Graduating Class of 2020
By Steve McNutt, Head of Senior School
On May 23, 2020, Branksome Hall Asia will hold a graduation ceremony for the Class of 2020 in the Performing Arts Center at 1:30 p.m. This will be the sixth graduating class in the history of Branksome Hall Asia. Sixty-seven students from the Class of 2020 will receive their Branksome Hall Asia and Korean High School Diplomas. The graduation ceremony serves many purposes. First, it is a celebration of each student’s tremendous academic achievement. Second, it represents an emotional moment of closure for students - a time to reflect upon their time here at the school in a celebratory manner.
Acknowledging the importance of tradition, many aspects of the ceremony will mirror previous graduations from years past. Students will be attired in white; this continues a tradition that was started with the first graduation in 2015. Grade 12 advisory teachers will read out the names of their advisees as they walk across the stage to receive their graduating diploma. As always, the event will highlight the wonderful musical talents of Branksome Hall Asia’s students. Dr. Cinde Lock, Principal of Branksome Hall Asia, will address the graduates with words of inspiration and guidance. Mrs. Noeline Young, who has been at the school since its beginning in 2012, will be the honorable guest speaker. Four students who have been foundation members of Branksome Hall Asia will also be recognized at the ceremony.
Yet, despite many similarities with previous graduations, this year’s event will also be markedly different. Most significantly, the school unfortunately will not be able to have students’ parents or friends attend the graduation ceremony. This decision was made in light of the need to enforce social distancing, as well as adhere to health and safety protocols regarding online visitors to campus. The school fully understands the disappointment that many parents must certainly feel about this restriction. Fortunately, we will be able to provide a live stream feed of the ceremony for those not able to attend. While clearly perhaps not a substitute for experiencing the ceremony firsthand, we hope that parents and others can enjoy the event through this means.
The Class of 2020 has been a truly outstanding group of students. Despite the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, they nonetheless remained resolute in their determination to achieve academic excellence and complete all of the requirements for the IB Diploma. Their efforts and resilience truly have been noteworthy. The university offers that this stellar group of students obtained has been truly remarkable and, in fact, arguably the best in the history of the school. While we will miss all of them, we nonetheless will joyously celebrate graduation day with the Class of 2020, anticipating great things for them in the future.