News - Detail

Graduation 2020 -- At Last!

On Sunday, August 2, the Long Green Line welcomed 131 new members as the Class of 2020 graduated from Delbarton...

One hundred and twenty-nine members of the Class of 2020 finally returned to Delbarton School campus to celebrate their brotherhood and their years at Delbarton. Due to COVID-restrictions, each of our 131 graduates was permitted to invite two guests, and each family grouping of three was socially distanced under three tents in the Senior Garden. Graduates were gifted with an all-class poster and boxed treats, while parents seats included graduation programs, bottled water and Delbarton gators.  Absent guests were invited to witness the event via live stream. Click here for the recording and see photos below. Click here to view/purchase photos taken by Peter Wallburg Studio (use access code DBGRAD2020)

Two Delbarton Class of 2020 classmates were not present at Sunday's Mass and Commencement at Delbarton: Lukas Ungar ’20 is at Stanford University as a recruited football athlete -- his brother Matt Ungar '16 accepted Lukas's diploma --  and Conall Nugent ’20 is at Notre Dame training with his ROTC unit. We missed these two young men at yesterday's event, and we wish them well on their challenging next steps!

Graduation day dawned overcast and muggy for the Class of 2020, and -- after a brief, monsoon-like downpour in mid-morning -- the humid weather held as graduates reported to the Senior Garden with their parents at 11:00am. All were garbed in jackets and Delbarton class ties, and wore graduation lapel tacks that were distributed previously at our June 6 Drive-By Awards Ceremony.

After all guests were seated under tents in the Garden, Headmaster Fr. Michael Tidd, OSB, welcomed graduates and parents to a very unique culminating celebration in the annals of Delbarton history.  Class President Theo Coughlin '20 also welcomed classmates and their parents saying, " There is no better way to communicate the community of Delbarton than to experience it."

After the monks processed into the Garden, the Baccalaureate Mass began with celebrant and homilist Abbot Richard Cronin, OSB.

Once Communion was distributed to families, a formal Commencement ceremony began with the presentation of diplomas to each of our graduates. Class of 2020 Valedictorian Pierce Lutz '20, who later addressed his classmates,  observing that "everyone who comes to Delbarton does something, regardless of what they're interested in," is pictured below with his Delbarton diploma. 

Special awards then followed.  Annually, the Delbarton School Medal is awarded to seniors for distinguished achievement.  For those seniors achieving in multiple areas, another award was presented after receiving a Delbarton Medal. The following awards were presented to members of the Class of 2020…

  • In memory of Father Stephen W. Findlay, distinguished Delbarton Headmaster, The Fathers and Friends of Delbarton have established an award to be given each year to the graduate whose work in English reflects Fr. Stephen's love of the English language. The Delbarton Medal was presented to Benjamin Conrod '20.
  • The Doctor Roy L. Horton Award is named in honor of a longtime Chairperson of the Music Department.  The Delbarton Medal for Excellence in Choral Music was presented to Ryan Domalewski '20.
  • For achievement in Studio Art, the Delbarton Medal was presented to Marco De Pasquale '20.
  • For achievement in Theater, the Delbarton Medal was presented to Rory Quinn '20.
  • For achievement in Mathematics, the Delbarton Medal was presented to Jonathan Nyugen '20.
  • The Corey T. Williams Award for excellence in Physics honors the memory of Corey T. Williams, class of 1991 and Delbarton faculty member.   The Delbarton Medal was presented to Leo Cooley '20.
  • The Abbot Patrick M. O’Brien Award for excellence in Theology is given in memory of Abbot Patrick, who founded Delbarton School in 1939.  The Delbarton Medal was presented to Connor Ketchum '20.
  • For achievement in Arabic, the Delbarton Medal was presented to Matthew Pfundstein '20.
  • For achievement in Italian, the Delbarton Medal was presented to Matthew LeDonne '20.
  • For achievement in French, the Delbarton Medal was presented to Carlos Sanzo de la Vega '20.
  • For achievement in German, the Delbarton Medal was presented to Theodore Fraenkel-Thonet '20.
  • For dedication to the Courier, the Delbarton Medal was presented to Christian Peter Agathis '20.
  • For achievement in Debate, the Delbarton Medal was presented to Andrew A. Fostiropolous '20.
  • Several students received multiple awards…
  • The Delbarton Medal for Excellence in Instrumental Music, in memory of Father Germain L. Fritz, longtime member and leader of the Music Department, and an award for achievement in Speech, were presented to Andrew Madonna '20.
  • An award for achievement in Spanish, the Edward J. Murphy award for excellence in History, in memory of Edward J. Murphy, class of 1986, and the Delbarton Mothers' Guild Prize for General Excellence, is awarded each year to the student who leads his class scholastically, were presented to Pierce Lutz '20.

