Class Day and Commencement 2023

Class Day and Commencement 2023
Congratulations to the Roland Park Country School Class of 2023! On Monday, June 5, the graduating seniors were recognized for their academic, athletic, artistic and service and citizenship achievements at an annual Class Day ceremony, which also included passing of the leadership offices to the rising senior class. Then, on Tuesday, June 6, the Class of 2023 and their families, along with the rest of the Upper School student body and all RPCS employees, gathered for Commencement, held in the RPCS Athletic Complex, that was also broadcast live on the RPCS web site. Watch the Class Day video recording here and the Commencement video recording here
“As you reflect on this auspicious day and the journey that each of you has uniquely forged to get to this point in your lives, I hope you will remember and treasure your days filled with joy and boundless enthusiasm and collective memories created with your classmates, teachers and the RPCS community,” Mrs. Caroline Blatti, Head of School, told the graduates. “You showed us what it means to play the game, stay the course, continue on the unknown path, never wavering even if the days were dark and the way through wasn’t always clearly marked…We learned as much from you as you did from us. For these gifts and the many blessings you have brought to our lives, we are forever grateful.”

Head of School Caroline Blatti

After the audience was treated to a beautiful performance of “Astonishing” from the 2022-2023 Semiquavers, the school’s auditioned music ensemble, Erin Hoskins, 2023 delivered a moving and memorable senior speech. She compared her 14 years at RPCS to a single day and described the passing of time through the lens of her Lower, Middle and Upper School years. “If 14 years were a day, high school was the early evening, as day compresses into night, and summer evenings are to be spent in good company…All of our stories four years ago felt so independent of one another and are now part of one dense book.” She also shared some of her fellow graduates’ reflections of the Class of 2023, which included sentiments such as: “This class has given me the opportunity to learn about myself and how to treat others” and “We come together so easily in a nonjudgmental space.”

Erin Hoskins, 2023

“This is your life,” Erin reminded the graduates throughout the speech, before expressing her love and pride for her fellow classmates. “I cannot wait to see what we do next, though we may not be together. All I ask is that you not let yourself be so saddened by the setting of the sun that you don’t dare to dream about how glorious it will be when the sun rises again tomorrow.”
Janet Bauer Hartman, an alumna from the Class of 1968, secretary of the Board of Trustees, volunteer, and beloved former faculty member, was scheduled to be this year’s Commencement speaker. Due to an unforeseen medical situation, Janet joined Commencement from the audience while her daughter and fellow RPCS alumna Meredith Hartman Shanley, 1996 shared poignant mother-daughter reflections from their two generations after the senior awards were presented.
“Roland Park Country School has prepared you for the adversity you will inevitably face, in ways you may not yet even realize,” Meredith told the graduates. “It’s made you strong and self-assured, critical thinkers. Fierce. It’s given you the tools to analyze the information, and, frankly, noise, that comes at us from all sides, 24 hours a day. And it has taught you, above all, to collaborate.”

Meredith Hartman Shanley, 1996

Janet recalled grieving alongside her RPCS peers after the assassinations of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and weeks later, Robert F. Kennedy in 1968. “My classmates and I leaned on each other…just as you will lean on each other in difficult hours, and in the inevitably challenging times we must all face,” Janet wrote to the graduates, which Meredith shared from the stage. “You will rise – to use a word familiar to your class – to meet many challenges and you may need to rise above some difficult times.” Janet also encouraged the graduates to use every occasion possible to come back to the school, to give back and make the world more equitable, just and tolerant, and to be merciful “in the largest sense of the word.”
Finally, Meredith and Janet urged the graduates to be curious about the experiences of others and approach differences in the spirit of collaboration and understanding. “The world needs more bridges. Learn to be that bridge,” Meredith told them.
After Upper School Head Mrs. Sara Rollfinke, President of the Board of Trustees Kyle Gore, and Mrs. Blatti distributed diplomas to each senior, the entire audience sang the school song.
As Mrs. Blatti told the Class of 2023, “For each of you I hope for the greatest of joys in your lives. I wish you deep laughter, profound love and the next stages of your academic journeys to be marked by curiosity, exploration, epiphany upon epiphany, and a continuing sense of confidence in who and what you are made of. The parts of you that are your strongest – the aspects of who you are that can move mountains – we know that those tools exist within you precisely because we saw you sharpen and refine them here at RPCS.”
We are so proud of this outstanding Class of 2023!