USN graduates largest class

Mortarboards and hats off to the 105 members of the Class of 2023. Seniors turned their tassels and graduated from University School of Nashville on Sunday, May 21 on the Back Field. Visit for more highlights from their last year on Edgehill and to learn where they will matriculate.
By Sierra Smith, Communications Specialist

On Sunday, May 21, University School of Nashville conferred diplomas upon 105 seniors, celebrating the school’s largest graduating class. The class includes 15 National Merit Scholarship semifinalists and nine students who plan to play a sport at the collegiate level. In August, these graduates will head to more than 60 colleges and universities across the country.

Longtime Lower School Music Teacher Doni Princehorn, who is retiring this year, welcomed guests and graduates with a reflection of their time as young artists on 2000 Edgehill and shared a sentimental recording of many members of the class singing the school’s alma mater when they were in fourth grade. 

Following opening remarks from Director Amani Reed, Philip Feaster ’23, Iris Li ’23, Kylan Little ’23, Lily Mozzi ’23, and Giri Peters ’23 performed “Vienna” by Billy Joel. 

Simon Rosenblum ’23 was selected by his classmates to give the Commencement address. Simon reflected on his and his classmates’ time at USN under a theme he described by saying, “Our class has blossomed through the unusually dense and difficult socio-political sphere of the past 13 years.” 

He detailed the bright-eyed optimism of making first friends and imaginative play in Lower School and recalled navigating interpersonal relationships and countless bar and bat mitzvahs in Middle School. 

“In the face of adverse political situations, we’ve protested, educated ourselves, and now some of us have voted. We’ve continuously demonstrated our generation’s ability to advocate for change, and while we’ve just become adults, we’ve carried ourselves in the present with passion consequently serving the future,” Simon shared, conveying the class’ growth, resilience, and strong commitment to community that shaped its identity during High School. 

“Nothing will ever feel like what our time together has felt, what we all share is unique and special, and I find myself often in awe of everything that we are. I’ll miss this building and I’ll miss everyone here, though our experience holds us together for the rest of our lives,” Simon offered in closing.  

Before presenting diplomas, Head of High School Quinton Walker shared remarks, similarly reflecting on the Class of 2023’s determination and resilience in the face of adversity and detailing its passion for advocacy and changemaking in response to the numerous social and political events that unfolded over the past four years. 

“If you know the Class of 2023 … you would know that they’ve chosen joy,” Walker began. 

Additionally, Walker reflected on the graduates’ High School experience as marked by the COVID-19 pandemic, highlighting their flexibility, bravery, and the many sacrifices they made for the greater good of the USN community. He shared that their generation will likely be observed for years to come as experts attempt to determine the long-term effects of the pandemic, but that he believes the class’ identity to be much bigger than that. 

“I’m proud to have walked with you. Walked with radiance, without worry, with strength, and without fear. History will look at you for years to come. I, however, will look to you for your love and your leadership in this world,” Walked ended. 

After the presentation of diplomas, Director of Admissions and Financial Aid Juliet Douglas, who is retiring this year, offered farewell remarks asking the audience to consider the many roles and power of doors — to open, to close, to be walked through or locked — and finished by charging USN’s newest alumni with an important directive. 

“Be both a door opener for others and be brave enough to walk through the open door of opportunity that someone else holds for you,” Douglas said. 

Graduates recessed to an audience of cheers, tossed graduation caps, said final farewells and thank yous to beloved faculty, and enjoyed a reception with families in Durnan Auditorium after Commencement. 

The Class of 2023’s year of senior celebrations began with the tradition of making T-shirts to wear on the first day of school and the senior class retreat in Hardin, Kentucky. As the year progressed, students enjoyed many memory-making moments culminating in a final year of events marking the end of their time as students on Edgehill. Convocation kicked off the week as students and families prepared for Commencement. 
    • The Class of 2023 tosses its graduation caps into the air following Commencement.

    • The Class of 2023

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