The ATA College Prep Community Honors The Class of 2017

The ATA College Prep community came together last week to celebrate the graduating class of 2017.

Set in the serenity of the Spanish Oaks hills, a few hundred family members and friends of the graduates attended the commencement ceremony. Before Head Coach Doug Davis offered his customary invocation, Director of ATA College Prep Carol Hagar opened the evening and welcomed the guests. An excerpt:

“I hope that during your years at College Prep you have learned to be more mindful of your thoughts, words, and actions… and of their effects on yours and others’ well-being. …that you have learned to help yourself and be of service to others. … that you have learned to be compassionate and optimistic.  …that you have learned to possess hope and to engender hope in others.  … that you have learned to be grateful for the gifts you have been given and to honor them by continuing to develop them within you.

It is for your transformation that you are here to study and to learn. It has been an honor to witness and participate in a portion of the transformation within each of you. I know that you will choose to forever follow in this way.”

As the sun set behind the trees, the community personally honored and celebrated each graduate. Wilson Hamilton, Alejandro Rodriguez and Abigail Chiu were each recognized through commemorative video tributes, introduced by two loved ones who know them well and finished by addressing the audience with a few words of their own.

Continuing a CP tradition, each graduate selected a Senior Legacy Quote that will be installed as pavers in the campus garden. Their selections are below.

Wilson Hamilton will attend Trinity University in San Antonio next Fall. Long-time friend Chase Bartlett and coach and teacher Brian Notis spoke on behalf of Wilson. Each highlighted the academic transformation and confidence Wilson has accomplished during his time at College Prep.

No matter how much it hurts, how dark it gets, or how hard you fall… you are never out of the fight. -Marcus Luttrell

Alejandro Rodriguez will attend the University of Chicago next Fall. Teacher and coach Tommy Collins and mentor Clifford Chiu spoke on his behalf and reflected upon Alejandro’s tireless efforts to reach excellence in study, relationship and as an athlete.

Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts. -Winston Churchill

Abigail Chiu will attend Dartmouth College next Fall. Coach Doug Davis and brother Harrison Chiu spoke on her behalf. Each shared the lessons of perseverance and compassion that they have learned from Abigail.

Be great, not ordinary. Embrace diversity, not security. Live fully, not fearfully. Once chance you write your story; make it one worth reading. ~Abigail Chiu

Following the presentation of the graduates, Santiago Montoya, current Glimmer Chief Investment Officer and ATA alum, offered the commencement address. Reflecting on some of his past failures, he reminded the graduates to fall forward and embrace great attempts that may fall seemingly short. And that these are the moments that teach us the greatest wisdom.

CEO Jack Newman closed the graduation ceremony by initiating the Passing Of Leadership To The Class of 2018. This tradition of handing off the ATA ball symbolizes the handoff of responsibility for leadership within the greater Academy group for the next year.

A year from now, this group of leaders will look to continue the CP tradition of 100% college matriculation to some of the top schools in the world.

Following the ceremony, the group once again came together in community to share a meal surrounded by story tables celebrating each senior and their past accomplishments.

Congratulations to each of the ATA College Prep graduates of the class of 2017! Check the ATA College Prep Facebook page for more pictures from the evening.



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