On Saturday, Whitefield Academy graduated its 17th class of superlative students at The Church of the Apostles in Buckhead.
Led by Headmaster, Dr. Kevin Bracher, Upper School Principal, Jason Van Bemmel, and Board of Trustees Chair, Marsha Burke, 50 students were handed their diplomas and matriculated to 41 different colleges of their choice, with an average scholarship amount of $130,000 each, the largest amount per graduate in school history.
“With over ten percent receiving full academic scholarships, the diversity of this class can be seen in the destination of these students,” said Van Bemmel. “From Morehouse to Michigan, Pepperdine to the University of Virginia, these students truly understand how to listen, love, learn and live.”
During today’s exercises featuring keynote speaker, Dr. Steve Franklin, former Associate Dean and Professor of Emory University Goizueta Business School, the author and business executive challenged the graduates to consider three life lessons that he has learned through his groundbreaking study of centenarians across America. As the largest growing age segment in the nation, Dr. Franklin has harvested their wisdom and these three best practices, which he shared in his commencement speech.
- Financial Fitness: Centenarians saved a minimum of 10 percent of their worth. Today, Americans save less than five. Make a pact to start saving early, and challenge yourself to reach financial goals.
- Develop Healthy Habits: Reinforce positive habits daily. Read the Word. Nourish the human temple, for it is the instrument God has bestowed upon you to deliver your talent.
- Live Well: We are not defined by our worldly possessions but instead by the books we read, the people we meet and the places we go.
“Steve’s keynote today and Wallace Francis who spoke at baccalaureate last night both reminded us that these trailblazing graduates have already embraced these life lessons,” said Bracher in a statement. “Their mighty mentality has propelled them to fulfill God’s promise and leave a legendary legacy as the first class to matriculate from our kindergarten program through high school graduation. They displayed extraordinary talent on the artistic canvas, sports courts, and in the classroom. This special group uses the talents given to them by the greatest giver of all.”