Cardigan Mountain School A boarding and day school for boys in grades 6 through 9

Cardigan Mountain School’s 78th Commencement Exercises

Cardigan's 78th Commencement

Speaker Eddie Ramos Urges Class of 2024 to Make it Count

The morning of Cardigan’s 78th Commencement dawned with picture-perfect blue skies and a warm sunshine that was quite welcome after a spring term that was slow to shed the remnants of winter. It was indeed another beautiful day in New Hampshire.

After a quick breakfast, the soon-to-be graduates picked up white jackets in Humann Theatre and changed into Cardigan’s traditional Commencement attire before meeting their families on the Rymer Patio. With Marrion Field for a backdrop, moms and dads pinned boutonnières on their graduates and then posed for family photographs.

Boutonniere pinning

Families gathered to help graduates pin their boutonnières. See more photos of the boutonnière pinning

After the flowers were securely in place, families migrated to the rear of Clark-Morgan Hall for the Alumni Tie Ceremony. Assistant School Leader Davis Jamison ’24 shared a brief reflection with his classmates and assembled families before Director of Alumni Relations Jeremiah Shipman ’00 explained the significance of the Cardigan Alumni family and the symbolism of our traditional green and silver tie.

Alumni Tie Ceremony

Cardigan’s green and silver striped alumni tie: green for nature and growth, and silver for the granite of Mount Cardigan, a foundation built by our core values. See more photos of the Alumni Tie Ceremony

With their Commencement attire complete, the graduates posed for a quick class photo in front of the Chapel before lining up in front of Clark-Morgan Hall. The Commencement Ceremony began as the faculty processed into the tent and took their seats on either side of the stage, aided by rousing applause from appreciative families. Then, led by bagpiper Mr. Terry Ranney, as well as marshalls Ryan Sands ’25 and Will Gardner ’25, the Cardigan Class of 2024 processed on the path past Clark-Morgan Hall and underneath the row of trees by Hinman Hall, and into the tent, where the boys took their seats in the first three rows.

First to speak at the podium was Director of Spiritual Life Cheryl Borek P’10,’12,’15, who delivered the day’s invocation:

“We began this year with the goal of constructing a ‘House of Belonging.’ Along the way, we discovered that building a Cardigan boy takes time. Much like raising a house, it is an exacting, sometimes painful process, but if approached with patience, restraint, attention, and care, the finished product is a sturdy structure able to withstand even the fiercest of storms.

Following Ms. Borek’s words, Head of School Chris Day P’12,’13 stepped to the podium to welcome the family members and guests assembled, both those under the tent and those watching the live stream video.

Framing his remarks in our school’s history and Core Values, Mr. Day spent several moments acknowledging the impact of Cardigan’s faculty on the graduates, assuring the boys that “they will be with you the rest of your lives.” Mr. Day urged the Class of 2024, who come from a dozen different countries, to take the bonds they’ve developed at Cardigan out into the world and reminded them of the value of community:

“No one can do this alone—and one of the most valuable gifts of Cardigan is the community that all in this community are immersed in. It’s been mentioned in enough of the end-of-the-year ceremonies leading up to this day that I think by now you boys know it to be true. You will have great experiences and friendships in the years to come—but you will never be a 15-year-old kid who has had the unbelievable good fortune to be surrounded by so many who know you and love you again. There is something about this moment of your lives that makes it even more special. It’s okay if you don’t get that now. The adults all around you do… and you will too, one day.”

Next, Mr. Day invited Board Chair Mr. David Gregory P’18 to the podium, and his remarks echoed the themes of gratitude for Cardigan’s faculty, thanking the “adults in this community who know you and love you.” Mr. Gregory closed by speaking directly to the graduates:

“All of us look forward to watching you shine. I also look forward to watching you struggle. It’s going to happen. Life can be hard. We fail, make mistakes, and endure hardships. But you are going to be okay if you remember what you have learned here: that confidence, that pride, and that you are loved. Embrace the hard stuff and learn from it to be better. Be authentic, be grateful, and go for everything you want in your life.”

Returning to the podium, Mr. Day continued with announcing the recipients of the 2024 Commencement Prizes. Ten different boys were awarded Cardigan’s traditional prizes (please see the complete list of recipients below.) Following the awarding of student prizes, Mr. Day then recognized Jackie and Jeff Hudkins P’24 with the Gilbert Family Service Award for leadership in exemplary service to Cardigan.

It was then time for Cardigan’s school leader to share a reflection with his classmates. After expressing his gratitude to the teachers, advisors, coaches, mentors, and families for their sacrifice and support, Terry Langetieg ’24 shared some advice with his classmates as they head to 36 new schools next fall:

“We are growing up in a world that seems to be becoming more complicated every day. People cling to their comforts and beliefs and they fear differences and the challenges that come with learning from mistakes. It seems like it is easier to dismiss something that is uncomfortable or new as wrong or fake, and it is hard to know where to turn. I am proud to say that Cardigan has taught us better. The faculty has painstakingly taught us to discern between right and wrong, derive value from character, and prioritize substance over flash or fanciness. There are other schools where that might matter, but we appreciate the little things that build a strong community and lead to greater rewards. ‘We Over Me’ is present in all that we do.”

