HEBRON — Hebron Academy Salutatorian Rachel Brouwer, speaking at commencement Saturday, urged the Class of 2018 to “celebrate us” and to “take every new moment as an opportunity.” 

The 69 graduating students marched from the George Winfield Treat Science Hall to the Athletic Center, led by piper J. Christopher Pinchbeck, an alumnus who has served as piper since 1999.

Brouwer said she and the other graduates “are always bragging on tours and at conventions about our impressive new buildings, our successful sports teams, or our expansive grounds.”

She said that “while that’s all well and good,” the most important elements of the students’ experience at Hebron Academy “are the people we have connected with, shared memories with, and grown to love.”

“Whether it’s a group of friends, a roommate, a teammate, a dorm parent, or a teacher, every person sitting (here) can say that someone at Hebron Academy has impacted their life,” Brouwer said.

Valedictorian Benjamin English compared the class’s departure from Hebron Academy to the ringing of the school’s Victory Bell.

“To us, (the Victory Bell) is a symbol of unity and success,” English said. “We ring it for sporting event victories, community events and graduation. Now it is time for us to ring the bell for the last time. One more time to come together as a senior class and make our effort known. It is time to move on, but don’t worry: Our legacy, like the sound of the bell, will ring on for long after we are gone.”

Class President Ben Bryce said, “Every individual here will place their imprint on the future.”

“We will own it and make it ours,” Bryce said. “We have endless opportunities to do good, to change the world, to live lives worth living.”

Prior to the presentation of the diplomas, Head of School Daniel J. Marchetti presented several awards to the graduates, including the Hebron Academy Cup to Brouwer.

The Cup is given to a student who “in the opinion of the faculty represents the finest spirit of scholastic effort, who has in athletics and all school activities shown a high degree of excellence and who has in personal relations with the school shown a commendable spirit of devotion, high ideals, friendliness, endeavor and responsibility.”

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J. Christopher Pinchbeck, front, leads the Hebron Academy Class of 2018 from the George Winfield Treat Science Hall to the Athletic Center on Saturday morning while Class of 2018 President Benjamin Bryce, back right, and Vice President Rachel Brouwer hold the class flag.

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