The Pace Academy Alumni Association welcomed 108 new members on May 14. The school community celebrated the Class of 2016 during several events over the weekend.
The festivities began with a Baccalaureate service on Friday, May 13. Rev. Dr. Tony Sundermeier, pastor of First Presbyterian Church of Atlanta and a Pace parent, delivered the Baccalaureate address, encouraging graduates to be good stewards of their experiences and opportunities.
Senior Honors Day took place on Saturday, May 14. During the ceremony, senior Andrew Wu was announced as the Class of 2016’s valedictorian. Salutatorian Johnny Reece and Jack Eichenlaub received the Frank D. Kaley Award, Pace Academy’s highest honor.
The school community then gathered for graduation exercises at Peachtree Presbyterian Church. Television comedy writer Mike Reiss gave the commencement address. During his 25 years writing for The Simpsons, Reiss has won four Emmys and a Peabody Award. In 2006, he received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Animation Writers Caucus. Reiss co-created the animated series The Critic and Showtime’s hit cartoon Queer Duck. His other TV credits include It’s Garry Shandling’s Show, ALF and The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson; he co-wrote The Simpsons Movie and Ice Age 3 and has been a contributing writer to two dozen animated films.
“I’ve learned that having a good sense of humor means laughing at yourself, laughing at things you disagree with,” Reiss told graduates. “The more you open your mind, the more you learn… to the Class of 2016, I wish you long lives of love, learning and laughter.”
The members of Pace Academy’s Class of 2016 contributed significantly to the school community, leaving lasting legacies in academics, the arts, athletics and global leadership. The senior class averaged 30 on the ACT, and each senior completed at least one Advanced Placement course before graduation. Seven were named National Merit Finalists; one is a National Merit Scholar.
Members of the class represent Georgia High School Association state championships in football, basketball and the literary meet; 16 earned a combined 35 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards this year. Five members of the Class of 2016 are Eagle Scouts; five earned Girl Scout Gold Awards. These graduates traveled the world through Pace Academy’s Isdell Center for Global Leadership, visiting destinations such as India, Italy, Cuba, South Africa, Romania and Vietnam. The class averaged 90 hours of community service in the Upper School, and 17 student-athletes representing eight sports will continue their athletic careers at the collegiate level.
Pace Academy’s graduates will matriculate to 54 colleges and universities in 25 states; 17 percent will attend a school in Georgia; 34 students are the sole matriculant to their colleges. One member of the Class of 2016 will attend college in Scotland, continuing a streak of international students that extends back to 2009.
The Pace Academy community bids farewell to these 108 individuals secure in the knowledge that they will fulfill the school’s mission and continue to make a difference as 'prepared, confident citizens of the world.'”