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A Force for Good in the World

By Gary Krahn, Ph.D., head of school
Head of School Gary Krahn’s welcome speech for commencement 2019.
It is my very great pleasure to welcome you all to the 55th La Jolla Country Day School commencement. Along with Board of Trustees President Chris Richey, I extend my warmest congratulations to all those receiving diplomas today and acknowledge the support that has helped them along the way. To all the families and friends with us today, thank you for the encouragement you have offered, and in many cases, for the sacrifices you have made so that your child could earn a La Jolla Country Day School diploma.

Graduates, please take a moment to acknowledge all those who supported you, near and far, including your classmates and faculty.

Graduates, now please stand so that we can acknowledge you and show our gratitude toward you.

Our school was founded by a remarkable educator, Louise Balmer, in 1926. She opened our school with just four students, a vision and a commitment to creating a distinguished school. Fifty-four years ago, on June 5, 1964, the very first LJCDS graduation exercises were held with its inaugural class of 26 graduates. The commencement speaker was Dr. Jonas Salk, the discoverer of the first vaccine against polio. Dr. Salk spoke of direction and commitment, a theme that has stayed with our student body and alumni since our school’s inception.

Dr. Salk stated, “Commitment is an inner experience; it cannot be imposed from the outside.” He told the class of 26 seniors, “do only that which makes your heart leap.”

Class of 2019, we are here today to participate in the praise and wonder of your achievements. You join those first 26 graduates in a great lineage that honors your endeavors, as well as the historic legacy of La Jolla Country Day School.

You have shown us that you challenge boundaries, break out of them and redefine them. You are individuals committed to each other, to social change and to the well-being of our planet. You are always connected, and you use that connectivity to make changes for the better. And you are intrinsically a part of the global community.

Today is a moment to reflect on who you are. Today is a day to acknowledge and celebrate your unwavering commitment to advancing the causes that are important to you and the ideas that matter most to you.

You will continue to serve and empower others in your own distinctive way. You will live in the spirit of La Jolla Country Day School as unravelers of complexity, responsible fact-checkers, open-minded seekers of new ideas and ideas that challenge the status quo, and most of all, persistent truth-tellers.

As I look at you today, I see both great accomplishment and great hope. I see a student body that has emboldened this school to live up to its promise, to your promise to inspire greatness.

As you reflect on your time at La Jolla Country Day School, on all that you have done here, on the learning and the leading in which you have engaged, my hope is that you will carry your values and the values of our school with you, wherever you go and that you will continue to be a force for good in the world. This is the charge that comes with your diploma.


La Jolla Country Day School

9490 Genesee Avenue
La Jolla, CA 92037

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