Excerpts from the commencement address of student body president Hemang Kaul, an Andover resident:
“In many ways, Andover students walk a very fine line. It is a dangerous and unhealthy assumption to believe that we are all here, at this elite and selective prep school in New England, on a solely merit-based system. We must remember that for each one of us that receives a diploma today, there are many others who could have been there in our place, who were not so fortunate to have the opportunity to attend Andover.
“So remember, as we leave this all behind, to give thanks to those people who have meant something to you in your time here, and thank them over and over again.
“As we set out from high school to experience whatever lies ahead of us, college, gap years and eventually the real world, we begin what will hopefully be a long and fulfilling journey for us all. When I first heard the word commencement, I was confused. What were we commencing? Wasn’t this the end? It finally came to me in a conversation with a friend after the senior faculty dinner that what we were `commencing’ was our lives as graduates of this institution. It was a bittersweet realization though, because as alumni, although we were beginning a new chapter of our lives with Andover that would lead to new memories with old friends, and unexpected friendships with our former colleagues, we would never again be together in the way we are now. Living, laughing, crying, dancing, enjoying, breathing and dying together in unison. Our lives will be insufferably separate, and each of us will soon call a different place home. ...
“I offer my sincerest congratulations to the class of 2013, that has given me so much, and wish us continued luck in the many, many years to come.”