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An independent, college preparatory school, grades Transitional Kindergarten through 12

Providence Day School Graduates 145 Seniors During 44th Commencement Ceremony
Posted 06/01/2018 01:01PM

The Class of 2018 has officially become alumni of Providence Day School.

Dr. Glyn Cowlishaw, Head of School, welcomed students, families and guests to the 44th commencement ceremony, honoring the 145-member Class of 2018, in the Mosack Athletic Center June 2.

Dr. Chris Mullis ’90, Board of Trustees chair and founder and chief executive officer of NorthStar Capital Advisor, told the graduates he was proud of and excited for the Class of 2018.

“Your successes have been well documented — an array of impressive college destinations, triumphant performances on the athletic fields and dazzling performances on the stage, and, of course, sustained daily excellence in the classroom,” he said.

“You are also the class that boasts a U.S. Presidential Scholar and two Morehead-Cain scholars — that is a trio of awards that is unlikely to be matched by any high school, anywhere,” he added.

Ronak Bhagia was named Valedictorian and Katie Groenhout was named Salutatorian. Caroline Beason 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.

Dr. Cowlishaw presented Tracy Laughlin with 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.

The Commencement address was given by Cathy Bessant, parent of graduating senior Hayden Clay and Meredith Clay ’14, and Bank of America’s chief operations and technology officer.

“Congratulations to the members of the Providence Day School graduating Class of 2018,” she said. “I love knowing so many of you so well and for so long. You are a fantastic group of seniors and we are all so proud of you.”

Bessant told the graduates that despite the many paths their lives may take, they “have been and will always be Chargers. Congratulations. Make it count.”

Bessant commended the faculty and administration.

“These graduates are the sum of your amazing brain power, skill and thoughtfulness and caring,” she said. “We are a family ... because of your work and your love.”

Bessant also praised the graduates’ parents.

“This is also your success we are celebrating today. Your dedication and guidance and support and constant love are what brought us successfully to today,” she said.

The senior class left a parting gift — an art installation designed by members of the Class of 2018 that will live in the new Academic Center, commemorating the students’ memories in the former ‘west wing.’

During the event, art teacher Andrea Downs and Admissions associate director Jesse Downs created a graphic recording — a real-time visual summary of the ceremony highlighting the speeches and significant moments. The board will be displayed on campus throughout the year and at Class of 2018 reunion events.

Watch a video recap of the ceremony.

Here is a look at the Class of 2018, by the numbers.

-- 145 seniors.

-- The Class of 2018 earned 517 acceptances to 162 schools in 36 states, the District of Columbia and three foreign countries.

-- Students will attend a record 80 different colleges and universities in 27 states, the District of Columbia, Scotland and United Arab Emirates.

-- 32 percent of the class will attend in-state schools 68 percent will attend out-of-state schools.

-- A separate Global Studies Diploma is being awarded to 24 seniors who completed additional curriculum requirements. PDS was the first school in the nation to offer such a distinction.

-- 92 percent of the seniors were offered merit scholarships or honors program opportunities, with an earned scholarship amount of $10.7 million.

-- There were 10 National Merit Scholarship Finalists and 17 Commended Scholars.

-- 19 seniors will be participating in NCAA intercollegiate sports.

-- The Class of 2018 includes 45 “lifers” — students who have attended PDS since at least the 1st grade — and 89 National Honor Society members.

-- The Class of 2018’s median cumulative GPA is 3.83, mean SAT score is 1360 (national mean is 1060) and mean ACT score is 28.3 (national mean is 20.8).

-- 138 seniors (95 percent of the class) took at least one AP class during their high school careers.

-- The Valedictorian is Ronak Bhagia who will attend University of Pennsylvania. The Salutatorian is Katie Groenhout, who will attend Georgia Institute of Technology.

— The recipient of the Head of School Award is Caroline Beason, who will attend George Washington University.

— The recipient of King Constantine Medal is Tracy Laughlin, who will attend UNC-Chapel Hill.

For more info on Commencement, visit www.providenceday.org/commencment.

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