The class of 2016 at TMI – The Episcopal School of Texas graduated May 26 in the school’s All Saints Chapel. The 81 graduates were offered $9.5 million in scholarships as well as admission to colleges and universities including Auburn, Baylor, Boston College, Boston University, Cal Tech, Case Western Reserve, Clemson, Colgate, Dartmouth, Davidson, Duke, Emory, Fordham, Georgetown, Johns Hopkins, LSU, MIT, NYU, Ohio State, Parsons School of Design, Penn State, Purdue, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Rice, Rutgers, Sewanee (University of the South), Texas A&M, Tulane, U.S. Air Force Academy, University of Colorado at Boulder, University of Michigan, University of St. Andrews (Scotland), UT-Austin, University of Virginia, Vanderbilt, VMI, Washington University in St. Louis, and West Point.
The class included three National Merit Scholarship program finalists -- Hector Castillo, Saad Ehsan, and Grace Westerman – as well as all-state athletes and medalists in the National Latin and Spanish examinations.
Top awards went to Lauren Devlin, who received the Bishop’s Cup for the student who demonstrates the finest qualities of Christian citizenship, and to Saad Ehsan, who received the Founder’s Award for to the student who best embodies the TMI mission statement.
Devlin, who also was chosen by the faculty as class speaker, told her classmates, “People may try to put labels on you and tell you what you can and can’t do. I urge you to be yourself. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t fit in because what makes you different is what makes you special.”
History Department Chairman Matt Ridewood, a member of TMI’s class of 2001, was chosen by the seniors as faculty speaker. “If you want to make a significant difference in the world, I want you to think small,” he told the graduates. “Do all the little things that constitute community service, things that you think will make even a small a difference for others.”
The Rt. Rev. Gary Lillibridge, bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of West Texas, preached the homily at the Baccalaureate service, May 26, and gave the invocation and handed out diplomas at graduation with Stephen Walker, executive chairman of the TMI Board of Governors , and TMI Headmaster John W. Cooper, Ph.D.
“Class of 2016, your imaginations are needed now and in the years to come to keep up with both the progress and the challenges of populations, improvements, and the betterment of civilization,” the bishop told the graduates. “Do not shrink from your part -- large or small – in this important work.”