Heathwood held its 42 Commencement ceremony at Trinity Cathedral on May 31 and welcomed 56 members of the Class of 2019 to the ranks of its alumni.
In his remarks to the graduates, Head of School Chris Hinchey hailed both their academic achievements and their strong school spirit: "Your academic, athletic and extra-curricular successes were numerous. In countless areas on campus you pursued and achieved excellence. The acceptances, honors, awards, and recognitions have cascaded on you all from various sources. Also your genuine love of the school and your classmates was evident each and every day. Good independent schools are focused on people and Heathwood is no exception. In fact, at Heathwood, people are focused on other people. We are servant leaders and I am grateful and impressed by your impact on this soulful institution."
The ceremony also celebrated the 2019 winners of the Devanny Award, which honors members of the Heathwood community who have had a significant impact on the life of the school, and the Weston Award, which recognizes an alum who has accomplished significant community service. The Devanny Award winners were longtime faculty members Bill Cherry and Barbara Bryan; and the Weston Award was presented to social entrepreneur and public servant Caroline Mauldin '01.
Student speaker Spears Goodlett noted that when he reflected on what was most impactful about his Heathwood experience, "it became clear to me that what was important wasn't just what I learned academically, but rather what I learned about life and relationships, and ultimately what was the driving force behind them: kindness, and the memories associated with them." Commencement speaker Bill Cherry reminded the graduates how much the world had changed in their lifetime -- only half of Americans were using the Internet when they were born; Facebook was launched when they were 4; the first iPhone was introduced when they were 7 -- and reminded them, "As you and I look at that road that lead us toward amazing opportunities, we see the road in a new way, we are looking in a different direction. These opportunities will live on as we transition into a new chapter of life. This chapter will be greatly influenced by a shared experience called Heathwood Hall Episcopal School. It is a part of us all."
Class of 2019, as you head off to college and beyond, please know that your Highlander family will miss you and that we wish you all the best. We can't wait to learn what you do next -- so please stay in touch!