June 7, 2020

314 Graduates,
Together Making History

A commencement unlike any other.

In the Academy’s 239th year, the class of 2020 has been a source of leadership, strength and community. As Principal Rawson remarks, “In every aspect of school life, seniors, you have led the way, set a high standard and made a positive difference.” We celebrate the great class of 2020 — today and always.

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Messages for Our Seniors

Messages for our Seniors

Exeter challenges you to reach beyond what you ever thought possible. Congratulations on your admirable achievement. In the years ahead you will look back on Exeter as a place instilling goodness and knowledge, a place where you learned how to learn. Stay well!

Richard Brown, Math Teacher 1962-1997

Congratulations to the class of 2020 - we are so excited for you all! Look out world - here you come - it will be a better place with you all a part of it - spreading knowledge and kindness and all your amazing talents and generous spirits!

Heather Taylor

Congratulations to the class of 2020! Be proud. You have achieved a lot. Best of luck!

Ruthie and Robert Binder, grandparents

I love you 2020. You're all gonna do big things in life.

Isa Matsubayashi '21

Congratulations to the class of 2020! Today's graduation circumstances are unexpected but you all deserve the best celebration. You've made it!

Tess Alto '18

You survived! Congrats!! Don’t worry the real world is way easier. Less Harkness though.

Isabella Abate '18

My heart aches for the class of 2020. ...This year’s graduating class is resilient, dedicated, and brilliant. Despite the challenges this year has thrown towards you, you have persevered and finished unfailingly. Congratulations, and thank you for your hard work. You are the essence of an Exonian.

Marley Trumbower

Congratulations to the marvelous class of 2020! You have weathered the storm. You will be in our hearts. 

John Blackwell

Congrats to all my Webster boys.

Aarsh Kak ’19

I believe this year has instilled a new reality for everyone as well as a new sense of hope and determination to push boundaries and seek change. This class in particular is going to take incredible steps in initiating and fueling that change. Congratulations, I look forward to seeing how high you reach and how far you go!

Vennela Vellanki '16

I know this isn’t the way you expected it to end, but don’t let that dampen your spirits. What you’ve accomplished should be shouted off rooftops. Take time to celebrate! Carry with you the knowledge that it’s the people that make this place great, and you can always return to them at the touch of a button.

Brad Hennessy '07

Leaving Exeter is transformational, and I imagine that with the pandemic these feelings are stranger or more intensified. Exeter is such a special place that you will always be part of. Find ways to stay connected and celebrate with each other–it's the people that make Exeter great, even after you graduate.

Emmett Shell '18

Congratulations, Class of 2020! Please know that we in the Exeter community are thinking about every one of you at this moment. This may not be the kind of commencement you have anticipated, but please don’t let this disappointment tarnish your spirit in any way. Instead, celebrate with big smiles, and toast for a much brighter future.

Shoney Yuan

Dear class of 2020 ... Congratulations on your graduation! We are so proud of such a talented group of students, your accomplishments and well-deserved success. Always keep shining and pursuing your dreams. This is just the beginning of a wonderful journey!

Martha Lucia Fernandez and the Fernandez Family

Congratulations to the class of 2020! Knowing many of you, I have every confidence that you will rise to the challenge of graduating into today’s world. Keep fighting for what is right, keep pushing toward justice, and keep holding each other and institutions accountable. … Congratulations on your achievements and everything that lies in your future.

Anna Clark ’19

Congrats for weathering the COVID-19 storm. Part of your experience is a lesson in gratitude -- being distant the last months of senior year will undoubtedly impress the joy of personal relationships that one carries forward for years as alums. Know that the good times you’ve already had will last a lifetime.

James Esch '75

I was really sad when Exeter ended because I thought I would never see my classmates again. However, I can assure you, as someone who is eight years out, I see Exonians all the time. So even though high school is over, your friendships will continue and deepen long into the future. Good luck on your next adventure in life!

Renee Wang '12

Class of 2020! The world is SO ready for you to graduate and shine right now! Congratulations on your hard work - the Exeter alumni are cheering you on from afar!

Jackie Kim '14

Class of 2020, I feel your pain. As someone graduating from college this spring, I know firsthand how hard the premature goodbye must be. Try not to let the loss of this spring overshadow your Exeter experience and the incredible accomplishment it is to become an Exeter graduate. You deserve the utmost congratulations.

Jacob Pressman '16

Graduating from Exeter is accomplishment enough, but during a pandemic is quite a lot. I think this actually bodes well for you! You have earned a real humility through Harkness, you know you need others to find that golden synthesis of ideas, which will help you better serve the world. Congratulations on being awesome.

