Graduation season is sprinkled with moments intended to allow reflection on all that our students have accomplished during their time at Mount Vernon. Kicking off with the Senior Mother’s Luncheon, where students honor the love and support of their mothers or other important women in their lives, the three weeks leading to the commencement ceremony are filled with many moments of celebration. Integral to that journey was Mrs. Marsha Powell, who retires at the end of this year. After 37 years of dedicated service to Mount Vernon, the Class of 2014 was the final graduating class to benefit from Mrs. Powell’s leadership as the Director of College Counseling. Her legacy will be a lasting one, and graduation as the finale of her service could not have been better planned.

It would have been unreasonable not to get just a little bit teary eyed. No one would expect otherwise- graduation is, after all, a coming of age story in its own right that nearly every spectator experiences first hand or dreams about for him or herself at some point. On May 17, 2014, the seniors at Mount Vernon walked across a stage on the football field, shaking six hands before receiving a bible and their diploma. This year’s commencement speaker Dr. Elizabeth Kiss, president of Agnes Scott College, delivered an impactful message encouraging graduates to seek out the shining things in life versus those shiny things. Through emphasizing the importance of curiosity, openness to the voice of calling or vocation, and attention to loving kindness, Dr. Kiss inspired everyone. For five of the graduates, this was the swan song of their 13 years at Mount Vernon, making them elite members of the Colt Club. Four of the Class of 2014 hailed from another country altogether, each deciding to continue their education after high school in the U.S. This year’s class was as diverse as it was tightly connected. While the students set examples of unity through their prom experience and graduation celebrations, they each are passionately chasing their own paths to college and beyond. With 132 college acceptances under their belt, these students will be attending 29 different universities in 10 separate states this fall- with a record breaking 65% leaving the state of Georgia! From architects to psychologists and engineers to future business leaders, what lies ahead is bright and wide open for this bunch.

Valedictorian and David Barclift Leadership Award winner, Joseph Martin, stated as much in his address to the students, families, and staff gathered on the field for graduation. He remarked that while he does not know what the future holds, he is confident in the knowledge that he and his fellow classmates leave Mount Vernon completely prepared to handle any change or challenge that may come their way.

Paying tribute to the faculty and staff who have made a significant impact on him during his years at Mount Vernon, Salutatorian Alex Kolb reminded his classmates that their teachers have been their “coaches, mentors, event planners and life savers, guiding them through some of the most beautiful and difficult moments of their lives.”

It is impossible for any of us to know the future, but we assure you, if these children are our future we are absolutely and wholly blessed.

Class of 2014
Taking the Next Step

Valentina Amaya-Vargas, University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign
Drew Anderson, DePauw University
Oladeji Awe, Purdue University
Meg Buchanan, Samford University
Christian Burke, University of Missouri
Allen Caldwell, University of Alabama
Dana Cohen, Georgia College
Sarah Courtney, Georgia Southern University
Marina Daniels, Auburn university
Andrew Dobbin,s University of Georgia
Keon Douglas, Savannah State University
Shelby Garde, Rollins College
Addie Goins, University of South Carolina
Sean Hastings, Oglethorpe University
Judge Jones, New College of Florida
Jibri Hicks, Morehouse College
Amelia Kohl, University of Alabama
Alex Kolb, University of Miami
Bill Lampe, Clemson University
Qiqiao (Rebecca) Liao, New England College
Yunjing (Bob) Luo, Indiana University
Joseph Martin, Davidson College
Emma McCarthy, Young Harris College
Morgan McConnell, Rollins College
Jonathan Moore, Clemson University
Maddy Nelson, Clemson University
Kinsey Peterson, Furman University
Cara Prince, Samford University
Nia Roberts, Georgia Southern University
Ally Schnetzer, University of Delaware
Eric Sparks, Alabama State University
Joshua Swartz, University of Georgia
Parker Thiel, Valdosta State University
Emily Thomas, Valdosta State University
Ben Tyler, University of Alabama
Meg Vidor, Stetson University
Chris White, Georgia Southern University
Austin Wilcox, Kennesaw State University
Yege (Lavender) Zhang, Georgia State University
Yiwen (Gina) Zhang, University of Georgia

More photos from Graduation from Studio 7 for viewing/purchase.

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