Graduation 2021

On Thursday, May 27th, Berkeley Carroll community members gathered at Cyclone Stadium—not to watch the first pitch at a baseball game, but for the Class of 2021’s commencement ceremony. The event marks the school’s first in-person graduation in two years. 

Many aspects were familiar to those who have previously attended a Berkeley Carroll graduation. Every graduate received a flower with their diploma, there was a faculty-elected student speaker, and Ms. Moore read names as graduates received their diplomas. However, many aspects were different: guests were socially distant, the event was streamed for remote viewers, and speakers were displayed on a jumbotron. 

Dr. Waller kicked off her first in-person graduation at Berkeley Carroll by speaking to the Class of 2021’s “unprecedented collective experience” regarding both the global pandemic and the ongoing civil rights protests: “I would like to believe that this reckoning has the capacity ultimately to uproot all forms of racism and bias.”

Then, class leaders Tife A. ’21 and Caleb D. ’21 delivered a speech reflecting on some highlights and challenges of the last four years while capturing their class’ experience both in and out of the classroom. 

After opening his speech with slam poetry, class speaker Kai E. ’21 used Newton’s second law of motion to encapsulate his feelings about graduation: “the more mass something has, the harder it is to accelerate… Over the past four years of high school, we’ve been accumulating mass, but now we’re starting to reach an end to it.”

Faculty speaker Mr. Sanchez opened his speech by sharing a story about his cousin-in-law and his journey crossing the US border in Mexicali. He spoke about how each story is “embedded with details that are hazy and hard to articulate, and sometimes painful to remember.” Mr. Sanchez shared that he believes in “respecting the architect”—everyone holds stories within their families and communities, and the importance of “demonstrating reverence and having curiosity about these narratives and how you can… use them to shape how you regard the opportunities that will come your way.”

Grade dean Mr. Stein shared a story about how lying about visiting seven Japanese cities in seven days ultimately resulted in the courage to come out as gay to his family: “one week of lying to my family from across the pacific ocean inched me toward a fuller, happier, and more open version of myself in their presence.” 

After the speeches, Dr. Waller, Ms. Moore, and Chad Ruble (Chair, Board of Trustees) distributed diplomas and flowers to the graduates. 


Congratulations Class of 2021!