DDO grad “prophecies” bring students to tears

The graduating Class of 2008 was in the spotlight at Dollard-des-Ormeaux School recently, on the occasion of the annual graduation exercises held at the school.  

In a break with tradition, which would have the event take place on a Friday evening, the ceremony was held instead in the daylight of a Saturday afternoon. The achievements and future aspirations of a total of 20 graduates were celebrated this year.  

The guest speaker was former DDO principal and teacher  Jill Robinson. Robinson’s address relied in part on the writings of none other than Dr. Seuss to help the grads consider what the future might have in store for them. The counterpoint of a disarmingly light tone to convey a serious message about life’s many uncertainties and challenges brought smiles to all.

Robinson’s speech was followed in apropos fashion by the individual student prophecies. The reading of individual prophecies is a tradition unique, it would seem, to the DDO graduation ceremony. Gleaning through information supplied by friends, family, and teachers, a portrait of each graduate’s life-journey to date is put together. This includes the student’s peeves and pleases, achievements, misadventures and ambitions. As the student approaches the stage to receive his or her diploma, the prophecy is read and more often than not, emotions rise ranging from laughter to tears. Part “roast,” part testament to their individuality, this personalized send-off into the “real” world is seen by many as the highlight of the ceremony. A reception was held immediately after the grad ceremony in the new wing of the school.

The majority of this year’s grads are headed to Champlain College (St. Lawrence). Of note, Maxwell Hazledine and Corinna Tofts will be pursuing their studies with the Canadian Armed Forces. They are counted among only three hundred successful applicants from across Canada to be accepted into the officer training program.