Mr. Day then introduced the 2024 Commencement speaker, Mr. Edilberto “Eddie” Ramos H’06, P’91,’97. Mr. Ramos was a young math teacher when he and his wife Fe moved into Brewster II during the summer of 1974. In his 50 years at Cardigan, Mr. Ramos chaired the Math Department, helped to introduce the use of computers into the math curriculum, advised the Math Club, coached basketball, Nordic skiing, and tennis, founded and advised the Bowling Club with Wim Hart H’08 (for more than 20 years!), officiated soccer, taught at Summer Session, and was the first dorm parent for future Head of School Dave McCusker ’80, P’09,’10.

Mr. Ramos framed his remarks through the lens of an old Arabian proverb: “Four things never return: the spoken word, the spent arrow, the past life, and the neglected opportunity.” Sharing his own journey to Cardigan as a backdrop, Mr. Ramos urged the Class of 2024 to realize that it is time for them to set or elevate their aspirations:

“Gentlemen, you are never too young to elevate your aspirations. Greta Thunberg was 15 years old when she became an environmental activist in Sweden. Malala Yousafzai was 17 when she received a Nobel Peace Prize for her educational activism in Pakistan. So, elevate your aspiration to become responsible and transparent global citizens. Aspire to become faithful and proactive stewards of planet Earth. Aspire to become proponents of justice and equality, and aspire to become staunch guardrails of freedom and democracy. In fulfilling these lofty aspirations, stay grounded in Cardigan’s Core Values of respect, compassion, integrity, and courage, and be steadfast in upholding your ethical and moral compass.”

Reaching the conclusion of his remarks, Mr. Ramos concluded by inspiring the Class of 2024 to make it count:

“Never hesitate to make that first impression count. Make it count with your scholarly achievements, make it count with your musical and theatrical talents, make it count with your penchant for the arts, make it count with your sincere and enthusiastic participation at chapel services, make it count with your multilingual abilities, make it count with your genuine effort to volunteer and to do community service, make it count with your innovative ideas, make it count with your innate ability to do hands-on projects, make it count with your athletic skills and accomplishments, make it count with your superb leadership qualities, make it count with your fortitude and courage under challenging circumstances, and above all, make it count with the enduring bond of friendship which you forged with your Cardigan brothers.”

After enthusiastic applause for Mr. Ramos, Mr. Day presided over the main event––the awarding of diplomas. The graduates walked across the stage one by one, received their diplomas, and posed for photographs with Mr. Day as their names were read by Assistant Dean of Students Meredith Frost P’25.

Cardigan graduates receiving their diplomas

Cardigan graduates receiving their diplomas. See more photos of Cardigan's 78th Commencement Ceremony

After the benediction from Ms. Borek, Director of Music Mr. Kevin Franco led  the graduates and guests in singing the Cardigan Hymn. The ceremony concluded with the soulful sounds of Mr. Ranney’s bagpipes leading the graduates out of the tent to the applause of the gathered community.


Commencement Prizes

Caldwell Prize: Awarded to the senior who has shown outstanding athletic achievement and sportsmanship

Nathan Caples

Dewar Prize: Awarded annually in honor of Dr. and Mrs. Cameron K. Dewar to the member of the senior class with the highest academic standing

Terry Langetieg

Hinman Prize: Given annually in memory of Mr. and Mrs. Harold P. Hinman to the senior who, in the opinion of the faculty, by industrious application to his studies, through his attitude on the playing field, and by his behavior and integrity, most nearly approaches the ideals of manhood as conceived in the minds of the founders of Cardigan Mountain School

Davis Jamison

Founders Prize: Awarded to the senior who has the will to complete any project, regardless of the difficulties encountered, without thought of personal gain, and whose objective is a job well done in the same approach that characterized the life of Harold P. Hinman, one of the founders of Cardigan Mountain School

Leo Kim

The Norman and Beverly Wakely Prize: Awarded by the Class of 1989 to the senior who, in the opinion of his classmates, best upholds the tradition, spirit, and pride of Cardigan Mountain School, thus making every day “a beautiful day in New Hampshire”

Tony Li

Pannaci Memorial Award: Awarded annually by the Class of 1959 as a memorial to Karl J. Pannaci ‘59, to that member of the senior class who, in the eyes of his fellow students, has achieved the best attained ideals of honesty, integrity, leadership, and general social and spiritual adjustment

Langston Williams

Skibiski Memorial Award: Given as a memorial to Michael R. Skibiski to that member of the senior class who has shown the greatest progress during his Cardigan Mountain School years

Annabi Diallo

William Knapp Morrison Award: Presented to the senior who, in the opinion of the students, best exemplifies the spirit of Willie Morrison ’82 in academics, athletics, and as a campus citizen

Mikey Mitchell

Faculty Prize: Awarded to the seniors who, in the opinion of the faculty, have made special contributions to Cardigan Mountain School

Ben Clary
Finn Donelan
Terry Langetieg

Watch Cardigan’s 78th Commencement Ceremony

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