The Class of 2018 received their diplomas during graduation exercises on June 13 at Christ Church with families and the entire school community present to celebrate their success. Head of School John M. Botti, President of the Board of Trustees Valda M. Witt, and Head of Upper School James E. Reynolds presided over the awarding of the diplomas.
Ekene M. Duruaku '18, president of the Upper School Student Council, extended best wishes to his fellow graduates and was pleased to announce that members of the senior class raised more than $3,000 to be allocated toward the purchase of a new Browning flag and American flag, both of which will fly proudly above the School’s red doors.
He added, "I am proud to announce that George Grimbilas, Jackson Richter, George Stavropoulos, Caleb Sussman, Grant Thompson and I will serve as the Class Representatives for the Class of 2018. We will act as liaisons between our class and the School, reporting news and happenings to the Alumni Office and encouraging classmates to attend alumni events and support Browning."
Mr. Reynolds introduced the guest speaker, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Gilbert King whose book, “Devil in the Grove: Thurgood Marshall, the Groveland Boys, and the Dawn of a New America,” was awarded the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for general nonfiction. Mr. King is also the author of “The Execution of Willie Francis: Race, Murder, and the Search for Justice in the American South” and “Beneath a Ruthless Sun: A True Story of Violence, Race, and Justice Lost and Found.” In his remarks, Mr. Gilbert described his career path – which veered from photographer, to writer, to a combination of both – and emphasized that his innate curiosity and hunger for knowledge informed his achievements.
During the graduation exercises, awards and recognition were also given to faculty members. The Grytte Yearbook was dedicated to Mr. Reynolds, who departs Browning at the end of June after 12 years of service to the School. Middle and Upper School Learning Specialist Kristen Sheppard was honored by the staff of the Lit, a student publication, and also received the Class of 1979 Faculty Award in Honor of Clair J. Smith. The Browning Grytte student newspaper was dedicated to Director of College Guidance Sanford Pelz ’71. Fifth grade teacher Dan Ragsdale received the Sabet Award.
Before the awarding of each diploma, Mr. Botti remarked upon the major accomplishments of each graduate, providing a wonderful review of these Browning boys’ years at the School. Congratulations to the Class of 2018!