On May 28, 2021,150 members of the Class of 2021 became the newest alumni of Providence Day School in a ceremony held outdoors on the Overcash Stadium field.
“As I think about this year’s Providence Day senior class, I am filled with appreciation, pride, and quite frankly, awe,” said Dr. Chris Mullis ‘90, Chair of the Providence Day School Board of Trustees, in his welcoming remarks. “You each called upon strength and resolve that you didn’t know you had 15 months ago, qualities that will continue to support you, no matter how far you roam from this great campus.”
Commencement Speaker Shawn Smith ‘88 also offered words of encouragement. “You’ve dealt with seemingly insurmountable circumstances – a worldwide pandemic, finding new ways to study, interact with your friends, manage your time, and take part in school activities. I’m certain at times, all you wanted to do was sleep in or take the day off,” he said. “You will face adversity and failure in your life. Whether in college, at work, with family…failure is a part of life. It is how you choose to deal with it that makes the difference. You can do it! Don’t give up!”
Graduates walked the stage to receive their diploma after recognizing many of their members:
--6 National Merit Finalists and 16 Commended Students
--105 members of the National Honor Society
--24 Global Studies Diploma recipients
--60 “lifers” who attended since at least first grade
--6 legacy graduates whose parents are also PD alumni
The ceremony also recognized many award winners, including Valedictorian John Smith and Salutatorian Caroline Sicard. Katerina Peroulos won the Head of School Award, given to a student who exemplifies the school’s mission — a passion for learning, a commitment to personal integrity, and a sense of social responsibility.
Kate Carlson won the King Constantine Medal, an international award in recognition of the spirit of service, given to a student from every Round Square member school who has helped promote and support the ideals of Round Square International at that school.
And Brian Li, a Middle School mathematics teacher who has been at PD for 17 years, will now hold the Downing/Williams Endowed Chair of Teaching Excellence for the 2021-22 academic year. The honor was established in 2018 with the philanthropic support of Nancy and Bruce Downing, parents of Yates ‘12; Charlotte ‘14; Tommy ‘17; and Michael ‘19. Endowed Chairs are synonymous with exceptional faculty and teaching excellence. The chair is awarded to a full-time faculty member who will hold this high distinction for one academic year. The recipient receives a stipend and professional development award.