|The Class of 2012 Graduates!|
Friday, June 1, marked Miss Porter's School's commencement exercises. Parents, students, faculty, and Ancients joined in celebrating the graduation of the 91 members of the Class of 2012. To view the graduation of the Class of 2012, please click here.
Our graduates are heading to premier colleges and universities, including Princeton University, New York University, The George Washington University, and Cornell University. To view the college matriculation list of the Class of 2012, please click here.
After a welcome by Head of School Katherine Windsor and remarks by Student Head of School Clare DeSantis, graduates listened to Robin Roberts' commencement address, in which she advised graduates to "dream big but focus small" as they pursue their goals in life.
The awarding of the diplomas was followed by several traditions, including the Hanging of the Daisy Wreath, carrying of the Daisy Chain, and singing of school songs.
Porter's traditions are a treasured part of graduation exercises and their history is noted below.
Hanging of the Daisy Wreath
Immediately following the presentation of diplomas, a wreath of daisies is hung to honor all Ancients, past and present. The seniors who have the largest number of Ancients in their families gather together, and the girl with the longest and closest line of legacies hangs the wreath. The Perilhettes and legacies then sing the Alma Mater, written by Margaret Williams in 1910:
Oh Farmington, we love you, our hearts will e’er be true
You’ll be our Alma Mater, we’ll be all things for you
We’ll sing to you forever, and with fervor raise
Our songs of true devotion, and of our schoolgirl days.
When joyous days are over, they’ll e’er in memory stay
They’ll never be forgotten, though we are far away
We’ll always keep our friendships, with schoolgirl friends so dear
And with delight remember the pleasures we’ve had here.
The Daisy Chain
There is no written record of when Miss Porter’s School first adopted this tradition, though it is believed to date back to the late 19th century. Students wove the chain from daisies they picked in local fields and, in 1909, the “Daisy Chain Song” was written by senior Dorothy Draper. The seniors sing this song as they carry the chain from the Swan Pond up to the fountain garden. They are escorted by the Perilhettes, who carry crooks to help the girls keep the rhythm. Today, our local florist uses over 8,000 daisies to weave the “chain our hearts made fast and entwined around the school.”
The Daisy Chain Song
Farmington we raise our voices, praising thee in love tonight,
To our dear school whose name rejoices all our hearts with deep delight.
Here we march to plant the ivy, daisy chain we’re proud to bear,
May the girls who follow after keep her honor bright and fair.
As we march our thoughts go stealing, to the happy hours now past,
Friendships true with tears we’re sealing, through our lives they’ll ever last.
Old-time customs, old-time duty, in this form we give to you
Take the flowers in their pure beauty from the Old Girls to the New.
Planting of the Ivy
Along its way to the fountain garden, the daisy chain stops at the American Beech, the largest tree on campus. When the girls reach the tree, the student Head of School and Head of Perilhettes are given a silver trowel and a pot of ivy for planting at its base. Then the daisy chain resumes its course, and the ceremonial trowel is returned to its cabinet, safely locked away until the next graduation.
Singing at the Fountain
Since 1908, the songs “Moonbeams” and the Farmington “Alma Mater” have been sung at the fountain by all students and Ancients present. This marks the conclusion of graduation ceremonies. As the girls and their families disperse, members of the Archives Club cut a length of the daisy chain and take it to Sarah Porter’s grave in Riverside Cemetery on Garden Street, where she has rested since 1900.
Farmington, we sing to thee
And to thy dear name
Which has stood for all that’s true,
And which has gained such fame.
Years may come and years may go
Future all unknown.
But we girls will always say,
“Farmington’s our home!”