The new grad says it's very possible to make your own name at Lawrence Academy
By John Bishop
To his credit, Kevin Lorden '22 said he wasn't sure what advice he was qualified to give.
However, the Senior Speaker — who, like Bitsy Crandall '22, was elected by his peers to speak on their behalf — told the community gathered for the 229th commencement exercises at Lawrence Academy he'd give it a try.
Moreover, he succeeded.
Lorden recalled that during an "icebreaker" at 9th-grade orientation, he let slip that he was part of a famous meme. It turns out that Kevin was just a little too boisterous during a nationally televised Boston Celtics game. And, well, the microphones picked up his very colorful entreaties. Very colorful metaphors, indeed.
"When I shared my fun fact with the group, I guess I got the reaction I was looking for," he said. "The kid next to me was dying laughing and couldn't believe what he had just heard.
"That kid turned out to be Jeffrey Manuel '22 - [now] one of my best friends.
"After our group activities, [Jeff] ran up to a group of boys... and was eager to share the news. The boys in that group had a similar reaction.
"From that point on, I was known as 'The Celtics Kid,'" added Kevin.
The attention was great, but there was one minor flaw.
"Everyone besides my teachers called me 'Celtic'... but people didn't know Kevin," he said. "So, I made an effort to convey to everyone that I was more than a meme."
How did he do that, exactly? Well, he wasn't afraid to be himself.
"The thing about Lawrence is that making a name for yourself is easier than you think," said Kevin. "It's an environment where you can be a freshman and not be afraid to be friendly with upperclassmen.
"There is a strong sense of community in all aspects of the school.
"It could be academics, athletics, or various other extracurriculars," he continued. "There will always be that unconditional support from your peer."
Poignantly, Kevin, from his dais in front of the Ferguson Building, directed his final guidance to the section on the Quad where the loudest support for his often humorous words emanated. That would be the student section, way on the Ansin side of the near circus-sized tent.
"Some advice for the people in the back, continue to be yourself because eventually, you'll meet the right group of people," said Kevin.
"Also, embrace everything," he continued. "You may not believe it, but these are some of the most memorable and fun years of your life."