Ana Silva '91

You are graduating from the finest school that you will ever attend. The foundational values you have learned—goodness and knowledge and not for oneself—will serve you well in a world that sorely needs your unique talents and your leadership. I send my best wishes to each of you for a happy and fulfilling future.

Gordon Cutler '65

I hope this doesn’t detract from how special the Exeter experience is. Being an Exonian transcends your time in New Hampshire and stays with you for life. Graduating from Exeter is a tremendous accomplishment. I hope you keep this pandemic in perspective and find ways to be global citizens that embody non sibi.

Bonnie LaBonte '17

I admire your perseverance and class spirit during this difficult time. I think you will find that your Exeter education will carry you through life as you pursue your future endeavors. I must admit that I did not find anything more academically challenging than graduating from Exeter. Congratulations!

Nathaniel Pierce '69

While it’s awful and painful to miss the end of your senior year, you will all be bound together forever by this experience. You have learned things from these months you would never have learned on campus and you will carry those lessons, and each other, always. Congratulations, Class of 2020!

Victoria Levin '01

Hello small Exonian babies! You’ve done so well! I am very proud of you, and you should be proud of yourselves. I hope whatever comes next for you is full of joy and hope and a few all-nighters to keep you tough. Best of luck and a huge congratulations on your graduation from Exeter. Awesome work!

Charis Edwards '17

Your PEA graduation may come in an unusual and unsettling year, but it is still a huge accomplishment! In my 30 years since leaving the Academy, my Exeter experience is one of the things on which I have drawn most and of which I have been most proud. Go out and conquer the world - you got this!

Alexandra Murray '90

Bummer that it had to end the way it did. I hope you and all of your loved ones are getting through this OK. Exeter is a unique place. Be thankful for the time you were able to share with the people that made your experience what it was. Wishing you all the best of luck with wherever life takes you next.

Mac Perry '17

Congratulations class of 2020! Trust that you will find yourself and your joy in the upcoming years. Your world will expand so much after Exeter that you will come to appreciate it like a special star in the universe among so many other encountered wonders and places.

David Jung '90

Virtual graduation in this time of global crisis is a unique experience which will help prepare you for the world to come. I would like to extend my congratulations to each and every one of you, as well as wish you all success!

Theodore Folke '67

PEA will always be there to welcome you back. Although your senior year spring term may not be what you hoped for, you will have many years ahead to walk the campus with the friends you made while at school. Congratulations 2020!

Raymond Mendez '72

Congratulations on your hard work! It’s sad you didn’t get to enjoy your Senior Spring, but the rest of your Exeter experience will always be with you as an incredible foundation for all that comes next. Best of luck to you!

Sarah Harris '81

Congratulations, Exeter graduates. You have endured 1, 2, 3 or 4 years of the best education in America. You live in the best country in the world with boundless opportunities. Use your education and freedom wisely!

Peter Coors '65

Exonians - what a terrible time! Know that the entire PEA alumni community is thinking of you, cheering your accomplishment in graduating, and rooting for you as you take your next steps. You will prevail!

Juliet Eastland '86

Congratulations, seniors. What an accomplishment, creating a springboard for your future endeavors. Hooray, shoot for the stars, and continued success.

Steve Kim

Congratulations to the Class of 2020. You’ve done a great job and I wish you nothing but success in the future.

Pornsuk Ratanapitaksakul, parent

Congratulations class of 2020!! I'm so proud of all of you and can't wait to see everything that you do.

Jenny Yang ’19

Congratulations on a job well done and for your exceptional persistence. Good luck in your next steps and all your future endeavors!

William Reed '90

Many congrats Class of 2020!

Corinne Bassett '10

I am still wearing my Exeter Class Ring 1947 and still hanging in there at 90 with my fond memories of two great years at the Academy.

F. William Meservey '47

Remember that you can always be a First Rate you, but you will only be a Second Rate someone else.

Johnie Tillman '70

Best wishes to you all! Things will get better!

Kate Thibault '90

We're all on your team!

Norman Vig '57

Senior Class President’s Address

Graduation Video

A Day in the Life

Wish you were here? So do we! Relive a slice of campus life with this high-speed, high-energy tour, from the start of assembly to bedtime. One of the best ways we know to make it feel like you’re on campus!

Watch Video

Bell Tower Visit

Climbing up to the Academy Building’s bell tower is a senior class tradition. We made the journey for you this year. Enjoy the view!

Watch Video

Congrats, 2020!

Exeter faculty members send you a fond farewell. We’ll miss you! As soon as it’s safe, come back for a visit so we can celebrate together on campus.

Watch Video