Above: The Conway School Class of 2023! Dave Weber ’15 snapped this shot a few days before graduation, to take advantage of the sunny weather.
On Saturday, June 24, 2023, graduates, families, and friends gathered for Conway’s fiftieth commencement ceremony, to celebrate the remarkable achievements of the Class of 2023.
We kicked the day off with a display of student work, including hand sketches, 3D models and completed plan sets.
Mollie Babize ’84, trustee, welcomed graduates, family, and friends, and shared opening remarks. We were also honored to welcome Conway School founder Walt Cudnohufsky as our 2023 Commencement speaker.
Walt invited the graduates to share something they learned at Conway that changed the way they think about the world. He reminded us that, “There is ample to say about having a collaborative team in your life,” which Conway students are fortunate to have nurtured over the course of their year together.
After being introduced by faculty members Ken Byrne, Kate Cholakis ’11, and Kim Erslev, the graduates participated in the Conway tradition of awarding degrees to each other, making for an emotional and unique ceremony.
Photos: Bill Dwight (L and R) and Dave Weber ’15 (C).Every member of the class contributed to a thoughtful class gift – a zine for incoming students titled “Conway Declassified: So You’re a Conway Student – Now What?!” which includes a list of tunes that kept the studio going, favorite “snack strategies,” and much more.
The ceremony wrapped up with a musical offering that has become a new graduation tradition in recent years: an ad hoc chorus of graduates, trustees, faculty, and staff performed “We Shall Be Known” by Karisha Longaker of MaMuse.
Alum Liason, Master Gardener, and flower arranger extraordinaire Elaine Williamson ’11 created beautiful large arrangements from her garden flowers, and Projects Manager CJ Lammers made amazing small arrangements from foraged flowers. The ceramic bird, made by faculty member Kim Erslev, was one of several birds sprinkled around the Coach House in memory of Bobbin Young, a beloved friend and supporter of the school.
Following the formal ceremony, The clouds parted in time for a reception under the tent, complete with in-house music. Attendees enjoyed a taco buffet, courtesy of our friends from the Town of Conway, caterers Jeanne and Bruce Jouannet.
We enjoyed TWO delicious celebratory cakes from local River Valley Co-op: a carrot cake, and this decadent vegan chocolate cake.
It’s always such fun to meet everyone’s friends and family members.
A family member (below left) and members of the graduating class (below right) enjoy a slideshow of photos that everyone contributed to. The remarkable student projects (including freshly printed and bound spring term planning projects!) were on display in the studio.
The quiet before the ceremony. One young guest made this beautiful drawing during the ceremony. (Conway School Class of 2043, perhaps?)
We are so very proud of this class, and can’t wait to see what incredible things they go on to do in the world.