It was a symbolic ending to a tumultuous year. On June 18, Pickering College hosted an outdoor in-person Commencement ceremony for the Class of 2021, as the rain teemed down for the first time in several weeks.
In his address, Head of School Peter Sturrup remarked that it has been a year of challenges and obstacles, yet opportunities and triumphs. Despite the odds, the school was able to undertake an in-person event to recognize the achievements of graduates and even the rain was not going to get in the way of that. It was a day that will become part of the lore of Pickering College, and one that those in attendance, in-person or virtually, will not soon forget.
This year’s ceremony was very different than anything the school had undertaken before. Many of the school’s international graduates had already made their way home, spending the final months of the academic year learning online and joining the ceremony virtually from afar.
As a result, the ceremony was a blend of in-person, recorded, and virtual live speeches, traditional readings, awards and recognition. Valedictorian Thera Sze joined the event in real-time from her home in Hong Kong to give a moving valediction on behalf of the Class of 2021.
The Class of 2021 has a bright future ahead of it, with:
- 100 per cent university acceptance
- 92 per cent graduating as Ontario Scholars, earning an average of 80% or greater
- in their six best Grade 12 courses
- 93 per cent earning the Global Leadership Diploma, in addition to their Ontario Secondary School Diploma
- Graduates attending universities at home and abroad this fall in Ontario, Nova Scotia, Quebec, Alberta, British Columbia, the United States and the United Kingdom.
Among this year’s graduates are four “lifers” of Pickering College. Tyler Dhanjal, Meghan Kim, and Grace Still have attended Pickering College together since Junior Kindergarten, spending their entire academic careers at the school. Sehyun (Justin) Jeong was recognized as a boarding “lifer,” having begun at Pickering College in Grade 7, the earliest a student can board, and staying until he completed Grade 12.
Congratulations to the Class of 2021, as they make their way into the world as creative, innovative, and courageous agents of ethical and positive change, true to Quaker values.