, Duxbury, MA
Kathryn Choi Fernandopulle, Milton, MA
Madeline Claire Fitzgibbon, Milton, MA
Clare Margaret Foster, Milton, MA
James Peter Fox, Cohasset, MA
Jace Roger Fuller, Milton, MA
Gianna Rose Gallagher, Milton, MA
Nathaniel Robert Garrett, Duxbury, MA
Charlotte Faye Gilson, Sharon, MA
Brian Patrick Glennon, Hingham, MA
Carson Noble Glew, Boston, MA
Ian Elliott Clarkson Glick, Brookline, MA
Danielle Jeanne Golden, Chestnut Hill, MA
Clara Rodrigues Gonsalves, Stoughton, MA
Colby Parks Gonser, Medfield, MA
Sophia Lloy Vijayarani Hack, Milton, MA
Norman Walker Harris, Milton, MA
Conner Michael Hartman, Canton, MA
Elizabeth Pendleton Hartnick, Boston, MA
Perry Catarina Heredia, Iowa City, IA
Devin Jane Hill, Edgartown, MA
Ethan Michael Hillenberg, Groton, MA
Lucy Ames Hirschfeld, Brookline, MA
Benjamin Morris Hitt, Milton, MA
Jeanette Bell Hitt, Scituate, MA
Emily Chuan Hong, Shanghai, China
Yee June Hwang, Seongnam, South Korea
Aydin Nawfel Jay, Boxford, MA
Nicholas Van Johnson, Hyde Park, MA
Ablai Kabash, Almaty, Kazakhstan
Nina Pal Kathiresan, Newton, MA
Henry Christie Keohan, Hingham, MA
Lawrence Sungwon Kim, Daegu, Korea
Shannon Na-yun Kim, Seoul, South Korea
Hubert Patton King, Caldwell, NJ
Anne On Kiu Kwok, Hong Kong
Kai Louis Lannon, Orleans, MA
Alyssa Lao, Chelsea, MA
Jason Lee, Seoul, South Korea
Jeffrey J. Lee, San Jose, CA
Constance Scholastique Marie Yulin Legrand, Shanghai, China
Jae Yoon Lim, Seoul, South Korea
Veronika Claire Lin, Palo Alto, CA
Aaron Lin Lockhart, Brookline, MA
Isabella Rae’Nell Lora, Newark, NJ
Madelyn Ann MacDonald, Newbury, MA
Zoe Jacqueline Malouf, Milton, MA
Pedro Mateo Mateo, Immokalee, FL
Kayla Ashley Mathieu, Milton, MA
Eloïse Annis Spencer Maybank, London, United Kingdom
Eleni Grace Mazareas, Nahant, MA
Garvin John McLaughlin, Milton, MA
Samuel Lawrence McNulty, Cambridge, MA
Elizabeth Scott Meeks, East Hampton, NY
Maya Metri, Weymouth, MA
Kimia Naraka Mohyeddin, Wappingers Falls, NY
Luke Henry Monnich, Hingham, MA
Anthony Mora, Quincy, MA
Alexandra Ryan Morse, Milton, MA
Luca Benjamin Mostofi, Milton, MA
Elina Nicole Mraz, Duxbury, MA
Phoebe Thompson Mugford, Cambridge, MA
Eleanor Martignetti Murphy, Hingham, MA
Zachariah David Neri, Shanghai, China
Jalen Ethan Muiruri Nixon, Haverhill, MA
Ella Marie O’Hanlon, Milton, MA
Michael Farnsworth O’Keefe, Wakefield, MA
Oghenerukevwe Joel Omusi, Ossining, NY
Jonathan Osarumwense Oriakhi, Swampscott, MA
Matthew Edward O’Rourke, Dedham, MA
Maximiliano Ortiz, Chicago, IL
Miranda Grace Paiz, Milton, MA
Nikhil Ashvin Pande, Milton, MA
Sebastian Hyun Park, Chestnut Hill, MA
Alejandro Paulino Jr., Garnerville, NY
Sadie Lynn Pearlstein, Needham, MA
James Sayre Perreault, Boston, MA
Grace Whitney Perryman, South Hamilton, MA
Alexa Kimberly Pil, Vineyard Haven, MA
August Mansfield Powers, Putney, VT
Patrick Joseph Quinlivan, Medway, MA
Zachary Naseem Rahaman, Bronx, NY
Eleanor Clara Powell Raine, Milton, MA
Alexandra Belle Raper, Canton, MA
Eric Joseph Reilly, Dedham, MA
Sofia Alejandra Reynolds, Milton, MA
Ishana Rodriguez, Andover, MA
George Alexander Rose, Belmont, MA
Blessie Herradura Ruelo, Boston, MA
Herbert Anthony Sanders II, Detroit, MI
Austin Benjamin Pelosi Scott, North Conway, NH
Tapti Sen, Uttara, Bangladesh
Nathan Daniel Sicard, Taunton, MA
Casey Ellis Simmons, Milton, MA
Benjamin Robert Simpson, Milton, MA
Charles Sanford Morgan Sloane, Needham, MA
Anna Smirnova, Moscow, Russia
Tanner Timothy Smith, Duxbury, MA
William Armstrong Spencer, Weston, MA
Nathaniel More Stewart, Wellesley, MA
Annabelle Fleming Stoker, Manhattan Beach, CA
Elisenne Jacqueline Stoller, Coral Gables, FL
Jiawei Sun, Shanghai, China
Brandon Yao Tang, Richmond Hill, Canada
Emily Parsons Taylor, Hingham, MA
William Martin van der Veen, Duxbury, MA
Josephine Moon Vogel, Chestnut Hill, MA
Lauren Grace Walker, Needham, MA
Merrick Wallace, Roslindale, MA
Zixiao Wang, Beijing, China
Madeleine Scott Weiler, Milton, MA
Oliver Ralph Weissleder, West Peabody, MA
Christian David Westphal, Brookline, MA
Katherine Davies Wiemeyer, Duxbury, MA
Henry Osgood Wilde, Brookline, MA
Caroline Radford Wilson, Palm Beach, FL
Emma Virginia Wright, Melrose, MA
Florance Yiling Wu, Hong Kong
Ezekiel Kobina Yarboi, Hyde Park, MA
Lynn Yuan, Guiyang, China
Liliana Lanning Day Zavolas, Stow, MA
Dmitriy Zinoviy Zayaruzny, Boylston, MA
Cecilia Witherspoon Zinny, Wellesley, MA



