Students “Move Up” During Virtual Version of Traditional Ceremony

Tuesday, May 19, 2020
A screenshot from the virtual singing of the Alma Mater

The Mercersburg Academy student body gathered together virtually Tuesday, May 19, for the school’s traditional Moving Up ceremony, which features the “promotion” of each academic class to its new place in the school. The ceremony is held each May in the Irvine Memorial Chapel (though relocated online this year due to the closure of campus), and includes brief speeches by the president of each class.

Speakers during the ceremony included class presidents Jesse Zhang ’20 (Beijing, China), Rose Potter ’21 (Middleburg, VA), John Xu ’22 (Shanghai, China), and Dongwoo Shin ’23 (Seoul, South Korea), as well as School Minister Rev. Will Whitmore and Head of School Katie Titus. Faculty member Tom Rahauser ’74 offered an a cappella rendition of “It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday,” which is normally performed at the ceremony by members of the Octet and Factet. The ceremony also included a virtual singalong of the Alma Mater.

“The Class of 2020 is not a class that will be defined by the fact that our senior spring was ‘canceled’ due to COVID-19—but rather, one that will be defined by all that we have accomplished and the people we've grown to cherish,” Zhang said in his speech.

Senior Class President Jesse Zhang ’20

The traditional Senior Slideshow, which features photos of graduating seniors from their younger days and today, followed the Moving Up ceremony. (Parents, students, faculty, and staff can find the link to the ceremony and slideshow on their Veracross portals.)

Virtual Commencement for Mercersburg’s Class of 2020 is set for Saturday, May 23, at 10 a.m. Eastern time, and will feature invited speaker Vincent Rey ’06, a former NFL player and Mercersburg alumnus. An on-campus Commencement experience is planned for a later date to be announced (when the school determines it is reasonable and safe to gather together on campus).