Class of 2018 Urged to “Think Like the Scientists You Are” at Historic Riverside Church Graduation

The Riverside Church in the City of New York was the site of the graduation of St. Hilda's & St. Hugh's class of 2018. Thirty-three students earned diplomas this year and were exhorted by commencement speaker Kari Nesbit, Lower School Science Teacher, to "think like the scientists you are," to make the world a better place.

“Graduates, as you embrace the next chapter, I call on you to act deliberately in the world with conscious conviction to make change,” she said. “When you see something that doesn’t seem to work as well as it should, find out why. When you see disrepair, roll up your sleeves, and fix it. When you see ugliness, make beauty. When you see something in the world that seems unfair or unjust, don’t just shrug and accept it. Look for answers, and work to make it better. Create the world that lives up to your ideals.”

A graduate of Cornell University with a master’s degree in science education from Teachers College Columbia University, Ms. Nesbit attended this year’s Commencement as a proud parent; her son, Flynn, was one of the graduates.

Three students were honored with the school's major awards:

  • Morgan Wright—The Patricia Leigh Abbott Award, named in honor of a deceased student who excelled in the arts
  • Ciaran Henry—The Right Reverend Horace W.B. Donegan Award, named for the Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of New York who was instrumental in the school's founding. The award recognizes loyalty to the school’s mission, kindness to classmates, and sincerity in all endeavors
  • William Franks—The Mother Ruth Award, named for the school’s founder, recognizing academic excellence 

Head of School Virginia Connor presided over the ceremony, and The Rt. Rev. Allen K. Shin, Bishop Suffragen in the Episcopal Diocese of New York, offered a closing blessing.

The Riverside Church was an apt setting for St. Hilda's & St. Hugh's graduation. The site of historic and groundbreaking sermons and orations delivered by such venerated human rights leaders as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Archbishop Desmond Tutu, and Nelson Mandela, Riverside Church shares with St. Hilda’s & St. Hugh’s a commitment to furthering the cause of equity in Morningside Heights, New York City, and beyond.