Grace Elizabeth Albright
Devon Reese Alperin
Jana Amin
*Colin Davis Baker
Samantha Hoit Bevins
Caroline Bliss Bragg
Jonathan Pengcheng Cao
Thea Ellis Chung
Alexander Wilder Crosier
Mikhail Alexeevich Dmitrienko
Garrett Franklin Doherty
Eliza Phillips Dunn
Isabelle Claudia Dupré
Joseph Philip Fadule
Ian Elliott Clarkson Glick
Sophia Lloy Vijayarani Hack
Emily Chuan Hong
Lawrence Sungwon Kim
Anne On Kiu Kwok
Constance Scholastique Marie Yulin Legrand
Luke Henry Monnich
Luca Benjamin Mostofi
Eleanor Martignetti Murphy
Matthew Edward O’Rourke
Miranda Grace Paiz
Nikhil Ashvin Pande
Sebastian Hyun Park
Charles Sanford Morgan Sloane
Annabelle Fleming Stoker
Brandon Yao Tang
Emily Parsons Taylor
Madeleine Scott Weiler
Christian David Westphal
Cecilia Witherspoon Zinny

* elected to Cum Laude in 2020

The Head of School Award is presented each year to honor and celebrate certain members of Class I for their demonstrated spirit of self-sacrifice, community concern, leadership, integrity, fairness, kindliness, and respect for others.

Chiemerie Somgolie Akunyili
Jana Amin
Diego Omondi Buyu
Tanisha Jud-Yannie Dunac
Ian Elliott Clarkson Glick
Pedro Mateo Mateo
Kayla Ashley Mathieu
Sebastian Hyun Park
Emma Virginia Wright
Ezekiel Kobina Yarboi

To the Headmonitors.

Eliza Phillips Dunn
Garvin John McLaughlin

To two students, chosen by their classmates, who have helped most by their sense of duty to perpetuate the memory of a gallant gentleman and officer.

Garrett Franklin Doherty
Isabella Rae’Nell Lora

To a student who has best fulfilled their potential in the areas of intelligence, self-discipline, physical ability, concern for others and integrity.

Ezekiel Kobina Yarboi

Created in 1956 in memory of Frederick Sprague Barbour ’46, Thomas Amory Hubbard ’47, George Cabot Lee, Jr ’47, and Sherrod Emerson Skinner, Jr ’47, who gave their lives for their country and the United Nations. Awarded to students from abroad to enable them to further their education at Milton Academy, and who enrich the Milton community through their participation.

Manuella Mia Wangari Adriko

To students who demonstrate high moral integrity, support classmates, and have established meaningful relationships with peers and faculty. The Millet scholars, by virtue of their character and deeds, are integral members of their class and hold great promise as future leaders.

Perry Catarina Heredia
Isabella Rae’Nell Lora
Pedro Mateo Mateo

Awarded to a student or students in Classes I – IV, who, in working within one of the culture or identity groups at the school, has made an outstanding contribution to the community by promoting the appreciation of that group throughout the rest of the school.

Sophia Lloy Vijayarani Hack
Lynn Yuan

Awarded to the student or students who, in their years at Milton, have shown a dedication to the pursuit of outdoor skills, demonstrated strong leadership, and reached high levels of personal achievement in one or more outdoor activities.

Pedro Mateo Mateo

Established by Dr. and Mrs. Eric Oldberg for students deemed exceptionally proficient or talented in instrumental or vocal music or in composition.

Caroline Bliss Bragg
Sebastian Hyun Park

Awarded in recognition of helpful activity in furthering in the school an interest and joy in music.

Ella Marie O’Hanlon

Awarded in memory of George Oldberg ’54, to members of the school who have been a unique influence in the field of music.

Yutian Fan
Conner Michael Hartman

Awarded to students who have demonstrated genuine curiosity, enthusiasm, as well as remarkable scientific growth in physics, chemistry and/or biology.

Chiemerie Somgolie Akunyili
Colin Davis Baker
Madeleine Elenore Cesaretti
Thea Ellis Chung
Alexander Wilder Crosier
Grace Trynin Denneen
Garrett Franklin Doherty
Bill Damas Eugene
Charlotte Faye Gilson
Ian Elliott Clarkson Glick
Conner Michael Hartman
Nina Pal Kathiresan
Kayla Ashley Mathieu
Miranda Grace Paiz
Sebastian Hyun Park
George Alexander Rose
Charles Sanford Morgan Sloane
Emily Parsons Taylor
Lauren Grace Walker
Oliver Ralph Weissleder
Ezekiel Kobina Yarboi

Awarded in honor of Donald Wales who taught Class IV science for more than 36 years. It recognizes students in Class IV who have consistently demonstrated interest and excitement in science.

Claire Choe
Erika Juhee Drisko
Elena Ferrari
William Harter Clarkson Glick
Miriam Pearlstein
Abigail Jo Rochelle
Shu-Wu Tsai

For pre-eminence in physical efficiency and observance of the code of the true sportsman.

Casey Ellis Simmons

Awarded by the English Department to students who display unusual talent in non-fiction writing.

Jana Amin
Eliza Phillips Dunn
Emily Parsons Taylor
Caroline Radford Wilson

Awarded by the English Department for the best essay about a work or works of literature.

Hannah Hanxi Kotler

Awarded in honor of two English teachers, father and son, to authors of unusual talent in creative writing.

