Rain chases Chestnut Hill Academy’s graduation indoors

Chestnut Hill Academy graduates got a little lesson yesterday on how the vagaries of life can scramble the best-laid plans.

Rain interrupted yesterday’s CHA commencement, forcing the event indoors about three-quarters of the way through. An uncertain weather forecast put school officials into a guessing game before the 5 p.m. start to the ceremony, and they lost their bet that the outdoor ceremony could finish before the raindrops came.

However soggily, CHA, a private all-boys school, graduated 53 seniors yesterday. It was a special event in that it concluded the school’s 150th year in operation. Richard Gwathmey, Jr., gave yesterday’s Invocation.

Junior Dustin Wilson received the Alumni Silver Medal award. It is given to a student who exemplifies great leadership, character and high academic achievement.

Class speaker C. Griffin Horter received the Gilbert Haven Fall Award. It is given for high academic achievement, outstanding citizenship and general promise.

Class Speaker Daniel A. Dilulio received the Alumni Gold Medal. It is given to a student who exemplifies great leadership, character and high academic achievement.

During Daniel A. Dilulio’s address he spoke about the responsibility he feels to helping the more disadvantaged. He said two years ago when he was tutoring a third grade boy in math he noticed the boy was distracted. “I remember him drawing two stick figures on the multiplication worksheet as I tried to explain what he had done wrong on the first problem,” he said. Dilulio asked the boy to stop. The boy turned to him and said my brother got shot last month.

Dilulio says it was in the casualness of how the young boy expressed this terrible tragedy that really brought home the reality of the world in which this young boy lives in.

It is something Dilulio acknowledged is far from his own experience and also made him feel like he needed to do more for him.

“(It’s) a reality I had always known existed, but had never looked in the eye. And at that moment, I could not look this young boy in the eye because I had never done a single thing for him,” he told the audience.

Dilulio says it was that conversation that is shaping what he hopes to get out of college.

“As I broaden my own horizons through education, I hope to discern where I can best begin to work with others in the struggle to find educational and other opportunities for these students,” Dilulio said.

Chestnut Hill Academy is located on a 25-acre campus in a residential section of Northwest Philadelphia. It now features some co-ed classes with its neighbor and education partner Springside School. Springside, an all girls-school, will hold its graduation ceremony this afternoon at 5 p.m.

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