Hats off to the Class of 2021!

Hats off to the Class of 2021!

WRA is thrilled to celebrate an extraordinary class of graduating seniors and post-graduates. The 96 students who will walk across the stage on May 30 have accomplished so much, overcoming never-before-seen obstacles in the process and adapting to what became, in their tenure as high school students, a very different world.

Their college destinations are taking them around the globe. As of May 1 (traditionally known as National College Decision Day), members of the Class of 2021 have committed to an impressive list of 62 different colleges and universities spanning the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Spain and Australia (the list continues to grow). Take a look at the Class of 2021's full college acceptance list.

We are proud of every Pioneer and applaud the variety of paths this class will take. Student-athlete Markus Ilver committed to play at the University of Wisconsin-Madison with the Badgers' 9th ranked team in college basketball. Accomplished birder Helena Souffrant is spreading her wings at Bowdoin College in Maine. Environmentalist and activist Elizabeth Krapf will continue her path of curiosity at American University in Washington D.C., and Mariah Davis and William Brannon both plan to attend Howard University — a historically black university.

Additionally, this year there are a growing number of students pursuing passions they nourished at Reserve, such as Cancer Immunology student Carl Zhang, who heads to Stanford in the fall to pursue Biomedical Engineering. Others will continue pursuing independent passions found through their WRA Compass Projects, like Chuan Shuo Chen who is chasing his dream of studying Avionics at Washington University in St. Louis.

This year's class was guided and supported by Director of College Counseling Anna Barlow-Boesch and her team of Betsy Barry, Jennifer Easley and Emily Parliman. Barlow-Boesch says weathering this year's college admission process was a Herculean effort for even the most seasoned college counseling professionals. She applauds the 96 Pioneers who proved they were completely capable of overcoming obstacles.

"The word that comes to mind this year for the Class of 2021 is resiliency," said Barlow-Boesch. "Their college process looked totally different than any before it, and the fact that they could persevere and identify schools without visiting them speaks to their capacity for overcoming challenges. They dealt with virtual tours, standardized test cancelations, and pivots between in-person and online learning, and still proved to have a magnificent matriculation list."

Barlow-Boesch credits the strength of our students, as well as the strength of Reserve and its reputation with many colleges and universities, for this year's great success.

"We still had over 100 colleges visit us this year — albeit virtually — and engage in many meaningful ways," she added. "It's hard to commit when you haven't seen a school. There's a boldness with this class that I find so impressive. Despite challenges, they let nothing hold them back. There's so much to celebrate."

Head of School Suzanne Walker Buck says there's no way around it, this class is simply super!

"The college matriculations for the Class of 2021 have been outstanding," said Buck. "In this year of pandemic, the nation's most enrollment-competitive institutions have seen a significant uptick in the number of applications. We are super proud of the opportunities available to the Class of 2021. We applaud their amazing achievements at Reserve as well as those soon to come in college studies and beyond."

Everyone is excited to celebrate this class, all they've accomplished and everywhere they're headed! Congratulations, Pioneers!