Class of 2011 President Alex Spencer said there was one word to describe the 267 graduates that stood before him Saturday at Oliver Ames High School's graduation:
Full of students who excelled at sports, music and theatre and would go on to make great artists, writers, filmmakers and "techies," Spencer said there was not a better word to describe his class.
"Class of '11, you are epic," he said in what he called his "final morning announcement."
The event was held at Sunday afternoon under warm sunshine. Parents, grandparents, brothers, sisters and friends crowded Frothingham's bleachers and gathered in the outfield of Buddy Wooster Field to see OA's graduates receive their diplomas. In addition to Spencer, Meaghan Morris delivered the class address and Valedictorian Hayden Alexander Lizotte addressed his class and the spectators.
Every speaker had his or her own piece of advice to offer the graduating seniors. But, with all, pursuing happiness in the road ahead seemed to be a recurring theme.
"Make decisions that will bring you happiness," said Lizotte, who will be attending Tufts University in the fall.
Lizotte said he chose to pursue a degree in the humanities despite skepticism from many who said he wouldn't find a career that was very lucrative.
"I define success as just being happy," he said, urging his classmates to do the same. "What's important is I will be studying something I love."
Morris' class address, filled with humor and wit, reminded the class of '11 that "nothing is beneath them" and they should live life the way they want to live it.
She chronicled her trip to a Backstreet Boys concert as proof that the graduates should live without any sense of embarrassment for their actions and should always do what makes them happy.
"Go out there and embarrass yourself," she said. "Live without regrets."
Despite being "epic," Spencer acknowledged that there would be bumps in the road and mistakes would be made along the way. He did his best to assure the class of '11 not to let those bumps hinder their dreams.
He said that when he learned to play piano he would often play the wrong note. Even today, he said, he will hit the occasional wrong key. His parents, however, always urged him to move forward with the song and not stop in the middle.
Spencer said Sunday's graduates will hit some "wrong notes" at times too, but they should never stop moving.
"Always play on," he said. "You will strike wrong notes, so today I urge you to always play on."