WARSAW — A compliment of half a thousand seniors — give or take — donned caps and gowns and packed the floor of the Warsaw Community High School gymnasium Friday night, June 7, for the commencement to graduate the high school’s class of 2019.
“You can feel the excitement in the air,” said WCHS Principal Troy Akers. “This is a special place to be tonight.”
Akers told the packed Tiger Den crowd that the weather outside is so perfect and that the ceremony was scheduled to the point where the students and their families would have a wonderful climate to socialize outside following the turning of tassels.
“It’s time to bring the focus back to you,” Akers said to the students. “You are why we are all here.”
Music was provided by the Festival Choir, the WCHS Symphony Orchestra and the WCHS Wind Symphony.
Student Body President Emily Sutton told the graduates that her years of high school helped her grow and gain strength of character.
“I gained confidence because I was forced out of my comfort zone,” she said. “And, I will forever be grateful for that.”
The class took a moment to remember their classmate Daniel Holbrook, who passed away in 2014.
In his salutatorian speech, Anthony Bass reminded the audience about the significant regional news that happened while the class was in high school, mainly the Chicago Cubs World Series victory in 2016 and the college football win by Purdue over Ohio State. Bass told another story about a recent trip to Canada that helped him gain perspective on leadership and teamwork.
“I am confident that all of you can think of a team that brought you here to this point,” Bass said.
Bass continued by touting the importance of his faith and by promoting servant leadership.
“I hope that your next journey is a success,” he said.
Valedictorian William Robison told the audience that his friends required him to make a speech that was both short and “not boring.”
“I’m only up here because I’m a square and I studied on Friday nights,” he said.
Robison said in preparing his speech, he looked to find common ground that all students could occupy at once, “that common thread that connect the football player to the kid who competed in the Academic Super Bowl. We don’t need 500 people to help us get through life.”
Robison told his fellow students that the group of people most important to any person is a group much smaller than the 2019 class. He told the class to remember that everyone suffers from uncertainty and he added himself to that fraternity.
“I was plagued with doubts and wanted to be a better friend,” Robison said. “I didn’t want to be undeserving of that same respect I had for them. I want you all to know you are not alone.”