Eliza Phillips Dunn
Anne On Kiu Kwok
Kimia Naraka Mohyeddin
Luke Henry Monnich

To a Class I student who has demonstrated an outstanding attitude and commitment to athletics at Milton. She models exceptional sportsmanship, leadership and dedication, and she serves as an inspiration and role model to her teammates and others.

Josephine Moon Vogel

Awarded to students in Class I who have achieved excellence in the study of mathematics while demonstrating the kind of love of the subject and joy in promoting its understanding which will be the lasting legacy of Donald Duncan’s extraordinary contributions to the teaching of mathematics at Milton.

Colin Davis Baker
Alexander Wilder Crosier
Sophia Lloy Vijayarani Hack
Sebastian Hyun Park
Lauren Grace Walker
Ezekiel Kobina Yarboi

Awarded for unusual contributions of time, energy and ideas in theatre production and in technical assistance throughout a student’s career.

Sophia Lloy Vijayarani Hack

Presented by the Performing Arts Department for outstanding contributions in production work, acting, speech, audiovisuals, and dance throughout a student’s Milton career.

Buket Aktas
Jana Amin
Kate Cabrera
Timothy Michael Colledge
Dashiell Lyle Evett
Clare Margaret Foster
Jace Roger Fuller
Emily Chuan Hong
Alyssa Lao
Phoebe Thompson Mugford
Miranda Grace Paiz
Benjamin Robert Simpson
Madeleine Scott Weiler

Awarded for outstanding contributions to Milton Performing Arts throughout a student’s career in both performance and production.

Miranda Grace Paiz

To a student in her Class I year, recognizing exceptional athletic skill and admirable contributions to her team. This talented athlete demonstrates a strong work ethic and conducts herself with a spirit of teamwork and good sportsmanship.

Kiley O’Connor Erickson

To members of the First Class, who, in Public Speaking and Oral Interpretation, have shown consistent effort, thoroughness of preparation, and concern for others.

Jana Amin Miranda Grace Paiz

Created by his students of 1984 in his memory and honor, this prize in Classics is awarded to the student from Latin 4 or beyond who best exemplifies Mr. Daley’s love of languages.

Kate Madison Donovan-Maher

For self-sacrifice and devotion to the best interests of his teams, regardless of skill.

Pedro Mateo Mateo

To members of the Second Class, outstanding in Mathematics, Astronomy, or Physics.

Sneha Jaiswal
Yanan Jiang
John Matters
Zoe Elizabeth Zimmerman Shleifer
Elizabeth Walton Waterfall
Andy Taiyue Zhang

Established in 1911 and awarded to Class I students who, in their study of history and social sciences, have demonstrated interest, outstanding achievement, respect for others, and a deep curiosity about the human experience.

Jonathan Pengcheng Cao
Perry Catarina Heredia
Yee June Hwang
Nina Pal Kathiresan
Anne On Kiu Kwok

Awarded on the basis of a separate test at each prize level.

Level 5: Hubert Patton King
Level 4: Melany Arielle Hirsch
Level 3: Pankhuri Dayal

Awarded to those students who, in the opinion of the Department, most exhibit the qualities of academic excellence, enthusiastic participation, and support of fellow students, both in and out of class.

Grace Elizabeth Albright
Caroline Bliss Bragg
Ian Elliott Clarkson Glick
Sophia Lloy Vijayarani Hack
Kayla Ashley Mathieu
Luke Henry Monnich
Sebastian Hyun Park
Cecilia Witherspoon Zinny

Awarded for imagination and technical excellence in art and for an independent and creative spirit of endeavor.

Victoria Nicole Choo
Isabelle Claudia Dupré
Dashiell Lyle Evett
Richard Bates Fearey
Jace Roger Fuller
Jeanette Bell Hitt
Eloïse Annis Spencer Maybank
Anna Smirnova
Madeleine Scott Weiler
Liliana Lanning Day Zavolas

Awarded to students for excellence in computer science.

Sebastian Hyun Park
Caroline Radford Wilson

Graduation Speakers

Dr. Meika Tylese Neblett ’90
Physician Executive

Todd Bland
Head of School

Thea Chung ’21

Benjamin Simpson ’21