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The Alumnae and Alumni of WCDS are a vibrant and loyal constituency, returning to campus for graduation ceremonies, the College Panel, and traditional WCDS festivities like Homecoming and the Medieval Banquet. They also return for athletic events –especially those in which alumni are playing against current students and usually win, as they have for the past years on the soccer field, volleyball and basketball courts for games played at Homecoming, during graduation and during the hotly contested Jon Lee Memorial Silver Bucket Game! Without the Alumni the school would not be the school it is. We count on our former graduates to spread the word about their positive past experiences and to return to mentor current students.
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Two alumnae, Jen Thede, class of 1984, and Welby Griffin, class of 1995, currently serve as faculty members and help keep the school's institutional memory strong. An alumnus or alumna is always a voting member on the Board of Directors, as well, as is a member of the Lynn family, founders of the school. Currently, Rob Dickey, class of 1983,Todd Landis, class of 1984, John Vanderzon, class of 1984, and Mrs. Pamela Lynn Tucker, retired WCDS Headmistress, teacher, and co-founder, serve on the 2016-2017 WCDS Board of Directors. Two other faculty members (Bethany O'Neill and Ann Landis) are spouses of alumni John O'Neill and Todd Landis, class of 1984. Many children of graduates attend WCDS, and these legacies help strengthen the school’s ties to the past. Currently members of the student body who are children of alumni are from the Colgan, Cosby, Griffin, Landis, O'Neill, Thede, Clark, and Dougherty families.
Jon Lee Memorial Silver Bucket Game
In keeping with tradition, the Jon Lee Memorial Silver Bucket Game was held at WCDS on December 26. This game honors the legacy of Wakefield Country Day School's first basketball coach, Jon Lee.
The game pitted young Alumni who had graduated from 2013 through current players (green team) against Alumni who graduated in 2012 and earlier (orange team).
The green team led 15-10 at the end of the first quarter and 25-17 at the half. They maintained their lead the rest of the game winning 52-35. Alex Foster was on fire scoring 26 points, including six three-point baskets, for the green team. Daniel Chadduck and Chris O’Heir each scored 10 points for the green team. Jeremy Kwolek, Gage Landis, Sam Lilburn, and Connor O’Heir also scored for the green team.
Andrew Smith led the orange team with 17 points including four three-point baskets. Maxime Manzi added seven points. Patrick Brown, Daniel Larner, Michael O’Heir, and Brian Shafran also scored for the orange team.
We offer special thanks to Tom Shafran and Coach Mark Dick for officiating the game. Tyler Johnson and Coach Costello took care of the scoreboard operation, and Emily Frost and Lisa Ramey promoted and organized the event. A good time was had by all including a nice social gathering after the game.
2017 Graduation Speaker: Pilot Todd Landis, Class of 1984
Attorney Thomas Dowell, Class of 2001, delivered the commencement address in 2016 to a graduating class of 21 students that included his brother Joseph, now a freshman at the College of William and Mary. A subsequent magna cum laude graduate of Tulane University and UVA's law school, Dowell advised the seniors to be bold and ever thankful for what they have.
G. Shawn Hunter, class of 1987, an Executive Producer and Vice President for Leadership Solutions at Skillsoft in Maine, delivered a dynamic address in 2015, encouraging the seniors “to do what it takes to make the greatest impact” on others “instead of going through life asking, ‘What is in it for me?’" Mr. Hunter, also the author of two books, Out Think and Flipped Leadership, ended his address with directives for encouragement, telling the seniors:
1) “You can do anything but not everything, so consider thoughtfully what to think about; ask questions and trust others.”
2) “Measure your success by what you give and not by what you get.”
3) “Give compassion and kindness as generously as you can.”
Tobias Dengle, class of 1989, was the graduation speaker for the class of 2014. He offered the seniors these three pieces of sage advice:
1) Always be prepared;
2) Test drive as many jobs as possible
3) Find and embrace what you feel passion for in your life.
In the heat of the afternoon sun, Mr. Dengel reminded the 2014 graduates that they “only have control within the context of the tides swirling around them and need to be prepared for wherever the current might take them.” He encouraged them to “live life by pushing not by being pulled” and reminded them that, “as Aristotle first pointed out 2,300 years ago, the clearest road to happiness is when people . . . spend much of their time fully engaged.. . .The process of the work itself, not its fruits, are success and what breeds happiness in humans.” He ended his speech by quoting lines from Alfred Lord Tennyson’s poem, Ulysses.
“Though much is taken, much abides; and though We are not now that strength which in old days Moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are –One equal temper of heroic hearts, Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will To strive, to seek, to find and not to yield.”