Brunswick graduated 107 students in the Class of 2023 in its 121th Commencement exercises on May 17 — with cool and windy conditions under spectacular May sunshine and a bright blue sky.
The celebration brought hundreds of family members and friends to an outdoor ceremony on Robert L. Cosby Field. Head of School Thomas W. Philip introduced the proceedings, offering heartfelt thanks to parents and faculty whose “love and care” have brought these students to this moment.
“Getting here is not easy,” Philip said. “Boys, we will miss you more than you know.”
Philip paid special tribute to the many families whose time at Brunswick came to an end at Commencement, with the graduations of their youngest sons, as well as to the 30 graduates who are members of the Carmichael Society — “lifers” who attended Brunswick beginning in Pre-K all the way through senior year.
Valedictorian Ryan W. Kulsakdinun introduced Ivy Speaker Samuel B. Case, who used his speech to expound on a line from Hamlet: “By indirections, find directions out.”
“I’ve been far from a perfect student,” Case told his classmates. “Allowing myself some leeway to mess up and do stupid things has helped me discover ways to better navigate success.
“Not everyone can make game changing plays on a daily basis,” he said, “and by looking back at mistakes with a healthy mix of understanding and reflection, they can become good learning experiences.”
Kevin A. Plank — founder, executive chairman, and brand chief of Under Armour — served as the keynote speaker. He recounted his own, imperfect high-school years, including the moment at the end of sophomore year when a school head told his mom he would not be welcome to return for junior year.
“If you had told me 31 years ago, after graduating from a different high school, I would someday be giving a commencement speech, I’m not sure I would believe you,” he said. “I wasn’t exactly a model student, but I did have a lot of passion.”
Plank went on to graduate from the University of Maryland and found Under Armour at the age of 24. He told boys to “bet on themselves” and, most especially, to cultivate passion and resilience.
“When it comes to resilience, you are going to need it,” Plank said. “We have a saying at Under Armour: Scars are cool. You are going to fail from time to time, boys. Learn from it.
“You have all the tools to win.”
Here’s the full list of award winners:
Ryan W. Kulsakdinun
Benjamin H. Sheppard
Community Service Award
Gonzalo A. Jurado
Jenkins Athletic Award
Tomas J. Delgado
Thomas A. Altman Prize
Frank R. Williams III
Robert L. Cosby Award
Nikolas A. Sulkowski
A. MacDonald Caputo Award
Jesse D. Schutzman
Michael F. Del Toro Tomas Jasson Campbell E. Officer