“Fashionably late” took on a new meaning for the Class of 2020! When the usual end-of-year events were canceled in May 2020 due to the pandemic, we promised the 2020 graduates that we would put on a celebration as soon as we could—and that we did over the weekend of August 20–22 in Lugano.
The festivities began on Friday with cocktails and dinner on the terrace of the Villa Principe Leopoldo, a short walk from campus. The evening included speeches from Chairman of the Board Lynn Fleming Aeschliman ’63 and Director of Institutional Advancement Bill Eichner, who both commended the students for their fortitude and positivity despite a frustrating year. Headmaster Christopher Nikoloff playfully reminded them of the “unseemly elation” when the announcement arrived that students were being sent home early for spring break in March 2020! There was an upbeat atmosphere during the rush to get everyone home; no one imagined they wouldn’t be back, a theme picked up by High School Dean of Students KC McKee during his moving contribution.
The weather was perfect all weekend, including on Saturday evening for a sunset boat cruise on Lake Lugano. These young alumni—the first class to have an official one-year-reunion—enjoyed each other’s company as they viewed Lugano from the water.
Sunday morning included a special send-off brunch on campus. Because students had not arrived yet, the recent graduates were able to see their dorm rooms and common spaces, many for the first time since they left in such a hurry 17 months ago. They were also able to continue the tradition of ringing the bell outside the Palestra, as all graduating classes do after their commencement ceremony. It was an emotional day for all!