Class of 2018 Says Goodbye to Sidwell Friends

Alumna Dorothy Fortenberry ’98 encouraged graduates to “read widely, be brave, and get the [heck] out of here.”

Although the threat of thunderstorms drove the ceremony inside, the spirit of the Class of 2018 couldn’t be dampened as they made their way down the Zartman House steps and took a slightly longer walk to the Pearson Athletic Center, where their families and friends waited to cheer their accomplishments and see them off into their futures.

Head of School Bryan Garman welcomed them, calling them “members of an extraordinary class” who gave “remarkable leadership to the School.” “Let your life speak for peace and justice everywhere,” he told them. “And please, stay in touch with us.”

Emmy Award-winning alumna Dorothy Fortenberry ’98 advised her newest fellow alumni to “figure out who you really are. In what ways are you brave? In what ways are you kind? Who and what and how do you learn?” But you find that information, she said, by going out into the world and spending time where no one knows you or has heard of your high school. Dorothy told graduates about how she traveled to Haiti after college and where, for the first time, she had to examine her identity and see what really was inside of her.

“I had to look inside myself and see if there was anything more to me,” she said. “If you go far enough away, trust me, it makes it easier to come back.”

“We’re very glad you came back,” Bryan said, before asking Upper School Principal Mamadou Guèye to “read the roll of the class of 2018 for the last time” to enthusiastic applause.

Be sure to watch the highlights video from the day below and check out all the photos on Smugmug

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