On Monday 24 May, under brilliant blue skies, we celebrated the achievements of our Class of 2021 graduates with their parents watching proudly - the conclusion of one epic journey and the beginning of another.
The day started with the traditional Alleynian Walk through DUCKS and the main campus, which was, as always, made extra special with DUCKS children singing and Junior School drummers playing.
At DUCKS our graduates were serenaded with a moving rendition of The Leavers' Song whilst we honored eight of our graduates who began their Dulwich journey as DUCKS students, testament to the strong tradition we have built here over the last two decades.
The formal Graduation Ceremony took place that afternoon in the Mei Lan Fang Theatre. Each graduate was honored in turn and received their diploma. Our Head of College, Ms Caroline Taylor, gave an inspiring Opening Address focusing on the theme of optimism.
Caroline Taylor, Head of College: "The future may in parts be unwritten but it is shaped by who we choose to be now. As Mahatma Gandhi put it 'The future depends on what we do in the present'. And whilst there is no denying that uncertainty has come to colour our view of the future, I encourage all the graduates of the Class of 2021 - and all of community members for that matter - to embrace optimism. It is after all optimism that empowers us. It drives our desire to engage, to contribute, and ultimately to make a difference."
Head of Senior School Alison Derbyshire delivered the Farewell Address, reflecting on the unique impact the Class of 2021 has had on our College community.
In everything you have done you have challenged your audiences to think, to feel, and to reflect.
Alison Derbyshire, Head of Senior School: "You have made our College a different and a better place to be, leaving a legacy for others who follow in your footsteps. Academically you have taken on the IB with a fierce determination, despite the challenges thrown at you. As a year group, you've also been at the forefront of the College's effort to build a wider understanding of global citizenship. In everything you have done you have challenged your audiences to think, to feel, and to reflect. But what has made the most lasting impression amongst your teachers is your bonds and inclusivity as a group. While you are made up of a diverse range of individuals, you are one of the most cohesive, inclusive, and caring year groups we have seen for some time. You are fine young men and women and we are incredibly proud of you and the legacy you leave behind.”
The Graduation Ceremony was followed by the Tree Planting Ceremony, a new addition to our graduation tradition. Each graduating class will add a tree to our Alumni Forest, a visual - and sustainable - symbol of our growing tradition.
Finally the day was capped by a reception for the graduates, their families, and staff. It was a lovely occasion, equally poignant and celebratory for all those present.
Our graduates now join the proud ranks of our Worldwise Alumni Network, bringing together alumni from across the Dulwich family of schools, comprising thousands of dynamic young individuals making a difference all over the world.
Let us join together to congratulate our Class of 2021 graduates and wish them the best of luck as they proceed to the next stages of their life journeys.