Davidson Day Celebrates 53 Graduates at the Commencement of the Class of 2020

Davidson Day School welcomed the 53 members of the Class of 2020 as alumni following their annual Commencement on Saturday, August 1, 2020, on Wolter Field at Davidson Day (postponed from the originally scheduled date of May 21, 2020). Interim Head of School, Mr. Wes Wehunt, and Head of Upper School, Michael Smith presented each graduate with their diploma in the innovative, creative outdoor ceremony where graduates maintained social distance and were celebrated for their accomplishments and resilience.
“As you are set to begin a new stage in your lives, know that the world needs you now, more than ever and my charge to you is to take what you have learned here and do three things—prioritize the cultivation of meaningful connections with others, exert the energy required to engage in enriching experiences that challenge your assumptions, and live with integrity by demonstrating that who you are is just as important as what you know,” said Wehunt. “The world needs to feel your empathy, the world needs to be led by your wisdom, and the world needs to be inspired by your personal commitment to honor.” 
The 53 members of the Class of 2020 received 238 acceptances to 101 colleges and universities across the globe, with 41% matriculating in-state and 59% matriculating out-of-state, including Auburn University, Baylor University, Cornell University, Davidson College, George Washington University, Georgia Institute of Technology, Howard University, New York University, Spelman College, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, University of Colorado Boulder, and Williams College.
“Commencement is much more than a one-day event,” said Class of 2020 Valedictorian and Patriot Lifer Mark Breunig, who will attend the University of Virginia. "It is a culmination of memories, and a chance to look back on the years that we have spent together, and the feelings of pride for our noteworthy accomplishments while we’re reflecting on the valuable lessons we learned along the way." 
Ms. Israella Rain Freidline received the Karen Wolter Award for Student Excellence, presented in recognition of Freidline’s accomplishments and excellence in academic, athletic, and artistic endeavors at Davidson Day. Freidline will attend Hollins University.
Mr. Jackson Threadgill received the Head of School’s Award, presented in recognition of Threadgill’s inspiration, dedication to learning, and commitment to social responsibility and personal integrity. Threadgill will attend the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and compete for the 49ers men’s basketball team. 
Davidson Day honored fourteen graduates with a red stole of honor, noting their commitment to Davidson Day as Patriot Lifers, students who attended Davidson Day for at least 12 consecutive years. The Patriot Lifers of the Class of 2020 are: Mark Breunig, William Confoy, Nicholas Deane, David Dennis III, Connor Jones, Emma Lindquist, Abigail Myers, Olivia Oosterhouse, Lauren Orfinik, Carson Pauling, Charlotte Ratcliff, Justin Riou, Caleb Tate, and Kiley Woods.
"We have divides, threats, and injustice facing our world today," said Class of 2020 Salutatorian Christopher "Kiko" Williams. "And while this generation is not responsible for creating them, we are responsible for fixing them."  Williams will attend Duke University.
The Class of 2020 demonstrated perseverance, resilience, collaboration, and character throughout their academic careers and time as Patriots—especially during the 2019–2020 academic year. Davidson Day welcomes the members of the Class of 2020 to the Patriot Alumni Family and announces to the world that the members of the class are prepared for excellence beyond Davidson Day—so that they may tackle, and then solve, our world’s most pressing challenges. 
To learn more about the Class of 2020 or to learn about the College Counseling Program at Davidson Day School, visithttps://www.davidsonday.org/academics/college-counseling.