Guest speaker Chiamaka Nwakeze
Rye Country Day School Celebrates the Class of 2020
The Rye Country Day School Class of 2020 was recognized during the School’s first virtual Graduation Ceremony on June 5, 2020. The ceremony, which was delivered via webcast and produced by the sports and entertainment firm Van Wagner Group, featured remarks from Headmaster Scott Nelson, Senior Class President Tess Asness, and Graduation Speaker Chiamaka Nwakeze, a neurobiologist and member of the Class of 2006.
Ms. Nwakeze, who holds her undergraduate degree from Harvard, is a joint doctoral student at Columbia University and the National Institutes of Health through the NIH M.D./Ph.D. Partnership Training program. After completing her doctorate, she will attend Harvard Medical School. Ms. Nwakeze spoke to the graduates about their resilience in the face of significant changes to education and everyday life due to the Covid-19 pandemic. She also referred to their role as “multicultural vanguards” in positively shaping America’s future stating, “My hope is that your class’s deep commitment to individual expression, the efficacy of dialogue to improve our understanding, and your radical inclusiveness will direct our path away from darkness and into the light of a brave, more inclusive, more just new world.”
Headmaster Scott Nelson spoke not only to the graduates’ high academic achievements, but also to their inspiring strength of character, a core Rye Country Day value. He offered his congratulations “to a most admirable and accomplished class of scholars. I look forward to hearing about your continuing successes. And, I know that each and every one of you will contribute to making our world a better place.”
The WildScats, the school’s twelve-voice a cappella group, provided just the right notes at Graduation.
The Graduation Ceremony was preceded by the annual Blue & Gold Dinner, also held virtually, which welcomes seniors into the RCDS Alumni Association. In addition to hearing from school leaders and keynote speaker and English teacher Dr. David Lehner, the newest alums were surprised by special guest appearances by former White House Communications Director and ABC News Anchor George Stephanopoulos; two-time Super Bowl MVP winner and retired NY Giants quarterback Eli Manning; actor, comedian, writer, producer, and alumnus Nick Kroll, class of ’96; and television journalist Chris Cuomo. Each appeared on the screen to offer their personal congratulations and advice to the Class of 2020.
The School capped its slate of celebratory events for the Class of 2020 with a festive Drive-Up, Diploma Pick-Up event on campus on Saturday, June 6. In partnership with the City of Rye, the school planned an exciting — and safe — opportunity for students to have an in-person celebration that included cheers and good wishes from over fifty faculty and staff members in attendance.
The circumstances that led to re-imagining the School’s celebrations for graduating seniors may have been unprecedented, but they did not deter the Rye Country Day community from giving their seniors a proper send-off!
The Next Chapter of the Academic Lives of the Class of 2020
Boston College (4)
Brown University (3)
Bucknell University (2)
Claremont McKenna College
Colgate University (2)
Columbia University (2)
Cornell University (8)
Georgetown University (2)
Harvard University (5)
Lehigh University (2)
Miami University, Oxford (2)
New York University (3)
Northeastern University (2)
Northwestern University (5)
Syracuse University (3)
Taft School (2)
The New School, Mannes School of Music
University of California, Los Angeles
University of Chicago (3)
University of Miami
University of Michigan
University of Notre Dame
University of Pennsylvania (4)
University of Southern California
University of St. Andrews, UK (2)
University of Wisconsin, Madison
Vanderbilt University (3)
Wake Forest University (4)
Washington University in St. Louis
Wesleyan University (2)
Williams College (2)