College Preparatory School for Girls Grades 3-12

School's 119th Commencement Exercises Celebrate the Class of 2021! (Photo Highlights)

Above, we share a few highlights from Commencement Day; all School photos of the event are now available for viewing and download on Vidigami (log in with your Holton credentials). We will add professional photos on Vidigami and videos here as they become available. Current families: Watch for a special email the week of June 14 celebrating our remarkable seniors with links to all this media and more!


After the most unusual and challenging junior and senior years in modern times, the Class of 2021 was rather miraculously able to unite in the Amphitheater for a beautiful and long-dreamed-of in-person Commencement ceremony on Thursday, June 10. Cheering the graduates on proudly was a crowd of family members, friends, faculty, and staff.

The School’s 119th Commencement Exercises began as the 77 members of the class processed over the Booze Creek bridge for the last time as Holton students. Board Chair Adrena Ifill Blagburn ’87 presided over the ceremony, and Head of School Susanna A. Jones shared welcoming remarks and introduced some of the class’s many accomplishments.

The graduation speaker was U.S. Representative Doris Matsui (Calif.), grandmother of Anna ’21. She spoke of her personal journey, including her birth in a Japanese internment camp during World War II, and her eventual call to serve the country and effect positive change. She said she is heartened and inspired by today’s youth, who are pushing “the rest of us to care more for each other, redouble our efforts, and care more for the world.”

“You have the power to make sure we never stop moving forward,” she said to the graduates. “Don’t lose that feeling of being impatient, that feeling that everything is possible, that you are capable of more than you think.”

Next, Class President Tess Armstrong ’21 addressed her classmates, noting their resilience. “Find the things to be grateful for, even if they are small, because finding a way or making one is in our blood,” she said.

Finally came the awarding of diplomas. As each student stood before the crowd, Jones read a vignette about their interests and passions, proudest achievements, and plans for next year—a longstanding Holton tradition. Nearly two-thirds of the way through the alphabet and to a standing ovation, Ema Nakayama ’21 was announced as this year’s Ranking Scholar, the class’s top student, an honor that is kept secret until the ceremony.

The program closed with a recorded benediction (the Irish blessing, sung by Holton's Chorus) and the crowd singing the Alma Mater together.

To our dear Class of 2021, “Thoughts of you we’ll cherish ever, Be we far or nigh!” Congratulations—we wish you all the best in the next chapter of your lives!