Wyoming Seminary College Preparatory School celebrated its 172nd Baccalaureate and Commencement on May 28 and 29, as 126 seniors from nine states in the United States and 13 other countries completed their high school educations.
On Sunday, May 29 at 1 p. m., Sem held its Commencement exercises on the Back Campus, Kingston. Samarth Desai gave the student address. Other students who participated in the program included graduating seniors Alexander Grosek, Richard Hughes, Mountain Top; and Alexandra Zaloga. Grace Leahy, a junior and president of the Class of 2017, rang the school’s Cokesbury Bell. The Bell Tower Brass performed music by Handel, Gabrielli, Guy and Lully.
D. James Kersey, social sciences faculty member and head of social/ personal counseling at Sem, gave the charge to the graduates. In his speech Kersey, who is retiring from his 49-year tenure at Sem at the end of June, reflected on the next stage of his life and urged the graduates to carefully consider the choices ahead of them.
In his address to the graduates, Desai reflected on some of the exciting and challenging experiences that he and his fellow students enjoyed while they were students at Sem, and how they succeeded in overcoming their apprehensions at trying new things or reaching their goals.
Kevin P. Rea, Wyoming Seminary president, presented awards while Board of Trustees Chair Richard
M. Goldberg ’55, Esq. awarded diplomas.
Anne Lew, associate director
of college guidance and member of the history faculty, received the prestigious Frances and Louis Maslow Upper School Teaching Award in recognition of her effective teaching, support of the academic program and ideals of the teaching profession and for her positive influence on the lives of the students. Lew, who joined Sem in 1996, has served the school and its students as director of student activities, associate director of admission, and in her current positions as associate director of college guidance and history faculty. In addition to serving as an assistant with the cross country and girls ice hockey teams, she has been active in Leadership Wilkes-Barre and the Wilkes-Barre Triathlon.
Baccalaureate services were held in the Church of Christ Uniting, Kingston. Dr. Patrick F. Leahy, president of Wilkes University, delivered the Baccalaureate address. The Rev. Charles Carrick, Sem chaplain, led the service. Seniors Michael Rogers of Spring Mills, Sara Edgar of Coopersburg and Stefan Olsen of Kingston read lessons from the Bible; the Rev. Charles F. Gommer, a member of the Sem Board of Trustees, presented a pastoral prayer and senior Lina Tori Jan gave the benediction.
Members of the Wyoming Seminary Chorale performed, directed by Sem Fine and Performing Arts Department Chair John M. Vaida and accompanied by Canon Mark Laubach, organist and choirmaster at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Pro-Cathedral, Wilkes-Barre.