What do you give Newark Academy seniors who’ve lost so much? Thanks to COVID-19, Spring 2020 saw the annual Senior Prank fall by the wayside. Senior projects were limited to what could be done at home. Project Graduation and Senior Prom also fell victim to the pandemic. Yet, the Newark Academy faculty, staff and administration were determined to give the Class of 2020 a proper, if unique, send-off with multiple events. The festivities began on Sunday, June 7 with a virtual celebration of the class that featured both the Senior slideshow and a speech by Humanities faculty member and Polymnian dedication recipient Sean Cosgrove. Shortly after the online event concluded, NA Seniors, many with their parents in tow, arrived on campus for the school’s first-ever Senior Car Parade. Cars, trucks and SUVs were decked out with signs and streamers and some students donned their graduation caps and gowns. Convertible tops were dropped down and sunroofs opened as members of the Class of 2020 drove a loop from the Wilf Middle School parking lot, through the back of the campus, finishing outside the Simon Fieldhouse. Along the way, the students were able to see Good Luck banners from the Alumni Board of Governors, NAPA, the Arts Department and NA Athletics and they were greeted with good wishes – from a proper social distance – by many of their favorite teachers, administrators and coaches.
Later in the summer, when pandemic restrictions were eased to permit larger gatherings outdoors, the Class of 2020 finally received their diplomas in an outdoor ceremony in front of the school.