Greencastle’s Alex Jackson speaks as valedictorian at Mercersburg Academy

Staff Writer
Echo Pilot

Alex Jackson of Greencastle was the valedictory speaker during Commencement exercises for the 115 members of Mercersburg Academy’s Class of 2015 held May 23 on campus.

Jackson, who will be furthering his education at Northwestern University, told those assembled on the pleasant May day that passion is the key to what you do in life.

“I try to make it a point to constantly look for new interests and to pursue them passionately, striving to fill my life with as many amazing moments as I can. To me, this speaks to the power of passion. Approaching life with passion helps me open doors and do things I never knew were possible. There are so many amazing things in the world, and I feel a need to explore as many as I can. I find this adds meaning to my life.”

As is usual with commencement speeches, Jackson issued personal thanks. “I have been extremely fortunate to have some truly wonderful people in my life that encourage me to follow my interests wholeheartedly. I am supremely grateful for my family’s support in everything that I do, especially that of my sister Grace (’18), who knows how to help me flesh out an idea like no other. I have also been extremely fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with Ms. (Laurie) Mufson, the best adviser and acting teacher ever, for four years. Her willingness to go above and beyond to help me realize my dream of acting professionally has allowed me to grow so much, and I am so excited to see what the future will bring.

“And of course, I wouldn’t be standing where I am today without the encouragement of my friends and all the members of the faculty and staff who have touched my life throughout my Mercersburg career. Thank you all for making my Mercersburg experience a great one through all your passion and support.”

Jackson challenged his his classmate to look ahead.

“Looking ahead to our future as a class, I would again emphasize the importance of passion—passion for whatever we decide to do. The future is ours—we need to be ready to make something of it. By pursuing as many different interests as we can and following our passions wherever they lead, we can craft a more exciting future for ourselves and for our children.”

Former Mercersburg faculty member Derry Mason delivered the Commencement address as invited speaker. He was joined by Head of School Douglas Hale, Board of Regents President David O. Frantz (‘60), and several other orators representing the senior class.

Members of the graduating class represent 16 states, the District of Columbia, and 20 different nations. They will matriculate at 80 different colleges and universities; Bucknell University (five matriculations) is the most-popular destination among the graduates, with four students enrolling at each of three different institutions: Boston University, the United States Naval Academy, and the University of Pittsburgh. Five additional institutions will enroll three members of the Class of 2015 apiece: Trinity College (Connecticut), the United States Military Academy, the University of Michigan, the University of Virginia, and Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech).