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2016 Graduation Dinner

The final farewell and celebration for the NAIS Pudong Year of 2016 graduating students was a glamorous event; an evening to remember at the iconic Fairmont Peace Hotel on The Bund. After the formal graduation ceremony on 20th May, this was an opportunity for the students to look to the future, while also taking stock of all they have achieved over the course of their education.

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The cohort of 49 mature and confident young adults dressed in their finest for the celebratory evening which began with a reception and photos on the rooftop terrace. Fortunately for all, the rain held off just long enough for the party to enjoy the breathtaking views of The Bund and Pudong skyline and snap the all-important photos. Family and teachers then moved into the elegant Peace Room for dinner and were followed in by the students who received a rousing round of applause as they entered the room.

During the evening six students, Kiesha Marie Chong, Aidan Wong, Emiliano D’Angio, Nils Scholten, Lucy Sapsford and Lucas Sperka took the opportunity to speak on behalf of their fellow students. They expressed their gratitude to everyone, including parents and teachers, who had supported them through their education journey so far, as well as speaking of the strong camaraderie and respect they felt toward their fellow graduates.

For Higher Education Adviser, Mrs Kathryn Watson, the student speeches were the highlight of the evening. She said, “The students were incredibly eloquent and heartfelt. Their speeches were all unique and colourful and really were the highlight of the night.” Mrs Watson, who has worked closely with the students as they prepared university applications, also had words of support and encouragement for the graduates as they take their next big steps. In closing, she called on an old Gaelic blessing:

May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face;
the rains fall soft upon your fields
and until we meet again,
may Good Fortune hold you in the palm of His hand.

Formalities completed, the party continued and the students took the opportunity to let their hair down with dancing in the Thames Room.

In summing up the evening, Principal Lesley-Ann Wallace said, “The Graduation Dinner was a truly lovely celebration of family; the individual families of each of the students, and also their extended Shanghai family. It was abundantly clear just how close this group have become, for some since they were in Year 2 together, as well for those who only joined the school for the IB. It was heartwarming to see just how genuine their care and respect for each other is. I know they will go far.”

You can see more Graduation Dinner photos on our school Facebook page here.