On June 8, 2018, faculty, staff, friends, families, and eleven departing high school seniors filled the McLean Hospital Chapel for the 53rd commencement of the Arlington School.
“This is a day that I personally look forward to each year, and I am honored to be standing here looking out at all of you, knowing all the effort, courage, and care that has gone into getting to this day,” said Suzanne Loughlin, APRN, BC, director of the Arlington School.
Joseph Gold, MD, chief medical officer and chief of the Simches Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at McLean Hospital and a longtime friend and supporter of the Arlington School, cited the accomplishments of this year’s graduates.
“This year, our graduates are heading to University of San Francisco, Lesley University, Pace University, Mount Wachusett Community College, Wheaton College, MassBay Community College, Skidmore College, UMass Boston, and Franklin Pierce College,” said Gold.
“While as impressive as that list of schools may be, I am always equally as impressed by the range of careers that each class aspires for, and this year is no different. Sitting among us are a budding fashion designer, a music promoter, a blacksmith, a software engineer, two psychologists, a comedian, a researcher, a speech pathologist, a business entrepreneur, and a social justice advocate.”
Loughlin also thanked school staff for their contributions to the students’ success. She recognized Thomas Callahan, a history teacher at Arlington School for 38 years, for bringing “intelligence, depth, and social, political, and personal awareness to each class” and transition specialist Megan Moran for her instrumental role in preparing students to continue to thrive after high school.
As part of that transition, Arlington School invited Andy Tarsy, a local entrepreneur, attorney, and activist, to offer some inspiring words to the graduates as this year’s commencement speaker.
“I want you each to feel proud today. I want you each to feel grateful, and I want you to feel powerful,” said Tarsy.
Part of being powerful, said Tarsy, is fighting for yourself.
“The phenomenon of fighting for your rightful place in the world and your opportunity to take full advantage of it is something that you may have already experienced profoundly, and it doesn’t stop at graduation,” he said. “You always have to be the first and strongest advocate for yourself.”
Gold echoed the sentiment that the students’ own strength is the key to their success.
“On behalf of McLean, thank you for the opportunity to participate in your lives and education,” said Gold. “We have provided the foundation, but you did the work. Congratulations!”