By Grace Bernstein
Seniors at Oak Hall School start the year off with SAT’s, completing college applications, and other special events. One of those events is the Senior Investiture, a mimic of graduation, where the seniors officially receive their special privileges and responsibilities. Privileges include being able to sign out to go off campus for lunch, becoming an example for the younger students at Oak Hall, and getting matched with a kindergartener to be there senior buddy, amongst other things.
This year is Oak Hall’s 12th annual Senior Investiture. This special event kicks off the last year of high school for Oak Hall students. It started when Jeff Malloy, Director of Auxiliary and Operations, visited Canterbury School in St. Petersburg 12 years ago, as he was searching for ideas on how to make the seniors last year of high school stand out. Canterbury School’s tradition was adopted into the senior itinerary. “I was looking to make the senior year experience at Oak Hall even more special and we emulated [Canterbury School’s] event with a lot of success,” said Malloy.
This year’s Senior Investiture has gone through changes because of COVID-19, but Malloy prevailed in keeping the tradition alive. The investiture was pushed back to Sept. 30, instead of its regular early September date. Sadly, additional guests such as parents and friends are excluded this year for the student’s safety, “[In order to] adequately social distance in the ballroom and limit contact with others as a group,” Malloy explained. He continued to express the faculty’s plan to set up a live stream for friends and family to view the event as well.
Oak Hall, however, will still welcome select alum and administration to speak at this year’s Senior Investiture. Even with the setbacks, the tradition continues on as a day to takes some stress off the seniors’ shoulders. Distance learning and in-person seniors walk through this “practice graduation” and mingle (while socially distancing) with their Oak Hall peers.