Farewell, Class of 2023

Members of the Class of 2023 sing the National Anthem at EA Day’s water polo match – Communications

The Class of 2023 has made its mark on the school community, whether it be through student leadership in the classroom, the sports field, or the arts. Throughout the year, the class remained devoted to the ideals of the community.

“Every group put their all into what they were going to leave behind them. And even if it didn’t turn out as well as they wanted it to, it was undeniable that everybody tried their hardest to improve Haverford in the way that they wanted to,” Sixth Form Honor Council Chairman Ryan Davey said.

The Sixth Form led the upper school in claiming victories across multiple divisions, including winning the Heyward Cup, an accolade awarded to the top Inter-Ac school athletically, and selling out all three shows of the spring musical Les Miserables.

Trouble at the barricades in Les Miserables – Mr. Jerry McCrone via Communications

“Overall, I think that we had more wins than losses this year,” Student Body President Luka Sekulic said. “On average, we had more of the student body at bigger sporting events and school events, which I think is big.”

The class set high standards for itself at the beginning of the year. The virtue of the year, integrity, pushed each student to act according to his definition of morality.

“I think what we shined in was the real meaning of integrity—of following your own morals. I think we did a phenomenal job of that, as a class, as a whole. And it goes back to the Reflections, how many of those we had and how many people were willing to step out of their comfort zone,” Davey said.

The class also tried to embody some of the spirit of the Class of 2020, whom the Class of 2023 watched lead the school into the uncertain territory of the COVID pandemic. While many in the Class of 2023 spoke highly of the Class of 2020, we also had to make our own legacy.

“At least for me, I really tried to step away from that idea [of comparing ourselves to the Class of 2020], and I think our class tried to do what we can do best, which is be ourselves and make improvements on ourselves,” Sixth Form student council member Love McCune, Jr. said.

Nahla Thomas AIS ’23, Ali Islam ’23, Meklit Tedla AIS ’23, and Love McCune ’23 enjoy Pusha T’s set at Made in America at the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, September 3, 2022 – Teddy Busser ’23

The Class of 2023 experienced the entirety of the upper school’s struggle with the COVID pandemic, as the outbreak started in its Third Form year. Entering Sixth Form year, the class had to lead the student body out of the world of social distancing and mask-wearing we had experienced the previous two years.

“You guys have persevered; you stepped up in so many ways,” Sixth Form Dean Ms. Brooke Kenna said.

Throughout the year, the class focused on interpersonal relationships with other members of the community and setting a good example for younger students.

“What leadership is on a fundamental level—connecting with and setting an example for people below you and around you—I think the class of 2023 did a phenomenal job in terms of stepping up from our junior year,” Davey said.

When evaluating how successful the class was in leadership, it is important to take note of the small moments as well as the big ones.

“Watching certain seniors have little moments of mentoring with the younger guys, or just having somebody stop by to say hello… I love the little moments that aren’t always noticed or celebrated, but those are the most meaningful,” Ms. Kenna said.

Some of the bigger moments were times when the entire school gathered, like speeches, EA Day, and the spring musical.

“Our first [assembly], where [Joey], Luka, and myself were able to speak. I felt at that time like I had no other time throughout my Haverford career. We had an ability to all come together and speak to different parts and different students,” McCune said.

EA Day brought the class together, as a diverse group of students worked together on the playing field and in the stands.

“EA [Day] is always a time where we come together and, given the situation at Episcopal this year, watching everybody step up and bond and make the best of a difficult situation, especially physically, that was pretty impressive,” Ms. Kenna said.

Papi Harris ’23 in EA Day 2022 – Communications

The class did have its fair share of obstacles, one being the restriction of fan-section themes at sporting events. The biggest obstacle the Sixth Form faced may not have been the restrictions themselves but the reaction to those restrictions.

“What was the obstacle though was just a lot of the reactions to [things being taken away], ‘cause that just make a lot of people resentful… I think overcoming those reactions and the sense of entitlement that follows that, that was a big obstacle we had,” Davey said.

The biggest lesson learned was that obstacles may arise and adaptation is necessary.

“Our school has always done a great job at teaching us how to adapt, especially coming from facing things like a global pandemic, I felt like we have faced every type of adversity and have come out victorious,” McCune said. 

The class was at its best when it was together. Les Mis did this, as it brought many different groups of students together to sing and dance, an activity that some would not have expected from some of the individual students in the cast.

“One of my favorite memories is watching this whole group of students up on stage for Les Mis and they’re from so many different overlapping groups at Haverford… it’s been a cool vibe watching you guys transcend a particular group and really work together,” Ms. Kenna said.

The audience rises at the Friday, March 10 performance of Les Miserables – Mr. Jerry McCrone via communications

As we look forward to college and the wider world, it’s important to remember the lessons Haverford has taught us and the community it has given us.

“Just remember that, wherever you go in your adventures, Haverford is still here— physically, and the people here, the spirit here—we’re always here if you guys need a place to come back to,” Ms. Kenna said.