In an outdoor ceremony August 1 under the COVID-19 safety protocols currently in effect from the State of Connecticut, the Academy of Our Lady of Mercy, Lauralton Hall awarded diplomas to the Class of 2020. The event was also available for families and friends to view via livestream.
Lauralton Hall Chair of the Board of Trustees Paul Fama P '17, Head of School Elizabeth Miller, and Dean of Academics Jan Powers '75 awarded diplomas. Lauralton was honored with a special appearance from Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) who presented a Certificate of Special Recognition to Lauralton Hall from the U.S. Senate honoring the School's "Extraordinary and Longstanding History of Academic Excellence Preparing Women Leaders in the Mercy Tradition." Senator Blumenthal commended members of the Class of 2020 for their "grit and perseverance" as they "demonstrated leadership and follow-through" in their academics despite the challenges of the pandemic.
Today's ceremony follows a June 20th event at which Lauralton Hall welcomed the Class of 2020 back to its Milford campus -- for the first time since transitioning to online learning March 11 -- to celebrate graduating seniors. Students and their families paraded in their decorated vehicles through campus to the applause of the Chair of the Board of Trustees, the School's Leadership Team, Academic Team, faculty and staff members. Graduates had the opportunity to participate in time-honored Lauralton traditions including ceremoniously planting the class tree and induction into the alumnae association.
Speakers included Class of 2020 Valedictorian Isabela Baghdady and Salutatorian Caron Kim. Ms. Baghdady, the daughter of Mr. Raymond Baghdady and Mrs. Rosa Baghdady of Shelton, will attend the University of Pennsylvania with plans to major in philosophy, politics, and economics. Ms. Kim, the daughter of Mr. George Kim and Mrs. Jin Kim of West Haven, will attend Harvard with an interest in pursuing government studies.
The School's highest honor, the Catherine McAuley Award, was presented to Carly Weber, daughter of Mr. Richard Weber and Mrs. LeighAnn Weber of Milford. This annual award, named for the foundress of the Sisters of Mercy, is presented to the senior who best demonstrates the Lauralton mission of Mercy values including compassion, courage, spirit of volunteerism and sound academic performance. Ms. Weber will attend Fordham University.
Diplomas were conferred to 96 young women in the Class of 2020 including nine international students.
Graduates will attend 58 different colleges in 22 states including Boston College, Brown, College of the Holy Cross, Harvard, Tufts University, University of California Los Angeles, University of Michigan, University of Notre Dame, University of Pennsylvania, and University of Virginia.
Lauralton Hall's Frances Warde Service Award was awarded to 19 graduating seniors who each contributed more than 80 hours of service during the 2019-2020 academic year.
"Our students in the Class of 2020 and their families experienced dual celebrations like no other graduation in Lauralton's 115-year history," said Elizabeth Miller, Head of School. "As we have endured this pandemic together, I'm so proud of our seniors as they embraced online learning and remained focused on their academic goals. I was thrilled to welcome them back to campus again to honor their achievements in this special ceremony."
For videos of the August 1st graduation ceremony and June 20th parade as well as Class of 2020 awards and college acceptances, go to www.lauraltonhall.org/grad2020
About Lauralton Hall
Established in 1905 by the Sisters of Mercy, Academy of Our Lady of Mercy, Lauralton Hall educates girls in grades 9 – 12. Lauralton Hall is the first independent Catholic college-preparatory school for girls in Connecticut. Inspired by the Mercy Tradition, Lauralton Hall's mission is to empower young women to pursue their highest potential through lifelong learning, compassionate service, and responsible leadership in a global society.
Lauralton Hall is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges and the Connecticut Department of Education. Lauralton Hall is a member of the Connecticut Association of Schools, Connecticut Association of Independent Schools, Mercy Education System of the Americas, and National Association of Independent Schools.
Lauralton Hall is located at 200 High Street, Milford, CT. For more information, visit www.lauraltonhall.org.