Phillips Academy Class of 2017 graduates
313 students earn diplomasJune 5, 2017
—Eager to pursue the bright future before them, the 313 members of the Class of 2017 graduated Sunday, June 4, in a sun-filled commencement ceremony, the school’s 239th.
Some 3,000 guests attended the exercises, which took place on The Vista in front of Samuel Phillips Hall. The traditional procession of trustees, faculty emeriti, faculty and seniors was led by the stirring sounds of the Clan MacPherson Pipes and Drums Bands. The jubilant seniors each carried a red Abbot rose.
Jewish Chaplain Rabbi Michael Swartz provided the opening invocation, which was followed by a moving rendition of “America” performed by the Academy Brass Ensemble. Thomas Hodgson, instructor of philosophy who retires this year, led the initiation ceremony of the Cum Laude Society.
Head of School John Palfrey announced the five major prizes awarded to outstanding members of the graduating class:
- Nadha Illikkal – Non Sibi Award – to the student who has honored Phillips Academy’s non sibi (not-for-self) tradition through their efforts on behalf of others
- Alexa Tsay – Yale Bowl – to the member of the senior class who has attained the highest proficiency in scholarship and athletics
- Siye “Annie” Zhu – Faculty Prize – for outstanding scholarship during the senior year
- Madison Pettaway – Madame Sarah Abbot Award – to a young woman for strong character, leadership and outstanding scholarship
- Abdelaziz “Zizo” Bahnasy – Aurelian Honor Society Award – for sterling character, high scholarship and forceful leadership