This past Saturday, our senior class convened in front an audience of teachers, family and friends to take part in one of life’s most anticipated rites of passage.
Amid the cheers and applause of the crowd, students made their way across the stage, collecting their diploma, fully aware of the milestone they were clearing with each step. Behind them, they leave their high school selves. Ahead of them lies university, adulthood, and a future full of possibility, purpose and passion.
Addressing the assembly, Concordia social sciences teacher Erik Paulson, who was chosen by the senior class to deliver the commencement address, reiterated the importance of using purpose as a guidepost through one’s life. He stated:
“Earlier this spring your teachers got together to write a High School vision statement to guide our labors and clarify what we value. I love what it says. It says nothing about the arcana of AP Economics or Accelerated Chemistry, nothing about grades or test scores or colleges acceptances. Nothing about wealth or celebrity. It says we want you to be purposeful, to be passionate, to inspire change and act in the service of others. That’s it. That’s what’s important. We want you to be kind, humble and grateful for the blessings you’ve been given. We want you to accept responsibility for those less fortunate than yourselves, and to act in the service of others…
“I want you to think about what a glorious irony that is: that the most self-serving thing we can do is to behave selflessly. And that realization is a wonderful starting point for the grand adventure that awaits you all.”
In her speech, Amy Lin, the student elected by the Class of ‘21 to deliver this year’s senior address, spoke of the shared experience of this year’s graduating class and the indomitable spirit that unites the Concordia community. She shared:
“Though it feels like we had just started, our precious high school experiences are coming to a conclusion. In a few moments, this road we walked down altogether will deviate into 76, different, paths. But Concordia will always, always feel like home…
“Our junior and senior years were different from those of the class of 2018 and 2019. One less Olympic Week, midnight AP testing, lunch with dividers, school with masks, assembly with strict seating, cancelled athletic tournaments, restricted entrance to school, and the off-campus venue for graduation. But through it all, the best thing about Concordia is the one thing that hasn’t changed and never will, and it’s the people. Each and every one of us is unique, having different talents and hobbies, but we all share one commonality—our ability to unite, encourage, envision, and persevere…”
Concordia Senior Scholar Award
Following the senior address was the presentation of the Concordia Senior Scholar Award to this year's recipient, Lillian Fu. The Senior Scholar Award is presented to the graduating senior who has maintained one of the highest grade point averages for all four years of high school, has taken a rigorous course load, has made a significant contribution to the school, and is recognized as being a student of high moral and ethical character.
Optimistic, responsive, compassionate, Lillian is a natural leader. A multi-sport athlete, accomplished musician, leader of clubs, and co-creator of one of the most effective service initiatives in our community, she truly represents the excellence of Concordia.
With the turn of the tassel, the Class of ‘21 joined the ranks of our esteemed Concordia alumni. They tossed their caps which landed to standing applause—another item on a long list of achievements was now complete.
Congratulations, Class of 2021, on your well-deserved success! We look forward to all the wonderful things you will continue to accomplish as you successfully make your way through life.