Congratulations to our Class of 2020! In a socially distanced ceremony on July 25, Columbus Academy seniors finally received their diplomas after an unprecedented spring and summer caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Following welcomes by Head of School Melissa Soderberg and Senior Class President Charlie Sabgir '20, the valedictory address was delivered by Jay Gokhale '20. “I’m incredibly optimistic for the future,” stated this year's recipient of the Cary Cup. “My reason for that is this Class of 2020... a class of change-makers.”

Dr. David Hamlar Jr. '73 served as the event's honored guest speaker. “One of the most important Academy goals is character development in its students," said the former Brigadier General of the Minnesota Air National Guard who has been a teaching physician at the University of Minnesota for the past 25 years. "Character cannot be quantified by grades or test scores, yet it lies at the heart of any serious education endeavor alongside the study of ethics and morality. All of this leads to critical thinking which is vital to educational and career advancement. It is the substance of leaders. I include all of this to emphasize that you are well-prepared to move forward in your selected fields of study and eventual careers."

After each graduate was announced and crossed the outdoor stage to pick up his or her diploma while receiving verbal congratulations from the honored guests instead of the customary handshakes, the ceremony concluded with music playing as the Class of 2020 spaced themselves out around the track for their families to come greet them.

Posed and candid pictures are also being offered to families by Irish Eyes Photography, which can be reached at