Class of 2018 graduates Archer

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Class of 2018 graduates Archer

The Class of 2018 sings

The Class of 2018 sings "Within the Walls of Archer" at the commencement ceremony.

Photo credit: Anna Brodsky

The Class of 2018 sings "Within the Walls of Archer" at the commencement ceremony.

Photo credit: Anna Brodsky

Photo credit: Anna Brodsky

The Class of 2018 sings "Within the Walls of Archer" at the commencement ceremony.

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Donning white dresses or suits and flower crowns, the Class of 2018 graduated on Saturday, May 26.

Though, in past years, both the senior recognition ceremony and the commencement ceremony have been held on Archer’s sport court, the Archer Forward construction plan rendered the space unusable this year. Because of this, the senior recognition ceremony was moved to the courtyard and graduation took place at the Skirball Cultural Center.

Archer Board of Trustees Chairman Frank Marshall opened the commencement ceremony, praising the class for its contributions to the community. Head of School Elizabeth English then shared her reflections upon the class’ success and expressed her confidence in them.

Next, Student Body President Maya Winkler ’18 introduced commencement speaker Lisa Ling. Ling is a journalist, author and television host. During her speech, she discussed the current political climate and expressed hope for the future.

“You are the leaders we’ve been waiting for,” Ling said. “You have been given the greatest gift imaginable, being able to attend this fine institution…You have this extraordinary group of friends and family members who support you. You are smart. You are powerful. You can do anything. Your potential is unlimited. You are, and always will be, Archer girls.”

After Ling’s speech, Gemma Brand-Wolf ’18 recounted the sisterhood and sense of community within her class and Archer as a whole.

“Archer is not just a high school — it’s a home,” she said. “The girls sitting beside me on this stage are not just my classmates. They’re my family.”

Brand-Wolf shared an anecdote about how she wanted to be an astronaut as a child before realizing that “it was more science than I was emotionally equipped to handle.” However, she encouraged the Class of 2018 to learn from astronauts’ perseverance.

“We may be going in different directions, but we all started on Earth. So when you feel scared or lost on some alien planet, know that you are never alone,” she said. “There are 68 fellow astronauts up in the stars with you.”

English Department Chair and senior advisor Brian Wogensen made the final speech of the ceremony, right before the seniors walked across the stage to receive their diplomas. Wogensen expressed pride in the class’ growth while at Archer.

“In my classroom and out, you’ve exemplified some of the best things I’ve seen at Archer,” he said. “You’ve become incredibly articulate. You are full of thought. You relish spontaneity and you care deeply about each other.”

“You’ve made your mark at Archer, and we owe you thanks,” Wogensen said. “Good luck to you all.”

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