The Graduating Class of 2016

Congratulations to the Class of 2016.

We are proud to add 151 names to the ever-growing list of SMUS alumni, as the graduating class officially enters the next stage of their lives. Another source of pride is knowing that this year’s grads were accepted to more than 115 universities – including some of the world’s foremost institutions – and collectively, the Class of 2016 received more than $1.2 million in scholarship offers.

Valedictory Speech

excerpt by co-valedictorian Silke Kuhn

“Life is short, and life is long, but not in that order.” – John Koenig

Perhaps this is true of our high school life too. It dawns with long, winding days of classes, practices, projects. It moves on to a little bit of testing, a little bit of play, a little bit of work. And before you know it, it blazes into lunchtime meetings, service and commitments. Looking back, you can’t help but wonder how it felt so long when in fact it was so short.

Coming to St. Michaels University School was like being born on a moving train. Life bustled at a sweeping pace. This was where I learned that I didn’t even know what I didn’t know. There seemed to be hundreds of clubs, courses and extracurriculars to choose from. Life in boarding splashed one adventure after another on the canvas of my year. Boarding chapels, house dinners, Dairy Queen runs with houseparents – 50 strangers soon turned into 50 family members. Then classes grew harder and exams loomed on our calendars. Quickly, I realized the importance of discipline and dedication. This was when I also learned that the word studying is, in fact, a contraction for students dying.

From the start, we realized that 2016 would be a year of “lasts”. Autumn brought our last first day of school, we endured one more Remembrance Day Ceremony, and we finally sang the lyrics “12 drummers drumming”. By Spring Break, we staged our closing musical performance and went on our final service trips. Suddenly, we went to our last chapel. Took our last exam. Ate our last Brown Hall meal. Had our last class. Said our last goodbye.

C.S. Lewis once wrote, “Isn’t if funny how day by day, nothing changes. But when you look back, everything is different.” After all, momentous comes from moment, because it is in the smallest increments of time that so much can change.

Unless you have encountered the blazing potential in a student, you have not come across the hope of tomorrow. Unless you have endured an extended assembly, you have never known patience. Unless you have missed No. 1 dress in Mrs. Abrioux’s homeroom, you can consider fear a foreign concept. Unless you have attended SMUS, you have not encountered the reaches of joy that a school – no, a home – can give you.

SMUS grad class of 2016, we are fiery hearts and razor-sharp minds. And as we leave this school today, we each stand on the threshold of our own path. So set fires wherever you go! Ignite your passions and carry your education with pride! And may we always remember our time together under the gaze of Mount Tolmie and within the grasp of the sea.

After all, “life is short, and life is long, but not in that order.”

Browse and download all the photos from the Grade 12 Graduation Ceremony in the SMUS Photo GalleryIndividual photos of members of the Class of 2016 can be found by typing their full name (eg. Silke Kuhn) into the search bar.

New to the gallery? Read our guide to downloading images.

(photos by Darin Steinkey and Kyle Slavin)

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Kyle Slavin
Kyle Slavin is the school's storyteller. Through words and photos, he shares with the community all the amazing things that happen on campus.

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