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(Boston) – The Boston University Academy community gathered on May 19 to honor the graduating Class of 2008. The school’s fourteenth commencement ceremony was held at the Tsai Performance Center, and led by Brian Baise, BU Academy Director of Studies. Boston University Provost Dr. David Campbell presented diplomas to 33 distinguished graduates.
The Commencement Address was given by Professor Loren J. Samons II, chair of the BU Department of Classical Studies, an appropriate speaker since BU Academy provides an education program marked by a traditional, classically based core curriculum. Professor Samons discussed the importance of individuals putting the quest for excellence – in Greek, arete – and virtue – in Latin, virtus – above the pursuit of things like wealth and power. Illustrating this theme, he cited Socrates’ defense speech before the Athenians in 399 B.C. as presented by Plato in the Apology, and the Roman philosopher Boethius’ Consolation of Philosophy, written about 524 A.D.
“The most important question you will face over the next four years will not be about your courses, majors, or careers. The most important question you will ask yourself is ‘What kind of person do I want to be?’” said Professor Samons. “If you will focus on the quest for arete and virtus recommended to us by Socrates and Boethius, you have the chance to become not only smart and successful, but good and happy. To paraphrase Boethius, it is only the kind of happiness that comes from goodness that can never be taken away.”
Also speaking at the commencement were Class of 2008 members Leah Fine and Jacob Caplain who gave the valedictory and student addresses, respectively, while Samantha Cohen and Lydia Glenn offered Latin and Greek orations. Additionally, Class of 2007 member William Leuchtenberger welcomed the graduates to the BU Academy Alumni Association.
Viktor Tsankov presented a gift on behalf of the graduating class, which included a contribution to the Haley Murphy Morrill Memorial Scholarship Fund, which will provide financial aid to future BU Academy students. The scholarship fund was established in the memory of Class of 2010 student Haley Murphy Morrill who passed away earlier this year.
Four members of the Class of 2008 will attend Boston University in the fall. Other prestigious destinations include Albert A. List College of Jewish Studies Joint Program with Columbia University, Amherst College, Bates College, Boston College, Bowdoin College, Brandeis University, Bryn Mawr College, Carnegie Mellon University, Case Western Reserve University, University of Chicago, Colby College, Cornell College, Duke University, Harvard University, Macalester College, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, McGill University, Northwestern University, Princeton University, Stanford University, Swarthmore College, Tufts University, Willamette University and Yale University.
Boston University Academy was founded in 1993 and is a small, independent, coeducational high school. BUA fosters learning in a community environment with the unique benefit of Boston University’s resources. Located on the Boston University campus, the Academy provides a rigorous program that combines a traditional curriculum with college classes (up to 48 college credits) to facilitate a smooth transition from high school. For more information, please visit www.buacademy.org.