On Saturday, May 13, 105 prepared, confident citizens of the world crossed the stage at Peachtree Presbyterian Church as Pace Academy alumni. The ceremony marked the culmination of a weekend of celebrations surrounding the Class of 2017.
Graduation festivities began on Friday, May 12, as students and their families gathered in the Pace Academy Fine Arts Center for Senior Honors Day. During the ceremony, Christopher Howard was announced as the Class of 2017’s valedictorian, and Will Movsovitz received the salutatorian medal. Howard and Julia Ross were recognized with the Frank D. Kaley Award, Pace Academy’s highest honor.
A Baccalaureate service took place on Saturday, May 13, in the Fine Arts Center. Dr. Raymond R. Sommerville Jr., emeritus professor of church history at Christian Theological Seminary and senior pastor of Phillips Temple CME Church in Toledo, Ohio, delivered the Baccalaureate address.
Later that day, the school community gathered for graduation exercises at Peachtree Presbyterian Church. Per school tradition, the identity of the graduation speaker was not be revealed until the ceremony. Atlanta Falcons fans were thrilled when quarterback Matt Ryan, the National Football League’s 2016 Most Valuable Player, gave the commencement address.
The 105 members of the Class of 2017—27 of whom have attended Pace Academy since Pre-First—have contributed significantly to the school community, and each leaves a lasting legacy. Seniors averaged 30 on the ACT; seven were named National Merit Finalists; three are National Merit Scholars; one is a U.S. Presidential Scholars Program Semifinalist. Each graduate completed at least one Advanced Placement course.
Members of the class represent Georgia High School Association state championships in cross-country, football, basketball, soccer and the literary meet. Ten graduates earned a combined 22 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards this year; three are Eagle Scouts. These students traveled the world through Pace Academy’s Isdell Center for Global Leadership, visiting destinations such as India, South Africa, Chile, Madagascar and Antarctica. The class averaged 90 hours of community service in the Upper School, and 13 student-athletes representing seven sports will continue their athletic careers at the collegiate level.
Pace Academy’s graduates will matriculate to 49 colleges and universities in 20 states, the District of Columbia and Scotland, continuing a streak of international students that extends back to 2009. Twenty-seven percent will attend a school in Georgia; 28 students are the sole matriculant to their colleges.
The Pace Academy community bids farewell to these 105 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.”