Published : Thursday, May 14, 2015 | 12:10 PM
At Prep’s yearly Senior Celebration, members of the about-to-graduate class announce their college choices to parents, faculty and students assembled in Norris Auditorium.
Seniors gather on Ahmanson Plaza just before the casual ceremony, sporting t-shirts and sweatshirts that proclaim their destinations for the fall. Coming together in happy, talkative, relieved and finally, officially, deposit-paid and committed groups, they exchange hugs and indulge camera-toting parents with smiles and high-fives.
Once inside the auditorium, the seniors sit together in a sea of clashing collegiate typefaces and colors. They advance one-by-one to the stage and announce their name and their destination to thunderous applause. They locate their colleges with a flag pin on maps of California and the US, and exit, stage left, to cheer on their friends. It is a raucous, relaxed and joyous time. It’s also a night to thank college counselors, faculty and parents for their help in the college application process, which is an 18-month journey of introspection and self-evaluation that culminates in the next step beyond the gates of Prep.
The Class of 2015 features three sets of twins (one set going to NYU, one set to Stanford and one set splitting up to Oregon and New York State). Students are increasingly choosing out-of-state colleges and universities, and the northeast coast of the US in particular was crowded with pins and flags. The Midwest was represented with quite a few pins in St. Paul, Chicago, Ann Arbor and Oberlin, Ohio. And the three senior women attending college abroad (St. Andrews, the University of Edinburgh and NYU Shanghai) put their pins in the ocean to signal their choices.
After the ceremony, seniors rushed off, while parents remained for a seminar on their own coming transitions. There was still laughter, but a few more tears once the students vanished into the night.
“The distribution of colleges for this class is quite striking,” says Brooke Yoshino, associate director of college counseling. “They are going to 59 different schools. They did not feel the need to go in herds, and they really spread out around the country and even the globe. I feel that is indicative of the great liberal arts education they are getting at Prep. They were equipped to sincerely think about the best fit for them personally in the next four years.”
Flintridge Preparatory School, 4543 Crown Avenue, La Cañada Flintridge, (818) 790-1178 or visit www.flintridgeprep.org.