Thursday, 27 June 2013 00:00
Portledge School hosted its 38th Commencement Exercises on Friday, June 14. Family and friends gathered on the Gimbel Lawn under a tent to share this joyous occasion. The Class of 2013 graduated 39 students, several of whom have been at the school since early childhood.
The morning festivities began with the processional led by the Board of Trustees and the honored members of the Class of 2013. Music was performed by Ancient Order of Hibernians and the Upper School Concert Band, under the direction of Patricia Baehr. Neil Nalanuthala ’13 (Glen Cove) and Anna Ticker ’13 (Brookville) sang America the Beautiful.
The opening remarks were given by Simon Owen-Williams, Head of School, and Richard Kirikian (Oyster Bay), president of the Board of Trustees. This year’s commencement speaker was Dr. Craig R. Smith, chairman of the Department of Surgery at New York Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center where he specializes in valve repair and replacement, coronary bypass procedures and operations involving the thoracic aorta. He gave an inspirational speech with words of wisdom for the graduates.
Jon Sandos ’03, Dean of Students, presented the’76 Award. This award is named for the first senior class to graduate from Portledge and is given each year by the tenth reunion class to the teacher who is remembered as having the greatest impact on the members of the class. This year’s recipient is John McIlvain.
Simon Owen-Williams presented the David W. Hoyler Faculty Award, which is presented to a member of the Portledge School faculty for outstanding dedication to students and exemplary commitment to teaching within and beyond the classroom. It was awarded to Louise Galli.
Harry Grzelewski, Upper School Division Head, recognized the Arts Scholars and Cum Laude members and gave the following awards:
Bliss Award – Presented to a senior in recognition of excellence in visual or performing arts.
Recipient: Anna Ticker (Brookville)
Senior Athletic Award - Awarded by vote of the faculty to recognize outstanding athletes in the senior class.
Recipient: Cecilia Mulry (Glen Cove)
Slanetz Award – Established in 1981, awarded to that member of the senior class whose academic record shows the highest level of achievement throughout his or her sophomore, junior and senior years at Portledge, given in the hope that these scholars will apply their intellectual ability to improvement of the human condition and for the well-being of others.
Recipient: Jennifer Ferrante (Long Beach)
Portledge Bowl – Established by the trustees in 1976 upon the vote of the faculty to be presented to “that senior who best exemplifies the character and values Portledge holds in the highest esteem.”
Recipient: Eve Shapiro (Glen Cove)
Owen-Williams also recognized those students who had been at Portledge since early childhood: Evan Adonailo (Glen Cove), Harrison Caldwell (Glen Cove), Elaine Gahagan (Lattingtown), Marc Mucciaccio (Huntington), Cecilia Mulry (Glen Cove), Arielle Parris (Hempstead), Eve Shapiro (Glen Cove), Anna Ticker (Brookville), and Jacqueline Worral (Syosset). The talented Upper School Chorus, under the direction of William Peek, sang Our Time by Stephen Sondheim. Student speakers, Evan Adonailo (Glen Cove) and Anna Ticker (Brookville), gave wonderful inspirational speeches, which made people laugh and cry. The memorable morning ended with the presentation of diplomas to the graduates, followed by a reception held in the Wellington Gymnasium.