Next, five important annual awards were presented. Each of these young men received a personal plaque, and his name will be inscribed on the permanent award plaque displayed in the Science Pavilion...

  • The James E. Nugent Award, established in memory of a graduate of the class of 1969, is awarded to the Delbarton senior who best exemplifies the spirit of giving himself to others. This young man has distinguished himself among his peers for his unquestioned integrity and for self-forgetful service to his classmates, school and community.  The James E. Nugent Award was presented to Leo Cooley '20.
  • The Peter B. Haas Award, established in memory of a 25 year-old Marine pilot killed in Korea, recognizes distinguished leadership within the School. For their work in upholding the values of brotherhood and unity among their peers, and for their outstanding service in many areas of School life, the Peter B. Haas Award was co-presented to Rohan Amin '20 and Aidan Tompkins '20.
  • The Succisa Virescit Award is presented to a senior who has manifested love for life and for the School, and has significantly grown through challenge as implied in the school's motto, Succisa Virescit “cut down, he will grow up strong again.”  The Succisa Virescit Award was presented to Joseph Townsend '20.
  • The Bryan Bennett Award honors the memory of a member of the class of 1994 who died at the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. This award is for the ‘quiet hero’, a student who, like Bryan, has distinguished himself for his day-to-day work ethic, consistent nobility and unfailing kindness to others all of which have made him a model of steadfastness to his classmates and teachers.  The recipient of this award is chosen by his classmates. The Bryan Bennett Award was presented to Jonathan Nguyen '20. 
  • The Brian E. Fleury Award which is given to an outstanding scholar-athlete who demonstrates the same passion for scholarship that he does for athletics, a person who combine seriousness of purpose with self-effacing good humor, a person who is a consummate team player, selfless in all his endeavors, always putting the needs of others before his own.  The 2020 Fleury Award was presented to CJ Kirst '20.

Click here for the complete list of academic, activity and athletic awards previously awarded to members of the Class of 2020 at our Drive-By Awards Ceremony on June 6, and click here for news and photos from the event. 

Fr. Michael then introduced commencement speaker Guy Adami P’17,’19, Director, Private Advisor Group and a CNBC contributor and, of course, proud father of two Delbarton sons, Tim ’17 and Guy Adami Jr, ’19. With his characteristic self-depreciating humor and down-to-earth style, Adami counseled graduates not to allow others to dictate the person each wants to be, or the goals he wants to accomplish...that the greatest risk is not taking one...and to trust his instincts. Adami sprinkled his advice with a variety of entertaining stories and memories that led to a wonderful graduation speech. Read his remarks here. At the conclusion of his address to graduates, Adami was awarded Delbarton Medal by Fr. Michael.

Abbot Richard offered the Benediction, the School Hymn was sung, and the entire Class of 2020 processed out of the Garden led by four bagpipers and an honor guard of younger brothers from the Class of 2021 who carried the School, Abbey and American flags. The final official stop for the Class of 2020 was the front lawn of Old Main where they gathered -- socially distanced 6’ apart marked by tiny pink flags --  for one last group picture in the shadow of Old Main.

Well, we did it. 

After months of distance learning, more months of shifting COVID-19 guidelines and directives, Delbarton achieved its goal to celebrate the Class of 2020 appropriately, memorably, in style and together on campus. We thank these young men and their families for trusting us as we made our plans, and trust they will agree that the long wait was worth it.

Congratulations to the outstanding young men in the Class of 2020. Thank you for your many contributions to the life of the School during your years at Delbarton, and a very cordial welcome to the Long Green Line of Delbarton alumni!