Mayfield Senior School celebrated the Class of 2018, conferring 91 high school diplomas to our newest alumnae, who were praised by Head of School Kate Morin for their extraordinary kindness and ability to build a school community of love, trust and joy.
“We send them forth with pride and gratitude that we can share these powerful young women with others,” Morin said of the graduates. More than 1,400 guests gathered in the cool shade of the North Lawn on Sunday, June 3—parents and friends snapping countless photos of our graduating stars in their white gowns.
The graduates will be attending 56 different colleges and universities throughout the country and abroad, including Bryn Mawr College, Harvard, Loyola Marymount University, Notre Dame, Purdue, Scripps College, UC Berkeley, UCLA, USC and Villanova, among others. Their hard work at Mayfield translated to more than $5 million in scholarships for their college years.
In their final gifts of the heart, the senior class performed 2,500 hours of community service throughout the region in the week leading up to graduation. They served the homeless, tutored at-risk children and volunteered at public elementary schools. As environmental stewards, they raised money throughout the year to leave Mayfield students the gift of a new filtered water fountain outside the locker rooms to refill their water bottles and eliminate plastics on campus.
Senior Class President Carmen Mascarenhas ’18 described her classmates as “confident, capable and fearless.” She said “the world needs Mayfield girls. We must continue to serve others with open hearts and generous spirits.”
Carmen also spoke of the distinct high school memories she and her classmates carry with them. They earned the least amount of points at the first annual Spirit Week Dance-Off Contest, but had the most fun. They made parody rap videos and Vines with their teachers and had a particular fondness for playing the kazoo at inappropriate times. Then they executed a complex and highly successful senior prank—filling 1,200 water balloons, pouring them into the flatbed truck of Dean of Students Steve Bergen and pelting him in a massive water fight.
These are our beloved Cubs, high school girls at heart.
Yet Carmen spoke to the core of their education, their excellent, caring teachers who exemplify our Holy Child philosophy that values the uniqueness and gifts of every girl.
“They chose to regard us by our capabilities and potential of our minds and talent rather than limiting their expectations because of our age,” Carmen said. “They showed us what it meant for our choices and action to have consequences, but also made us appreciate the beauty and mercy of a second chance...they have has such an impact on who we are.”
To parents, Carmen thanked them on behalf of the class for their “unconditional love, patience and support” and the sacrifices they made to send them to Mayfield.
Mrs. Morin followed up, explaining from her perspective that the Class of 2018 will be known for its kindness and tenderness. She said not to think of these qualities as wimpy or trite.
“I would argue that the power of kindness is beyond measure,” she said. “It is what holds our community together making us feel that we belong. Even more it is the hope of our wounded world.”
In an evening of wise advice and expressions of gratitude, commencement speaker Lauren Marks ’98 highlighted the importance of resilience.
Lauren stood before our graduates as an inspiring role model and an accomplished author, speaker and award-winning creative artist. At age 27, an aneurysm ruptured in her brain leaving her with a condition called aphasia, which robbed her of her language skills. She chronicled her courageous journey of recovery in a fascinating book entitled A Stitch of Time.
She spoke on three themes that can powerfully shape lives: failure, compassion and curiosity.
Lauren told the graduates that failures will mold their success. “There is no such thing as success without a failure. Failure is just another word for experiment.”
Compassion for others, but especially compassion for one’s self will drive success. Try to turn off the negative inner voice, she said. Finally, she told graduates to “reframe moments of self doubt with curiosity and wonder...Curiosity helps us find meaning in the meaningless—and a direct line to our own senses of purpose.”
Beyond the words of encouragement, Mrs. Morin and girls have this little inside joke, a saying that they tend to repeat at assemblies and school gatherings with a chuckle. At their graduation ceremony Carmen repeated the adage for the last time.
“You are Mayfield girls,” Carmen said. Then, echoing Mrs. Morin’s phrase, she concluded: “And all Mayfield girls are good girls.”
Congratulations to our beloved Class of 2018!