Milken’s eldest students became its newest alumni on Sunday when the Class of 2018 received their diplomas during the annual commencement ceremony at Stephen S. Wise Temple. For the graduating students, the program, which lasted about three and a half hours, marked the culmination of four years of study, hard work and determination that led them to receive their high school degrees.
Commencement also marked the final Milken event for both Milken’s president, Metuka Benjamin, and its Head of School, Gary Weisserman, who both spoke at the ceremony. In her speech, Benjamin charged the graduating class to fight against bigotry wherever their respective paths led them. Benjamin also introduced Milken’s newest Chairperson of its Board of Trustees, Lise Applebaum, who will be replacing Richard Sandler at the end of the year. Mr. Weisserman’s address, which lasted over 18 minutes, touched on the necessity for optimism and hope as humans, as Americans and as Jews. Speaking to the Class of 2018, Weisserman boldy exclaimed, “You, graduates, are about to enter adulthood at the greatest time to be alive in the history of humankind.”
A handful of student speakers also graced the podium, starting with Audrey Mokhtarzadeh ‘18, who was selected to deliver the student address. Mokhtarzadeh expressed gratitude for the welcoming community she found at Milken and for the intertwining of Jewish values and American society she experienced as a Milken student. Logan Shalit ‘18, delivered the Hebrew Address, which discussed the Mourner’s Kaddish and the need to find meaning in events that may seem troubling or confusing. The traditional Salutatory and Valedictory addresses were delivered by Clara Pitt ‘18 and Aaron Feldman ‘18 respectively.
With their graduation comes a barrage of new opportunities for the Class of 2018. This coming Fall, Milken’s most recent graduates will attend 54 different colleges and gap year programs. As they go their separate ways, The Roar extends the best of luck to the Class of 2018.