Welcome, everyone. My name is Cathy Campbell and I’m honored to be celebrating the Class of 2022 today. Congratulations to all my classmates, and thank you to everyone here supporting us. Thank you to the Wilton High School teachers, administration, and especially the custodians that have helped put the ceremony together.

And a special thank you to my mom, who I know is somewhere up in the crowd, clutching a box of tissues and probably bawling her eyes out. Thank you.

Last August, I began my responsibilities as president by writing a welcome in the student handbook. In it, I wrote that throughout whatever this year may throw at us, we will move forward together. And now that we are gathered on this field today, I’m glad to know that statement came true. But now the time has come for us to move forward independently.

However, as we go off on our own paths, I know each and every one of us will be carrying the same memories. Late night trips to Gopher’s, random friendships made in the back of Safe Rides, our water balloon fight at SLot [senior lot] (sorry, Mr. Therriault), Nerf gun assassins, early morning club meetings, and so on.

Though high school has certainly had its ups and downs for all of us, I’m incredibly thankful to have grown up in a place like Wilton. There are many individuals across the nation and the world who face discrimination on the basis of gender, race, or ability, whose access to schooling is blocked by instances of gun violence, instability at home or poorly funded school systems. So I’m thankful to live in a safe, encouraging town and to have gone to a high school that values learning and its students. I hope all of us here can recognize the privilege we’ve grown up with and go forward with kindness and as advocates for others.

It’s true that Wilton may not have the most exciting town center, but today and years down the line, we will be grateful to have grown up here.

I’m also incredibly thankful for this class. I will never forget the friendships I’ve made in classes, clubs, and the hallways. And even if we can’t stay in touch with everyone, the memories will stay with us.

Furthermore, we have worked hard through unprecedented times. We have shown strength, perseverance, and adaptability throughout the last four years. I’ve seen all of you come together during times of stress and grief. Though a pandemic is not exactly part of the classic high school experience, I applaud us for making it through.

In the process of writing this speech and reflecting on the last four years, I’ve thought a lot about the quote, “I am a part of all that I have met.” To me, it sums up our experience at Wilton High School, perfectly. Even as we move forward, we leave bits and pieces of ourselves here in the clubs we participated in and led in the sports teams and the classrooms. And we take bits and pieces from the school and each other into the future. These shared memories will stick with us as we move on to create new ones. Thank you. And congratulations.