Celebrating Our Class of 2020 Grads

Michael Fellin, Headmaster of Crescent School
Each year, our graduating class reminds us of the importance of relationships as a core aspect of the Crescent experience. Grads make a point of connecting with current and former mentors, teachers and coaches. They impart words of wisdom with boys in other grades. They talk about plans for next year. And, most of all, they hang out together – in the Grad Lounge, on Innes Field, in the hallways, even in the Formal Garden – sharing laughs, trading memories and savouring their final moments together.

This year is different. Our inability to be on campus has curtailed these in-person opportunities to connect. As a result, our Class of 2020 Grads have navigated their final weeks of classes without the benefit of the informal interactions that help us process major transitions. Our Grade 12s are adjusting to another reality: that their first year at university will likely be very different from what they had imagined.

This isn’t how high school is supposed to end, and it’s definitely not how the Crescent journey is supposed to conclude. Yet in every challenge, there is an opportunity. 

Since the launch of our Virtual Learning Program, our Grads have demonstrated how ready they are for life after Crescent. Faced with an unprecedented need for self-discipline and determination, they drove their own learning. They rose to every challenge and consistently showed they have what it takes to navigate the unknown landscape they are travelling toward.

My hope for our Grads is that they see this moment as a revelation. Of their resilience. Of their independence as learners. Of their compassion. Of their character. Of the importance of relationships. And of how strong their connection to the Crescent community is and will always remain.

This unusual end to the school year has prompted a very Crescent response. From parents to faculty, alumni and the Grads themselves, everyone is rallying to make the coming weeks as magical as possible. The creativity, positivity and sense of community are inspiring.

We are moving ahead with unique ways to engage and celebrate our Grads while adjusting to the constraints imposed by the province’s emergency orders. On Friday, our Grads received a special home delivery: a gift package containing their Crescent Grad tie, a Crescent Alumni ballcap, a $20 gift card to The Burger’s Priest that was founded by alumnus Shant Mardirosian ’95, and a Welcome to the Crescent Alumni video message from Evan Solomon ’87.

Another initiative, our Transition to University program, is a collaboration with the Crescent Alumni Executive, which has stepped forward to ensure this is a special time for our graduating class. During the week of June 8, we will offer twice-daily masterclass sessions aimed at helping our Grads prepare for next year. There will be an inspirational keynote and a session on resilience with two former Head Boys, and panels with alumni currently attending universities in Ontario, on the east and west coasts of Canada, and in the United States. There will be an introduction to the Alumni Association, and special sessions with Crescent faculty to cover important topics such as Finances 101, University Study Skills, and even an introduction to Cajun Cooking from our native Louisianan on staff. Finally, there will be a session about planning for a virtual term on campus with an alumnus who is a Professor at Dalhousie University.

This health crisis has kept us from many things, but it is not stopping us from doing everything we can to honour our Grads. These remarkable young men have reached an inflection point on their journey to Men of Character from Boys of Promise. It is a time to celebrate everything they have accomplished and envision everything they will achieve as they carry our mission into the world. While this year closes unlike any other, what will carry on are the relationships with our boys and their relationship to Crescent School.

Veritate Stamus et Crescimus.