Commencement 2020

Commencement 2020
Congratulations to the Roland Park Country School Class of 2020! On Sunday, July 19, the Upper School community participated in a virtual Class Day to celebrate the senior’s academic, athletic and service achievements. Then, on Monday, July 20, the Class of 2020 and their families gathered for an intimate, in-person Commencement, held outside that adhered to social distancing guidelines and was livestreamed on YouTube and Facebook.
“You entered this space as our Class of 2020,” Mrs. Blatti, Head of School, told the seniors. “You will leave as 81 graduates who shaped the legacy and destiny of this school for a lifetime.” Mrs. Blatti spoke about the Class of 2020’s resilience and grit and promised to set RPCS on a course forward that centers anti-racism in the school’s work. “You want change. And, you deserve it,” Mrs. Blatti said. “This you need to know: the Class of 2020, you are the change we need in the world. You are powerful. You are strong. You are unstoppable.”
Morgan Alexander, 2020 delivered the senior speech and reflected on the most iconic moments of the last four years, including their epic dodgeball tournament win junior year and the Class of 2020’s favorite song, “The Climb,” by Miley Cyrus. Morgan also spoke of how her classmates’ spirit never faltered, even as life was put on pause because of the pandemic. “Although we’ve lost during this quarantine, we’ve gained so much as well…perspective and a deeper appreciation for the health and safety of our loved ones,” Morgan said.” We’ve gained a newly found spirit for activism that makes me so proud to be a Red. And we’ve gained an even stronger bond as a grade.” Morgan went on to say that we decide who we are when the times get rough and requested of the senior class to “always choose to be the most unstoppable, resilient version of yourself and never allow anything to defeat you.” As she told her classmates: “Whatever the world decides to throw at us next, I’m certain we can handle it.”
After the Senior Awards were announced, head coach of the women’s lacrosse team at the University of North Carolina and RPCS alumna, Jenny Slingluff Levy, 1988, delivered the Commencement address. She highlighted the strengths of the senior class, spoke fondly about how her time at RPCS shaped who she is today and discussed how to reframe the pivotal events of this year, including the global pandemic and the national movement of Black Lives Matter. Jenny encouraged the Class of 2020 to embrace the journey of struggle because of the opportunity, achievement and growth that will come from it. “These moments are gold. Life is all about the climb.” She also spoke about the value of women empowering each other and encouraged the seniors to lead for the greater good and get used to the discomfort life brings. “Just like in sports, the best version of ourselves, our teams, our communities or our country are revealed when we get uncomfortable.”

From left to right: Carroll Knott McGill, 1993, Board of Trustees; Caroline Blatti, Head of School; Jenny Slingluff Levy, 1988, Commencement Speaker; and Colleen Kyle, Upper School Head

After distributing diplomas to each senior, Mrs. Blatti announced a new prize that will be awarded at commencement moving forward to the senior or seniors who epitomize the grit, resilience and unstoppable spirit of the Class of 2020. The Class of 2020 Prize, also known as the Unstoppable Prize, will recognize the tremendous impact this class made on RPCS. The first prize awarded in this inaugural year is to the entire class of 2020 and there will be a plaque placed on campus in their honor for the start of the 2020-21 school year. As Mrs. Blatti told the Class of 2020 at the end of the ceremony: “Let us be clear today: You were tested but you never, ever gave up.”
We are so proud of the Unstoppable Class of 2020! Watch the full commencement and follow along with the digital program and see where our seniors are headed to college. Also, view the recipients of from the end-of-year Upper School award presentations, including the US Arts Awards Assembly and the US Athletics Awards Assembly.