May 27, 2012 dawned bright, and the Class of 2012 was congratulated by Governor Dannel P. Malloy of Connecticut. The Governor, at the special request of Avon’s Headmaster, was asked to share some of the personal trials he overcame in order to persevere. With physical handicaps, and thought by those outside his family to be mentally handicapped until he reached fourth grade, the Governor learned early on how to compensate for physical and learning differences, graduating magna cum laude from Boston College and then receiving his law degree from Boston College School of Law. He ran for and lost the governorship of Connecticut in 2006, but did not let that dissuade him from persevering and winning the election in 2010. He spoke highly of the students at Avon Old Farms and their commitment to academics, athletics, the arts, and community service. He implored them to continue to live a life of service, to be remembered for having made the lives of those around them and the communities in which they would live, better for their care.
As can be seen from the recognition that so many of the graduates received at Avon’s 79th Commencement, these young men have made a difference at Avon Old Farms. From Nnamdi Amilo, the Scholar of Distinction, for having maintained the highest grade point average throughout his four years at Avon Old Farms; to Reykelis Rosario for the most earnest and persistent effort in the academic area; to Timothy Fox who received the Paul-Karl Schiller Award ’78 for persistence and sacrifice in triumphing over difficult circumstances; to Myles Riley, recipient of the Gregg Richard Linburg ’87 Sportsmanship Award for bringing honor to his school, his teammates, and himself by demonstrating selfless devotion to the unheralded ideals of endurance, grit, and hard work; and to all those many others who left their mark on Avon Old Farms, we congratulate each on learning to aspire and persevere!