Time to be Da22led

The latest entrants in the Sidwell Friends Alumni Network exuded radiance as they get ready to invent the stories of their lives.

Congratulations to the Class of 2022, Sidwell Friends’ latest alumni. This spectacular group of young people officially graduated this month moving from the sphere of student to alumni.  Head of School Bryan Garman addressed the graduates with a reminder that the friendships and values forged at Sidwell Friends will shape their lives forever. “You have spoken about the profound strength of your friendships, which are beautiful to witness today,” he said. “They will change, no doubt. But they will continue to provide remarkable strength and steadiness when the road gets rocky. So too, I hope, will your knowledge of Quaker values.”

In a world rife with volatility—from Ukraine to Uvalde, Buffalo to Laguna Woods, Tulsa to Philadelphia—Garman said events can seem so “unspeakably dark and dizzying that one scarcely knows where to look for the Light. It is understandable to feel fear, even to become fatalistic in the midst of deep darkness. But the Light is right here. It is in each and every one of you, and today you are especially radiant.” Their radiance was in fact palpable as each senior took a special moment to cheer for their faculty and parents before alighting the stage to receive their diplomas.

Meanwhile, fellow alum and Commencement speaker Baratunde Thurston ’95 challenged the Class of 2022 to define “citizen” as a verb, noting that democracy is a participatory sport and one that is not optional. Thurston also offered a raft of advice that drew both laughs and tears: meditate, hydrate, go outside, eat lunch, make time to connect, abolish the electoral college, get rid of fossil fuels, watch the January 6 Commission hearings, and don’t trust adults who charge young people with changing the world who aren’t willing to pitch in themselves. “Our greatest power is in service of a fiction,” he said, referring to the idea that all knowledge is a story we tell each other. And so, Thurston ushered the Class of 2022 into the next chapter of their lives—a chapter Thurston encouraged them to author fearlessly and truthfully: “Let’s write a better story, one that’s big enough to include us all.”

To view photos and videos from Commencement, click here.

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