A year ago, I could never guess that Commencement 2012 would rival 2011, which featured Matt Nathanson's unforgettable address on a glorious, late spring day. This year's graduation was not on a beautiful day. It poured! Yet, a variety of factors conspired to make this a great commencement. For one thing, the Class of 2012 has a special character, and they are aware of it.
We practiced "marching" before the weather soured.
It is a class with strong leaders....lots of them. And the leaders were not afraid to boast of the class's strengths. They marketed themselves!
Friday's Senior Dinner had a great feel to it, and local talent was on display.
This year's Commencement was not delivered by a rock star, but by my former advisee, Shawn Hurwitz '83, a prominent business leader in the Houston community. It is his leadership in the Knowledge Is Power Program (KIPP), a spectacularly successful set of urban charter schools that brought him back to Proctor this weekend. Shawn traced the path that led him here in 1979, noting that Proctor (and beloved tutor Alice Fowler) "...gave a kid a break." He went on to cite extraordinary stories from KIPP schools of students who just needed a break to rise up from disadvantaged conditions. It was another great address, and another great Proctor graduation.