Michael Hayes

Three-time Olympic medalist Kacey Bellamy '05 admitted that it took her 15 years to reach one of her life's early goals.

Bellamy, a former standout athlete at Berkshire and member of the Gold medal-winning U.S. women's hockey team at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, was invited to serve as the keynote speaker at the School's 111th Commencement held on Friday, May 25.

"I remember sitting in those seats my sophomore year listening to the commencement speaker and I said, 'Someday I want to be up there sharing my story and my journey and just how much Berkshire paved the way for me,'" she recalled.

Proudly wearing her gold medal as she joined the School's 113 graduates in a procession through the Jackman L. Stewart Athletic Center, Bellamy used the moment to tell the students that success is often determined by how one responds to failure.

"It hasn't always been success for me. I've made mistakes," she said. "I look at every challenge as an opportunity to learn and to grow."

Chosen by his classmates as the ceremony's Weil Family Prize Speaker, All-School Co-President Mo Omar '18 said the relationships students enjoyed with faculty and staff made "Berkshire the best place on earth."

"Exactly 1,362 days ago, many of us graduating seniors took part in our first day of classes under the Mountain. Was it easy? Absolutely not, but nonetheless, it was in our deepest struggle that we share some of our fondest memories," Omar said.

The graduation ceremony included a performance of the National Anthem by Tucker Donelan '18 and Izzy Maher '18 and the Berkshire hymn by the school chorus, as well as top academic and athletic prizes.

English teacher Kelley Bogardus was awarded the Aliis Non Sibi Award, which recognizes a member of the faculty who lives up to the motto, "for others, not themselves." The recipient is selected by members of the graduating class.

Shortly before they received their diplomas, the Class of 2018 was given some final advice by Bellamy:

"So seniors, once a Bear, always a Bear. I hope you hold that close to your heart wherever you go in life."

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