Long before Matt Ballance ever picked up a baseball bat, it seemed that his fate might be predetermined. Born a descendent of the Hokie athletic tradition, some might have assumed that Matt would simply follow in the footsteps of his father, a former Virginia Tech quarterback in the mid 80s. However the senior Ballance allowed Matt to discover his own path and it was not one without a few turns along the way.
Aria Branch graduated from Cape Henry Collegiate in 2005. She then continued her education at Duke University for her undergraduate years where she graduated Cum Laude with a Bachelors of Arts in political science and African-American studies in 2009. Following her time at Duke, she attended Harvard Law School, graduating J.D. in 2012. During her time at Cape Henry, Aria played a major role as editor of the Cape Henry newspaper, The Lighthouse, taking it from a pamphlet to an actual newspaper and earning her own office. She also played basketball throughout high school, and a teammate from Cape Henry helped her decide to attend Duke University. She went into college intending to be a journalist, but quickly realized her path was to become a lawyer. Since then, Aria has followed her dream and become a member of both the Virginia and District of Columbia Bars.
Isn’t this a joyful occasion?! A graduation—better, a commencement. Parents, grandparents, friends of the graduates, friends of mine, colleagues—what a delight that so many of you, after all of these years, fall into more than one of those subsets. I guess that is what comes from being in the same city, the same school, the same classroom for 24 years. Welcome to this annual, and first ever, celebration. I begin by greeting you; but, of course, I must be speaking primarily to THEM, the people behind me, the graduates who give us all such hope.
By Mrs. Kristen Wheeler, Director of Alumni Programs
An entrepreneur and self-proclaimed e-commerce nerd, Ronak told our juniors and seniors that the secret of successful people is that they wake up every day and relentlessly attack their next step. His main piece of advice to our students was simple: “Just do things. Take action.”
One of the founding mothers of our country, Abigail Adams, understood the significance of education and the pursuit of knowledge. She instilled these attributes in her sons and daughters, continuing to reinforce them as her children grew into adulthood. “Learning is not attained by chance,” she said in a letter to her second-born, John Quincy Adams. “It must be sought for with ardor and attended to with diligence.”
In Stephen Sondheim’s seminal musical, Sunday in the Park with George, the second act protagonist and groundbreaking artist, George, shares the following reflection with the audience: “Bit by bit, putting it together. Piece by piece, only way to make a work of art. Every moment makes a contribution, every little detail plays a part. Having just a vision's no solution; everything depends on execution. Putting it together, that's what counts!”
Mr. David Willis, Upper School World Languages Teacher
Noah Joyce is a problem solver. “When I can find solutions and make things work better, I find a sense of accomplishment in that,” he shares. During his time at CHC, he has made the most of many opportunities to challenge his sharp, analytical mind.