Commencement 2021 was unlike any other, which was a fitting conclusion to an unprecedented school year and a final example of just how resilient our graduating seniors and their families have been.

Warm welcomes were provided by Head of School Melissa Soderberg and class president Luke Nester, followed by the Valedictory Address from Cary Cup recipient Vaughn Armour and the Commencement Address by Debbie Keeran, who is retiring this month as the longest-serving female staff member in Columbus Academy history.

Then, as the graduates received their diplomas, the sky became increasingly dark until a heavy rain eventually poured down on Hondros Field just as the last graduates’ names were announced. The ceremony may have been cut short, but the enthusiasm and spirit of this Class of 2021 carried on in the Senior Quad, where graduates embraced the weather and each other before drying off in the upper school library (student-produced video montage).

Professional images by Irish Eyes Photography can be viewed and purchased for a limited time by clicking here and using gallery code CAGRAD2021. For more details on the availability of these photos, please contact Erin Foster at

If you are a Class of 2021 family who would like to request a flash drive containing the Commencement footage and senior video, please email with a day and time you would like to pick it up at the Academy Hall reception desk.