On a beautiful Friday morning, members of the senior class of received their diplomas and bid farewell to what is now their alma mater. The procession began with a rendition of The Zombies “This Will Be Our Year,” sung by the class and a welcoming speech from John Moriarty, president of the Board of Trustees and Richard Hardy, head of the school. Studen Body President John Murchison recognized the faculty and staff departures and anniversaries.
Senior Class President Pauly Daniel gave the introduction to commencement speaker, U.S. Poet Laureate 1997-2000 Robert Pinksy. Pinsky, a father of a Concord Academy grad, read poem written by Michelangelo to Giovanni da Pistoia entitled “When the Author Was Painting the Vault of the Sistine Chapel." The poem offers an agonizing and humble dose of reality, written from the perspective of a struggling Michelangelo in the midst of discomfort and self-doubt while painting one of the greatest works of art ever crafted by man.
“People don’t want simple pleasure in life,” Pinksy said. “They want difficulty. We want to master tasks that are infinitely difficult.”
Pinksy said the way humans, not very strong, fast, inadequate defenses etc. have survived is, “because our claws and our teeth are weak, we tell stories across generations.” Pinksy concluded with a reading of William Carlos Williams’ “Dedication to a Plot of Ground” and congratulated the graduating class.
Richard Hardy then awarded the diplomas in random order, as is tradition. As also is tradition, the last recipient of their diploma also received a sock filled with money. Once the student body received their diplomas, they stood to face the audience and sang “Concord, Concord.”