By Louise Schultze, Marketing & Outreach Specialist
The celebration of the class of 2023 marked a homecoming of sorts for many as students, graduates, instructors, families, and alumni all returned to Stanford University campus for the first “normal” gathering since the Covid-19 pandemic. Some families who joined Stanford Online High School over the past three years had never attended an in-person event, and were amazed and impressed by the strong sense of community and friendship that was built online.
“A pillar of Stanford OHS is our global reach,” said Head of School Tomohiro Hoshi during his commencement speech. “Stanford OHS brings together students from diverse backgrounds and cultures. This is not just about geography - it’s about a shared commitment to learning from one another and exchanging experiences, perspectives, and cultures.”
The Pixel Gathering and Graduation Weekend kicked off on Friday, June 2 with a Carnival that welcomed newly admitted families to get a peek into the Stanford OHS community, and featured games like Tug-o-War, delicious food trucks, photo shoots, and other fun activities. Saturday’s festivities kicked off with a breakfast with Stanford OHS administration, followed by a student-instructor-alumni basketball game, senior activities, and the incredible student showcase. As always, the Pixels dazzled the community with their talents, from piano concertos, to K-Pop dance moves, Robotics demonstrations, rock-n-roll music, and more.
Eighth graders were promoted to the high school on Saturday, in a meaningful ceremony with families and instructors cheering them on. “To our eighth graders, my heartiest congratulations to you all! You’ve shown incredible commitment, consistency, and dedication during your time at the Stanford OHS Middle School,” said Dr. Hoshi. “True education is not just about individual achievement, it is also about learning from and contributing to a community of peers, friends, and mentors. I commend your collective efforts in cultivating an active, collaborative middle school community. Your efforts shine, and they are apparent to everyone.”
High schoolers danced the night away at the Faculty Club for Prom Night, making new memories with old friends. They closed the night with Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin,” which has been an anthem for Pixels for many years. At the same time, a panel of early Stanford OHS alums were interviewed by Dr. Hoshi in front of parents, instructors, and staff about their experiences after graduation, inspiring everyone in the room with their impressive achievements. “
For me, when I was in high school, Stanford OHS really enabled me to see what was possible,” said Class of 2015 alum Quinn Barry. “You can pursue extracurricular activities at a high level, while pursuing your education at an extremely high level. Plus, when you’re building friendships, you’re building real friendships across the country. They’re not just friendships of convenience. Stanford OHS matures you as a person and prepares you for life after high school.”
Sunday’s Graduation ceremony was a celebration of the incredible accomplishments of our senior class of 2023. With inspiring speeches from instructors and students, it was a joyful reminder of the fun that was had, the things that were learned, and the possibility of what’s still to come.
“Graduating seniors, you have proven yourselves to be so much more than students,” said Dr. Hoshi. “You are thinkers, questioners, connectors, and global citizens. As you embark on the next phase of your journey, I encourage you to take the values of Stanford OHS with you. Continue to engage with the world around you. Contribute to communities of inquiry and learning. Nurture your connections, and create new ones. And remember, you are global citizens with the power to effect positive change.”
Congratulations to the Class of 2023!