Matriculation welcomes class of 2022


Kathy Fang

Freshman adviser Yumiko Aridomi and members of the class of 2022 recite the matriculation oath at the matriculation ceremony in the upper school’s quad on Aug. 24.

by Eric Fang and Arushi Saxena

The 2018-19 school year’s annual matriculation ceremony welcomed incoming freshmen, returning students and faculty with a series of speeches and skits on Aug. 24.

After sophomores, juniors, and seniors settled into their seats in the upper school’s quad, the processional of teachers in their gowns took their seats behind the stage. The class of 2022 soon walked down the center aisle in their advisory groups.

Once everyone was seated, Head of School Brian Yager commenced the ceremony by commemorating Harker’s 125th anniversary and offering introductory remarks to the incoming freshmen. He stressed the need for upperclassmen to aid freshmen in their first year of high school.

Next, upper school vocal group Cantilena performed a rendition of Stephen Hatfield’s “Ain’t That News” directed by Susan Nace. Jennifer Sandusky, director of Bel Canto and Downbeat, also joined the choir during the performance.

Attitude and emotions directly coincide with how you see the world; be good to one another, and let your decisions not only positively influence you but have an impact on the entire world.”

— Butch Keller, head of upper school

Following their performance was a speech by Upper School Division Head Butch Keller. He began with a Cherokee legend to emphasize the importance of expressing love and kindness to all members of the student body.

According to the legend, Keller explained that a good wolf, embodying love, kindness, generosity and other aspects, constantly clashes with an evil wolf, which represents one’s negative traits. In the end, Keller highlighted the fact that students are in control of their actions and that they have the power to decide “which wolf to feed”.

“You must be the guardian of your own mind,” Keller said. “Attitude and emotions directly coincide with how you see the world; be good to one another, and let your decisions not only positively influence you but have an impact on the entire world.”

ASB President Neil Ramaswamy (12) then took to the stage to once again welcome the Class of 2022.

He chose to recite a personal anecdote of a recent conversation with a friend, in which he at first felt embarrassed to say that he was a Harker student, and closed by emphasizing pride about being a part of the diverse Harker community.

“What differentiates us is the passion, intensity, and authentic fascination that is present in everything that we do,” Neil said. “It is because of this passion that we excel not only in classrooms and labs, but also on the field and on the stage.”

Neil introduced all of the Student Council and Honor Council representatives, and Shania Wang (12), ASB vice president, recited the Matriculation Oath in unison with the rest of the student body. Next, Assistant Head of School Jennifer Gargano invited the incoming class to take a copy of the Oath and sign the Honor Code.

As freshmen filed out in lines to sign books containing the Honor Code, the Harker String Quartet — comprising Rachel Broweleit (11), Constance Horng (12), Sophia Horng (10) and Jerry Peng (12) and conducted by instrumental music teacher David Hart — performed John Legend’s “Stay With Me” and Bastille’s “Pompeii.”

Student Council and Honor Council followed up the performance with their annual “Freshman 101” skits. The skits referenced TV shows and advised the Class of 2022 on the “do’s and don’ts” of the upper school, covering topics such as Eagle Update, campus rules, Extra Period Options, clubs, performing arts and the Honor Code.

After the performance, Yager offered closing remarks as the teachers filed out of their seats.

Students then departed for orientation meetings specific for each grade and had their photographs taken in the auxiliary gym. After, they ate their first lunch of the school year in Manzanita and gathered in advisory groups to receive forms and lockers.

The academic year began with classes on Aug. 27.

This piece was originally published in the pages of the Winged Post on Aug. 31, 2018.