The Hun School of Princeton graduates 154 in Resilient Class of 2024

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Family and friends packed the lawn behind historic Russell Hall for The Hun School of Princeton’s 110th Commencement Exercises on June 7. The scene was a far cry from the remote experiences that marked many of the Class of 2024’s first year at the school.

In his first Hun Commencement, Head of School Bart Bronk noted that their ninth grade year was “one of hybrid schedules, remote learning, partial attendance, and too many sacrifices.”

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“How the class adapted and prevailed through these challenges,” he noted, “speaks to an inspiring resilience.”

This was especially true for international students like co-salutatorian Yao “Yoyo” Xiao who recalled checking in at 8:25 p.m. with her advisory via Zoom from more than 7,500 miles away in China. When she was finally able to join her classmates on campus, she found “a home away from home” and managed to balance her Hun schoolwork with an advanced math class at Princeton University, where she will matriculate in the fall.

Co-salutatorian Arjun Kumaar also noted the resilience his classmates displayed when he explained that the value of a Hun education lay not just in the academic courses he took, but also in the role models he discovered in his teachers as well as his peers, as “they exemplified discipline, hard work, resilience, integrity, light-heartedness, and so much more.” Kumaar will matriculate at Columbia University. 

During the ceremony, attendees also enjoyed musical performances by graduates Alexa Cavalli, Lauren Fleisher and Vivian Zhang along with David P., a sophomore. In addition to the presentation of a number of student awards, Lynn McNulty, director of Service Learning, ninth grade dean, and history faculty member, was named the Distinguished Faculty Endowed Chair for 2024-2026. It is the highest academic distinction that is awarded to a faculty member who best represents the importance and value of teaching at The Hun School.

The Importance of Challenging and Finding Oneself

Attendees also heard from Susan Michel, chairperson of the Board of Trustees, who encouraged the graduates to think of college as “the time to find your perfect self. By all means, have new experiences, meet new people, and try new things but only if you think those experiences, people, and things will bring you one step closer to the person you ultimately want to be.” Similarly, Valedictorian Michael D’Aulerio, who will also matriculate at Princeton University, urged his classmates to put themselves “in situations that inspire you to challenge your strengths, your plans, your entire image of yourself, because that’s how you find yourself.”

Bronk encouraged the graduates to wander boldly, proudly, and frequently, explaining that the best way to find themselves would be by making choices that are driven by three questions.

“Does this fulfill me and bring me joy? Does this connect me to people who enrich my life and enliven my experience? And, finally, does this make a difference in the world?” he asked. “If you choose pathways in life based on those answers — and not the prescribed roadmap you think you have to follow — you’ll end up not where you thought you were supposed to go, but instead where you are truly meant to be.”

The Hun School’s 110th graduating class has 154 members. They will matriculate at ninety-eight different colleges and universities, domestically and abroad. Thirty-two members earned induction into the Cum Laude Society; 44 are members of the National Honor Society; and 17 completed the Scholars Program. The Hun School is a co-educational day and boarding school in Princeton, where student-centered, joyful learning, and faculty-student mentorship are the hallmarks of the school.

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