Tabor honors seniors, Travis Roy at commencement

Jun 4, 2021

MARION -- “I hope we never have to do that again.”

Tabor Academy Interim Head of School Julie Salit recounted the difficulties of teaching in the pandemic at the school’s commencement on June 4, which honored the senior class as well as the life of Travis Roy.

Regina Shakin, chair of the school’s Board of Trustees, gave a greeting at the commencement which remembered Roy, an alumni who turned a quadriplegic college hockey injury into a foundation for spinal cord injury survivors before his death last October.

“As Travis said,” Shakin recalled, “anchor the moment: smell the air; smell the grass. This is a real moment, and we are lucky to be here.”

In addition to the greeting, Tabor’s yearbook, “Fore ‘n’ Aft,” was dedicated to Roy.

Co-Student Head of Schools Andrew Mottur and Julia Rood were given the floor for the senior address.

Rood started with a mad-lib version of a boilerplate commencement speech, with some words replaced with seemingly random nouns, verbs and adjectives. Then, she gave her full speech: A choose-your-own-adventure-style address, where she called on fellow classmates to pick which anecdote she would recount next.

Rood told two stories: One about her first day in a math class, where an seemingly impossible problem was presented to the students, the theme of which was that failure, and trying again and again, are necessities in life. Rood then told a story that encouraged her classmates to say “yes” to as many opportunities as they could. She recounted when she, a team manager at the time, was asked to become a backup lacrosse goalie. She said yes, and in no time, Rood said, her teammates were hurling lacrosse balls at her in net.

Mottur gave a more traditional address, focusing on enjoying the little things in life. He detailed his day in little detail at first: Meetings, baseball practice, riding his skateboard to class. Then, he described his days, which he called an adventure each their own, in more detail: Peeking out the window in the morning to get his first glimpse at the day, taking his first deep breaths of fresh air on the ride to class, being pushed to be his best every day by his teammates.

Mottur began to tear up, but he leaned into it throughout the speech.

“Oh, thank you,” he said as he was handed a tissue.

“Somebody asked me before, ‘are you going to cry?’” Mottur said. “I said, ‘No, it’s not sad at all.’”

Graduates, 25 of which are residents of Marion, Mattapoisett or Rochester, then received their diplomas before the senior class was presented as alumni to the Tabor community for the first time. 

Graduates from Marion: Charles John Crowley, Syndey Raine DaSilva, Paige Noel Feeney, Samuel Woodington Gryska, James Stratton Houck, Lela Elizabeth Krein, Bennett George Lynch, Grace Anne Magee, Katherine Lynn Marvel, Finneas Whitney McCain, Tessa Josephine Mock, Caroline Elizabeth Owens, Samuel Carter Parks, Abagail Elizabeth Shields, Kiley Renee Smith, Alexandrie Grace Strand. 

Graduates from Mattapoisett: Andrew Haakon Eilersten, Eva Rebecca Elger Willem Shaw Hunt, Hannah Louisa Watt. 

Graduates from Rochester: Caroline Poulin Donley, Carey Clara McCollester, Maya Rose Lannan, Julia Grace Rood, Jahmeir Shawleek Warfield.