Geneva School held its 2018 Commencement Exercises on Saturday, May 26, at University United Methodist Church in San Antonio. This class of 39 seniors is the eighth graduating class of Geneva School and is the first class to have joint valedictorians—Anna Palermo and Austin Salter—who shared this honor.
The Class of 2018 had 15 students who are members of the Geneva Guild which recognizes those who began at Geneva in kindergarten and completed all 13 years at the school. The 2018 Geneva Guild members are Carissa Georgelos, Lauren Jarvis, Kenny Kidd, Ross Kirchner, Will Langenbahn, Oliva Lipe, Brenna McBroom, Savannah Mixon, Emme Owens, Anna Palermo, Marshall Shults, Riley Smith, Henry Viña, Chris Wilson and Grace Zara.
The Commencement Exercises began with a prelude of classical music played by Geneva School musicians including a Psalm of Praise titled “Peace of God” sung by the Geneva Choir. The processional, “79th’s Farewell to Gibraltar,” was played on bagpipes by 2016 graduate Drei Richardson. The Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Steve Griffey, gave the welcome and Aaron Southwick, a parent and Rhetoric School faculty member from 2008-2018, offered the scripture reading from Ephesians 4:1-6 as well as the opening prayer. Valedictorians Anna Palermo and Austin Salter, each addressed the graduates personally in their speeches before the assembly sang the hymn “Great is Thy Faithfulness.”
Rob Shelton, Headmaster of Geneva’s Rhetoric School, delivered the Commencement Speech titled “Walk Worthy” in which he charged the graduates to live a life in obedience to God, honoring Him in the way they love, serve and lead others. Graduate Kenny Kidd was recognized as the winner of the G.K. Chesterton Award for the best overall Senior Thesis presentation which was titled “Brave Neurotic World: How America Breeds Anxiety and Depression and How to Stop the Epidemic.”
After the graduates were conferred, the Geneva community joined together to sing the school’s Alma Mater and the hymn “Non Nobis,” which is Latin for “Not unto us, O Lord, but to Your name give glory” from Psalm 115:1.
“Singing this hymn at the end of each school year serves as a fitting reminder that we exist not for our own glory but for the glory of God. We end our school year by giving glory to God as we congratulate the Class of 2018,” Head of School Brad Ryden said.
Scott Stolle, a parent and former Geneva Athletic Director, offered the closing prayer. The Faculty Choir sang “The Lord Bless You and Keep You” before the Commencement Exercises closed with the recessional “On the Road to Passchendaele” played on the bagpipes by Richardson.