Posted July 19, 2012
Columbus School for Girls proudly celebrated 51 young women at the 2012 Commencement Ceremony. It was a beautiful day for the graduates as they celebrated their many years of hard work, their many accomplishments, and their many friendships. Each graduating senior had her long awaited moment walking down the red carpeted aisle in a traditional long white dress holding one dozen red long stem roses. A moment every CSG girl knows well.
The welcome was given by Liza Lee, Head of School and Board President, Bernie Ostrowski conferred diplomas with Mrs. Lee, Terrie Hale Scheckelhoff, Ph.D., Associate Head of School, and Jemma Giddings, Director of Upper School.
Sophie Chatas, Student Council President addressed the board, faculty, students, parents and many friends and relatives. Sophie's address was delivered with a message that referenced her speech at Convocation, the official start of school, and built on the physical changes at CSG during the Landmark Construction project. Sophie directed the following to her classmates:
Clearly, the distinct spirit of CSG not only remained strong throughout this chaotic, change-filled year, but it in fact became stronger. My wish for the Class of 2012 is that each of us is able to respond and adapt to the changes in our own lives in this same way. Just as the CSG community used the construction changes and commotion to build on the bonds that already existed, I am confident each of us graduating seniors will use whatever chaos we face in our own lives to construct our new selves – stronger, wiser, more resilient. Just as we faced and overcame challenges so often together here at CSG, I know we will face all our challenges next year with the same determination and strength. And, just as we moved forward from our mistakes together at CSG, I know we will do so in the future with the same courage and grace. Just like CSG’s spirit did this year, I expect each of our unique spirits to remain strong and shine through whatever hardships we face.
Terrie Hale Scheckelhoff, Associate Head at Columbus School for Girls, gave the Commencement address to the Class of 2012. Dr. Scheckelhoff said good bye to her friends in the CSG Community after 33 years of Service as she transitions to her new position as Head of School at St. Catherine's in Richmond, Virginia. Her speech gave the graduates quotes to ponder and tips to live by:
As you leave CSG and begin a new journey at places like Duke, Furman, Miami University, and University of St. Andrews in Scotland, please spend some time thinking about the person you are and the person you want to become. Be intentional about your choices and direction. This is an important moment in your life. You are now entering the next phase where you will make decisions about what you will do, with whom, and when. Eleanor Roosevelt so elegantly stated, “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”
So, please indulge me one last time, and let me offer what many of you have called, “Tips from Terrie.” I offer you 10 tips:
- Be a woman with vision and dedication. Figure out what you want to do and work hard to make it happen. Ask questions, listen to others, conduct research, and read a lot. “Hitch your wagon to a star,” as Ralph Waldo Emerson said.
- Be a woman of integrity and honor. Have a love of truth and expect it from yourself and others; give respect and appreciation to those who are deserving.
- Be a woman with passions and a lot of heart. Confucius said it best when he said, “Wherever you go, go with all your heart.”
- Be a woman of courage. Stand up for others who cannot stand up for themselves and stand up for what you know is right. Be brave. The PYCers said it best when they told me that, “Brave means you are a little scared…you just have to go up and shake hands.”
- Be a woman who is on time and uses good manners. Enough said.
- Be a woman who laughs easily and often. Find the humorous side of daily life and celebrate it with others. People are drawn to those who smile and laugh. I love Charlie Chaplin’s quote, “To truly laugh, you must be able to take your pain, and play with it!”
- Be a woman who is reflective. Take time to ponder life – your life. Enjoy the many wonders of the world. Walk in beautiful places in silence – and think.
- Be a woman who is curious. Explore and experience all sorts of new things. Attend operas, go kayaking, read classics, study nature, build a camp fire, learn to grill chicken on a gas grill, find a book of poetry and be absorbed by the words. “A poem begins in delight and ends in wisdom,” says Robert Frost.
- Be a woman who is fun! Be playful; enjoy simple pleasures in life. I have loved playing on the playground with CSG girls and young women, competing in faculty versus student athlete sports events, walking with you on the CSG Scholarship Walk, and doing all sorts of fun and silly things. You have helped me find pleasure in life’s daily moments – and I am grateful to you.
- Be a woman who sees the best in the world:
“What’s the best thing in the world?
June-rose, by May-dew impearled;
Sweet south-wind, that means no rain;
Truth, not cruel to a friend;
Pleasure, not in haste to end;
Beauty, not self-decked and curled
Till its pride is over-plain;
Light, that never makes you wink;
Memory, that gives no pain;
Love, when, so, you’re loved again.
What’s the best thing in the world?
--Something out of it, I think.”
By Elizabeth Barrett Browning
It has been an honor to serve you all these years. Forte et Gratum to you, girls - with all my love.