Congratulations to the Berkeley Class of 2017

A rainy Sunday afternoon certainly didn’t dampen the spirits of hundreds of family members, friends and alumni from celebrating the 127 newest Berkeley Preparatory School graduates of the Class of 2017 on June 4. This amazing group of young men and women were accepted to a combined total of 175 colleges and universities in 33 states, the District of Columbia, Canada, Germany and the Netherlands. The class earned over $9 million in scholarships and 87 percent of the class qualified for the Florida Bright Futures Scholarship Program. The class includes an impressive 23 National Merit honorees.

Marty Baron ’72, delivered an inspiring commencement address to the graduates sharing, “When I look back to my days as editor of the Fanfare, Berkeley was a fabulous preparation point for my career.” Today, as the Executive Editor of the Washington Post, Baron is regarded among the most influential journalistic leaders in the world. His editorial teams at some of the most distinguished newspapers in the country have garnered Pulitzer Prizes and even been portrayed in an Academy Award-winning film (Spotlight) for their investigative reporting.

“The right thing isn’t always the obvious thing,” he told the graduates about their pursuit to make a positive difference in the world. “You will need a spine…and you must consult your moral compass. They will help you though life’s most trying moments. One person really can make a difference. If you can, you should.”

Headmaster Joseph Seivold, who earlier accepted the class gift from Sean Nguyen, enthusiastically addresses the graduates by challenging them to consider, “How will you contribute to the betterment of our society? Find what matters to you,” he said. He added that they do not have to have the answers now and explained that their Berkeley education enables them to evaluate that question in search of the right answer.

Highlights of the day included a spirited welcome from Van Pittman, President of the Student Forum, an uplifting duet by Shaila Ghanekar and Anjali Shah, the reading of the class poem by Jennifer Luo, and the class oration by Kevin Kim, President of the Class of 2017.

Hundreds gathered for a post-commencement celebration in the Berkeley Café, where family and friends congratulated the graduates, snapped photos and wished future successes.


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