MANCHESTER — It wasn’t the real clock tower bell tolling, but a recording of the famous Pinkerton Academy bell rang as 741 graduates from the Class of 2013 marched into the Verizon Wireless Arena Monday afternoon.
Since Pinkerton moved its commencement ceremony off campus three years ago, the school’s traditions continue, just in a different format. Graduates were led into the arena by junior class marshal Natalie Fabrizio, carrying the cane that once belonged to Pinkerton founder Maj. John Pinkerton.
This was the 195th annual commencement for the Derry high school.
Faculty and students made their ceremonial speeches and farewells to the Class of 2013 while the occasional beach ball and paper airplane made appearances.
Fourth-ranked senior Kelsey Kresge led off the afternoon with words of wisdom for her fellow graduates.
“These four years have been stressful,” she said, “but graduates should take pride (and thank) everyone who has supported the Class of 2013.”
Salutatorian Patrick Doolittle of Hampstead followed, telling classmates not to fear the future, but to always believe they can succeed.
“We only truly fail when we stop believing that we can succeed,” he said. “Failure is settling for less than what you originally defined as success.”
Patrick’s good friend, valedictorian Dylan Mahalingham told classmates their four years at Pinkerton were like a web full of intricate connections between teachers, students and friends.
He said there were many in his own class he didn’t know, his circle of friends was intimate. He urged graduates to always be aware of the many networks and connections that lie ahead.
“There are all the relationships we haven’t made yet,” he said, “with all the people we haven’t gotten the chance to meet. There are so many of those strings in the web that are yet to be tied, and there are so many that will be eventually cut.”