During The Boys’ Latin School of Maryland’s 173rdCommencement Exercises, parents, alumni, students and friends gathered to honor and congratulate 78 graduating seniors.

Valedictorian Matthew Kleiser addressed the crowd, thanking teachers and parents for their guidance and wisdom and reflected on the special bond that’s created between students, faculty, coaches and administrators here in the BL community.

“The links we have formed with each other are everlasting,” said Kleiser. “Our class has an invisible and unbreakable bond that connects us. It’s this community that taught us all about why being part of a brotherhood is so critical to our school and personal success.”

At BL since first grade, Kleiser was also named a U.S. Presidential Scholar earlier this spring. Out of 3.5 million graduating seniors nationwide, he was one of only 161 individuals to receive this prestigious recognition.

The United States Presidential Scholars Program honors the nation’s most distinguished high school graduates. Application is by invitation only and the majority of students are chosen based on their overall academic achievements, including SAT and ACT scores. All Presidential Scholars are honored for their achievements during the National Recognition Program in Washington, D.C.

Honorees have the opportunity to meet with government officials, educators and other accomplished individuals. Scholars are also awarded a Presidential Scholars Medallion at a ceremony sponsored by the White House.

Special congratulations were also offered to the following seniors who were recognized with the awards:

  • James Magee Jr. with the J. Elwood Peter Memorial Award “established by Mr. and Mrs. C. M. Peter to be presented to that member of the senior class who, in the opinion of his classmates, possesses the characteristics of heart, mind and conduct that manifest a spirit of love for and helpfulness to his fellow men as were exemplified by their son, J. Elwood Harrison Peter ’34.”
  • Michael Petillo with the Jack H. Williams Award for Benevolence “established in 1978 by the School in memory of Mr. Williams ’38, beloved Headmaster 1962-78, whose concern and love for others was the paragon for the spirit of caring at Boys’ Latin.”
  • James Magee Jr. with the Julian and Carolyn Smith Alumni Cup Award “established 100 years ago in 1916 by the Alumni Association, dedicated in 2012 to the Smiths, awarded to a member of the senior class for leadership based on character.”
  • Atherton Townsend with the Senior Internship Award “presented to that senior whose project is judged to most outstanding” for his work at Odyssey School.
  • Griffin McShane, Ryan Stellmann, Parker Hopkins, Brandon Bradsher and Grant Iodice with Faculty Awards.

As the diplomas were presented, Headmaster Post continued the tradition of sharing a personal comment about each and every one of the 78 graduates. With collective input from the faculty, the comments reflect what the Boys’ Latin community holds dear in each young man.

Boys’ Latin is Maryland’s oldest, non-sectarian school for boys. For more than 170 years, the school has instilled the core values of courage, integrity and compassion in each boy as embodied in our motto, Esse Quam Videri (to be, rather than to seem). By understanding how boys learn best, BL’s talented faculty fosters enduring personal relationships and empowers each student to strive for academic and personal excellence. For more information, please visit boyslatinmd.com.

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