Seniors and their families paraded through Hamden Hall’s Whitney Avenue parking lot earlier this week in decorated vehicles as faculty and staff cheered them on during the school’s first-ever Senior Send-off Car Parade.
"The senior car parade is a perfect example of how our school community comes together to find ways to celebrate our students and their accomplishments. Thanks to Kim Porto and the Development Office for coordinating the event and to all of the faculty and staff who were on hand to cheer on our seniors and their families," said Head of School Bob Izzo.
Tents set up in front of lower Swain featured tables piled high with goody bags for each senior. One by one vehicles made their way through the parking lot, which was decorated with lawn signs bearing each senior’s name and photo.
Faculty members Charlie Alexander, Kevin Warnock, and David Doyle backed their trucks and SUVs into parking spaces and positioned themselves in the beds of their vehicles to cheer on the seniors. Leah Mucciarone popped out of the top of her white Jeep to view the parade, and Kelly Ryan set up a beach chair in front of her vehicle.
Standing along the front steps were more administrators and faculty members hoisting signs and cheering on the parade participants. As each vehicle stopped in front of the tents, Academic Dean Kim Porto handed them a goody bag containing their yearbook, an alumni T-shirt and car magnet, and other celebratory items. If they had anything left in their locker, John Greenawalt also handed them a plastic bag with its contents.
Some seniors rode together through the parade such as Brianna Bell and Madeleine Felson. Others sat in the passenger seat while a parent drove and another family member videotaped from the back seat. The Kohler family decorated their red VW convertible with a homemade banner spelling out the word “senior.” Mom and Dad – both Hamden Hall teachers – sat in front while senior Riley and junior Liam sat in back holding up signs for the occasion. Senior John Bazaar rode his bicycle through the lot to pick up his senior send-off bag.
The Senior Send-off event is an annual graduation week celebration that typically entails rehearsal for commencement followed by the distribution of yearbooks to seniors. Remarks by the Yearbook Committee during the event include an announcement of the yearbook dedication.
This year, yearbook editor and senior Madeleine Bloom announced the news virtually during the final Upper School Assembly, which was hosted by the Upper School Deans. The 2019-2020 edition was dedicated to the Theatre Department.
“Hamden Hall prides itself on being a community that allows everyone to shine and have their own moment in the spotlight in some way. However, that would be impossible without our incredible Theatre Department,” said Madeleine, further noting the department’s “inspiring” leadership of Lisa Daly, Karl Gasteyer, and Charlie Alexander.
An in-person Commencement 2020 is currently in the planning stages for later this summer to celebrate our 74 seniors.