Graduates entered the ranks of Fountain Valley School of Colorado alumni at the School’s 89th Commencement.
Commencement speakers Bisi Williams and Bruce Mau—who were also celebrating the graduation of their daughter, Adeshola '19—are giants in the international design world, as in change-the-world design. They encouraged the audience to engage in four goals: to inspire, to work on what you love, to compete with beauty, and to design the time of your life. Mau and Williams are the founders of Massive Change Network. They have worked on projects for several countries, for global enterprises including Hermann Miller, Coca-Cola and Walt Disney Imagineering, and on collaborations with renowned architects Frank Gehry and Rem Koolhaas.
Senior speakers Eli Fricke and Sophie Potts managed to pay touching tribute to the School, their class and the Fountain Valley community, while also making hilarious, affectionate fun of classmates, faculty and Head of School Will Webb.
Webb made major awards presentations beginning with the J. Philo Nelson Award for teaching excellence, which went to beloved and retiring faculty Jake Emery '71 who has opened the minds of FVS students for 30 years. At his own Commencement 48 years ago, Emery received the School's highest honor, the Froelicher Award.
This year, the Froelicher Award went to Owen Rask, a day student from Colorado Springs. He soars as an academic risk taker, a nuanced writer and a scholar who balances courage and humility. He is also a talented leader who was president of the Community Council and who, in the words of Dean of Students Dave Racine, "is everyone's favorite uncle, flipping burgers and telling stupid dad jokes—he wants to create good experiences for everyone around him."
The Eleanor W. Emery Award is given to the student whose contributions to the FVS community reflect the qualities Mrs. Emery admired most: educational commitment, integrity, sensitivity to the needs of others, warmth, good humor and enthusiasm. This year's recipient is Chenxu "Evelyn" Li from Quingdao, China. She dazzled faculty with her nimble intellect, skilled writing and analytical thinking—doing it all in a second language. Her genuine caring and warmth radiated throughout the community, and she was selfless as a two-year residential assistant, helping girls in her charge with their homework before doing her own.
Annie Clifford, a boarder from Louisville, Colo., won the Sidney S. Bunting Award, A scholar, athlete and artist, she has been an unflappable role model. The poise that she displayed as both R.A. and Community Council vice president—and the initiative she took in those roles—made a difference. She did it all with maturity and balance, devoid of ego or drama.
The Colgate Award honors excellence in sportsmanship, loyalty and character. Four-year day student Jaques VanZyl is admired for his moral compass and dedication to academics, athletics and serving the Fountain Valley community. He is consistently praised by faculty for his warmth, work ethic, reliability and good humor.
Department Awards (given at Commencement)
Langdon Mathematics Award: Samuel Phillip Volk
F. Martin Brown Science Award: Junseo Jung
Campbell English Award: Adeline Kathleen Thames
Languages Award: Juliet Athene Chi
Penrose History Prize: Kelly Elizabeth Lynch
Robinson Art Award: Madeline Marie Cornett
Hunter Frost Theatre Arts Award: Sophie Michelle Erhardt Potts
Henry L. Newman Award (athletics): Juho Teemu Johannes Veikkolainen
Katrin Jaclyn Baum
Relighting The Flame: The Sustainability of the Olympic Games through the Lens of Athens and London
Marlee Teresa Brooks
Warming the World’s Wildlife: Climate Change Affecting Mammals in the Rocky Mountains, the Alps, and the Himalayas
Juliet Athene Chi
La langue [la long]: The Effects of French Colonialism on Linguistic Variation in Quebec and Guadeloupe
Anne Elisabeth Bendrick Clifford
Hong Kong's Role in China as a Rising Power: What Does This Mean for the West?
Michaela Chang Edwards
Online Shopping for Lives: Combating Internet Sex Trafficking on a Global Scale
Elias Jackson Fricke
Free Lands: The Fleeting Importance of America’s Best Idea
Stephanie Marie Gerber
Meat Mania: The Environmental and Health Effects of the Emerging Western Diet in India
Laila Mariam Ghamdi
A Manifestation of Aesthetics: Protest Art’s Societal and Cultural Ramifications in the 1980s
Fabián Luis Guerrero
The Consequence of Citizenship: Evaluating and Reconstructing Contemporary Imperialism in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria
Kolbi Isaiah Lee
Abolished and Thriving: Modern Slavery in the International Food Industry
Chenxu “Evelyn” Li
Education or 教育(Jiào yù): The Cause and Effect behind the U.S. Education Industry Rising in China
Kelly Elizabeth Lynch
Free Tibet: Buddhism and Tibet’s relationship with China
Owen Raymond Rask
Economic Inequality and Education: The Consolidation of the American Dream
Adeline Kathleen Thames
A “Good” Deal: The Fashion Industry’s Effects on People and the Environment
Jacques Nicolaas Vanzyl
The Forgotten Patients: South Africa's Healthcare Reform for Equality
Yinuo “Maria” Wei
Confucianism as Culture: Ideological Influence on the Political Relationship between China & Japan
Highest Scholastic Honors:
Ashby Mei-ling Baker
Honorable Mention Scholastic Honors: Samuel Phillip Volk
Awards Given at Baccalaureate
John W. Emery Music Award: Muyao Thomas Teng
Creative Writing Award: Ashby Mei-ling Baker
Photography Award: Yuxin Jessica Zhou
Musical Award: Kathryn Kimbell Potts
Kitson Music Award: Dustin Nainoa Miller
Breene Baggett Memorial Acting Award: Benjamin Polur Wrubel
Rumbaugh Award (performing arts): Chase Clayton Call
Riding Director’s Award: Grace Lane Everett
Top Horseman Award: Michaela Chang Edwards
The Anderson Award (outdoor ed): Junseo Jung
Fisher Howe Exceptional Leadership Award: Anne Elisabeth Bendrick Clifford and Owen Raymond Rask
Varsity Awards for Athletics: Eliza Miller Rhee and Aly-Solomone Rahemtullah Kassam
Don Kardok Coach's Award: Dr. Rob Gilbert (climbing)