After months of wondering whether it could even happen, our Class of 2020 held their Graduation Ceremony at Beijing City International School on Saturday, 6th June. Our BCIS gym was completely transformed into a venue fit to celebrate this rite of passage of our resilient Grade 12s. With appropriate health checks and physical distancing, this year's graduation was truly unique; and the united spirit of our #BCIScommunity was tangible across the globe thanks to our sharp livestream of the event.
The highlights of the graduation are shown in the video below. Click here to watch (with VPN) and re-live the livestream recording of this celebration.
Before our Grade 12s arrived, parents, faculty members and leaders were warmly welcomed with a beautifully curated video by our Grade 12s near and far. The video, with the apt Friends theme song, "I'll be there for you", was the perfect depiction of their #BCISconnectedness and optimism.
The ceremony opened with the student processional, entering elegantly like the ladies and gentlemen they have grown to be, adorned with their caps and gowns and uniquely coordinating face masks. One by one they walked down the aisle to the stage to take their places.
Our Head of School, Julie Lawton, opened the ceremony with a heartfelt speech by first thanking the parents of our 2020 Graduates. At BCIS we are connected by our love for the school and our collective efforts of empowering and inspiring through challenge and compassion. We also believe and have faith that our students will continue to live out the BCIS motto wherever they roam. Julie Lawton reminded the Class of 2020 that "we will always be here to support you wherever you go".
In addition to our star student musical performances and presenters that afternoon, our BCIS staff percussionists debuted their upbeat talents on the traditional Chinese drums.
Ms Pamela Bromby, Grade 12 "beloved teacher, coach, supervisor, and mentor" took to the stage on-screen, sharing a touching a speech to her students. She praised the graduating class and encouraged them to keep writing their narratives, to live each chapter with the kindness and truth they have shown themselves and those around them.
With starry eyes in the room, from the podium to the screen, our Grade 12s stole the stage in moving musical ensembles and poignant reflections on their BCIS learning journeys. Valedictorian, Amily Zhao, moved the audience with laughter and heart warming insights in her speech representing the Class of 2020 Graduates, Generation Z.
BCIS Alumni joined the event with an uplifting video montage from all corners of the world. For us, home is where the heart is. Wherever our students and families go, that is where our BCIS Alumni Network will be.
Once our students graduate and join our Alumni Network we are reminded of the exceptional teachers who have guided them on their journey. No less could be said about the Class of 2020 and their mentors; the bonds they forged in this unprecedented time were like no other. Our Secondary School Principal, Mark Sullivan, handed our graduating class the key to their new door in a tender speech.
The end of the graduation celebration marked the beginning of our graduates' next chapters as Alumni. At BCIS we say, "once a BCISer, always a BCISer". This day was a celebration of our Class of 2020 and a testament to their hopeful futures; as Mark Sullivan said, "well because, because ... you are the Class of 2020."