FRYEBURG – One-hundred seventy Fryeburg Academy seniors became graduates Sunday afternoon as family and friends looked on.

Class speakers, elected by their classmates, were Eric Jordan, Rana Maqsood, and Daniel Sturdivant.

Jordan spoke about the importance society places on appearance.

He asked classmates that when hiring a new employee, will the appearance of applicants or their work ethic be more important to employers? Furthermore, which will be more important to them as potential employees? he asked.

Jordan left his classmates with a warning, “The Fascists like it when we all look the same.”

Before beginning his speech, Maqsood, of Pakistan, opened his robe to reveal the Celtics shirt underneath. “Yes, I am a Celtics fan,” he said, proving to a teacher that he had “New England spirit.”

Recounting his journey to the United States, he described the day his father suggested that he go to school abroad. Figuring “my dad’s a genius,” he replied, “good thinking. I’ll go pack my bags.”

After studying at Stanford Boy’s School in England, “an experience and a half,” he moved on to Fryeburg Academy. Looking back on his high school experience, he “realized the importance of living with other people and sharing their cultures and your own.”

Sturdivant grew up in the Fryeburg Academy community. His family moved to Fryeburg when he was 6 months old. “We lived in the girls dormitory.”

After moving off campus, Sturdivant maintained friendships with the children of the faculty. “We were living the dream of every elementary school student,” he said, “Our back yard was an athletic field.”

As a student of the academy, the most important lessons he learned were “about life and how it should be lived,” he said.

Sturdivant said “I am truly blessed to have grown up in a place like Fryeburg Academy. That’s what I’ll miss most: my home.”

Headmaster Daniel G. Lee Jr. presented awards after thanking seniors Christina Eastman and Ryan Dean for the new Fryeburg Academy seal mounted on the podium. Among many awards presented was the Gibson Memorial Medal, the school’s highest honor, for best all-around student, which went to Mariah Pond Whitney.

Diplomas were conferred by Conrad K. Eastman, president of the Fryeburg Academy Board of Trustees. An honorary diploma was awarded posthumously to WWII veteran Bernard Schism Watt Jr. Bernard Watt III, of New York, accepted the diploma on his father’s behalf.

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