Plans for 2021 Prize Day


Courtesy of Chloe Zheng ’23

Groton’s Prize Day has always been a monumental event for seniors and their families, marking the end of a four-year journey filled with memories, challenges, and friends. While this important ceremony will still take place this year on Sunday, June 6th, Covid-19 precautions will make certain aspects of Prize Day more difficult, such as close contact. This year, the majority of Prize Day will remain unchanged. “The group of us that is planning Prize Day is really trying to do everything we can to make the day itself as normal and festive as possible,” says Director of Parent Programs Kimberly Gerighty. Staff from every department are working together to plan this year’s Prize Day, with the process being overseen by Headmaster Temba Maqubela.

The primary changes to this year’s ceremony will be the number of guests allowed. All non-sixth form students are required to depart before Prize Day, leaving only seniors and faculty on campus. Each sixth former is allowed to invite a total of four guests, although this number is still subject to change depending on Covid-19 measures in June. Invited lower form siblings of sixth formers will still have to leave campus on time, but may come back with their families to attend the ceremony. The event livestream will be available on the home page, as always, for everyone else to watch. In accordance with the state distancing guidelines, there will also be three tents. The main tent will be reserved for seniors, faculty, and staff, while two side tents will accommodate registered guests, seated by pods. While the size of gatherings will be reduced, seniors will still be able to enjoy an in-person ceremony with their closest friends and family.

The basic layout of Prize Day will remain unchanged. Guests will arrive in staggered intervals between 9:30 – 10:00 A.M. for a 30 minute chapel service. Similar to the Covid testing schedule, families may choose a time to arrive upon their registration. The two hour ceremony itself will then take place in tents on the circle, consisting of speeches, awards, and diplomas. As always, Mr. Maqubela, President of the Board of Trustees Mr. Pyne, an elected sixth former, and a guest speaker will each give a speech. As announced by Headmaster Mr. Maqubela, this year’s guest speaker will be Richard Stengel, an American author, editor, and former government official who has written four books about Nelson Mandela. According to Registrar Ms. Corcoran, the same prizes will be awarded as in previous years, including a variety of awards honoring speaking, writing, athletics, languages, sciences, and arts. 

The committee planning Prize Day has worked hard to maintain the significance of this day for the seniors and their families, while also respecting Covid-19 guidelines. The rest of the community is invited to tune into the live stream on June 6th, in order to give a heartfelt send-off to our Groton Form of 2021.