The commencement for the Class of 2020 was as unique as the school year that preceded it. However, that did not diminish the energy and excitement for the 153 graduates who accepted their diplomas as they crossed the stage located on Dickey Field in front of a socially distant and limited crowd (two guests per graduate). The day was magical for all considering the event marked the first Berkeley Commencement ever held during a pandemic.
The graduates of the Class of 2020 are an impressive group of seniors who were accepted to a combined total of 186 colleges and universities in 38 states, Washington D.C., Canada, Scotland, and the UAE. The class earned over $10 million in scholarships, and 86 percent of the class qualified for the Florida Bright Futures Scholarship program. Fifteen percent of the class earned some designation from the National Merit program, either Semi-Finalist, Finalist, Commended Scholar, or National Hispanic Scholar.
Headmaster Joseph Seivold shared with the graduates, “Berkeley Class of 2020, wow, am I ever proud of you. Your work ethic, your tenacity, your school spirit, and your significant achievements in the arts, athletics, academics, and service has been truly outstanding throughout your time here. And your response to this latest challenge has been incredibly impressive. You've stayed with us, you’ve led, and you finished strong…and I thank you for that.”
On Saturday, Taryn (Schaberg) Sullivan '01, delivered the commencement address
to the seniors and their families in a prerecorded video address. Other highlights from Sunday’s ceremony included a welcome from Edward Kuperman, President of the Student Forum, an amazing musical performance by Emily Barron, Victoria Grills, and Sophia Livingstone, the reading of the class poem by Julia Caterson, and the class oration by Curran Seth, President of the Class of 2020. Measures were taken by the school to ensure the health and safety of all in attendance – from socially distant seats placed six-feet apart, to hand sanitizer under the seats, and an outdoor venue on a warm, sunny morning.