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Mayfield honors traditions and embraces new hopes for the Class of 2020

In a year of radical change, Mayfield creatively reimagined our cherished rites of passage for graduating seniors, honoring old traditions, while embracing new ways of celebrating.

With typical commencement celebrations out of the question for Class of 2020, Mayfield orchestrated individual mini-ceremonies for each of our 77 seniors over the course of five days. The girls wore their white gowns and gloves, carried their red roses and received their Holy Child medallions. They even did their own solo versions of the iconic rose petal toss! 
Students and their families sat down together on Sunday, June 7 for a virtual “watch party” of their official commencement video, a 90-minute compilation of each student's diploma presentation and traditional commencement speeches.

But the beauty of the proceedings didn’t ignore the history being made around this graduating class. Students and their parents arrived on campus wearing face masks as COVID-19 cases continued to increase in Southern California. Some families had to reschedule their celebration sessions as Los Angeles County imposed curfews in the wake of citywide social justice protests.But this class wasn’t disheartened by their senior-year curve balls—they were strengthened and energized. 

“Each member of this class has a passion and drive because of Mayfield.” Senior Class President Paloma Torres ’20 said in her commencement speech. “We were taught ‘Actions Not Words,’ thus we are a class that is globally minded, aware of our responsibility to use the voice and the privilege that we have been blessed with. And with that, we create a better world.”

Head of School Kate Morin said she knew this group of girls would make their mark on Mayfield when she first met them as ninth graders: “In my many long years as an educator, spending most of my waking hours thinking about and delighting in teenagers, I have never been as touched and inspired more than I have been by this group of girls.”

In the lead-up to graduation, students welcomed new versions of several beloved senior-year traditions. Instead of celebrating the mother daughter Senior Tea in historic Strub Hall, Mayfield faculty and staff delivered a tea-for-two care package to each student’s home, so moms and students could still share this special moment together. Our annual college car decorating day, which is usually a communal laugh-fest in the Senior parking lot, transformed into a jubilant car parade through campus, where students were cheered on by mask-wearing faculty and staff, spaced at six-foot intervals along the route.

“I really am grateful for how Mayfield kept up with all their traditions,” said Fiona Pan ’20. “It made us feel like still part of the family even though we are apart.”

Mayfield also commemorated this special group of seniors with personalized yard signs and Mayfield felt pennants, as well as more intangible mementos, like the Class of 2020 teacher tribute page, where each senior received a personal note from a faculty member and their “Little Sister,” in addition to a digital message board, filled to the brim with messages of encouragement from alumnae and other members of our Mayfield family.

Mrs. Morin praised the girls, who faced every challenge they met this year with grace. “The Class of 2020 shows us what the future could look like. It is filled with kindness, openness, understanding, inclusion, and respect. It is filled with love.”
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Established in 1931, Mayfield Senior School in Pasadena, CA is a Catholic, independent, college preparatory school for young women grades 9-12. Noted for its rigorous academic program, which includes 21 Advanced Placement and Honors courses, Mayfield’s curriculum is underscored by a philosophy of educating the “whole child,” which also encourages commitment to and excellence in the arts, athletics, community service and spiritual growth. The nurturing environment at Mayfield Senior School allows each student to flourish in an atmosphere of personal attention.