Juniors Inducted, Charged at MSMS Ceremony of Lights


Public Domain from Wikimedia Commons

During the ceremony, candles are lit to symbolize the four ideals of MSMS.

Helen Peng, Editor-in-Chief

August 12, 2018, Cromwell Auditorium

There weren’t any blood sacrifices, goats or satanic symbols– as the secrecy of this ceremony may point towards cultish behavior– but rest assured, the Ceremony of Lights held Sunday evening signifies induction of the class of 2020 through the signing of the MSMS pledge.

Picture a crowd of MSMS students, alumni, faculty and staff dressed in their sharpest attire and filed neatly in a dimly lit auditorium. Here, the history of generations of MSMS students is represented: seniors, grand-seniors, great grand-seniors, great great grand seniors and so on. For the many people in the audience, the Ceremony of Lights is a surreal moment. For alumni, this event is a returning nostalgia of their high school careers. For seniors, it’s an odd position between being in the juniors’ shoes last year and being in audience’s shoes next year. And for juniors, most importantly, the Ceremony of Lights marks the start of their future at MSMS, their decision to embrace the ideals, and a warm welcome to the MSMS family. For years, this ceremony represents a unified beginning for the hundreds of alumni that walked these shoes today.

Starting with inspirational words presented by current teacher Mrs. Emma Richardson, this ceremony quickly transitioned to the introduction of the MSMS ideals: scholarship, community, service, and creativity. Four guest speakers, Nick Brewer, Demonte Morgan, Marjada Tucker and Thomas Richardson, all MSMS alumni, spoke on behalf of one ideal and a symbolic candle was lit for each. The introduction of the ideals was followed by the recitation of the pledge, words of farewell presented by recent graduate Gary Nguyen and finally the signing of the pledge itself.

After the ceremony, the lobby of Cromwell Auditorium was brimming with a new air of inspiration and excitement. Generations of MSMS students intermingled, pictures were taken and for many MSMS students, the community felt whole.

“It feels weird watching (the juniors) go through everything we did,” stated senior Victoria Gong.

Similarly, senior Victoria Waller stated, “It was interesting watching it from a different perspective… it felt like I appreciated the speakers more because I wasn’t being inducted into a cult.”

For the newly-inducted juniors, there were mixed feelings.

“I feel like I started a new journey. I felt enlightened inspired, though it was kind of overwhelming,” said junior Catherine Li. “The first couple weeks were pretty chill, but after (the Ceremony of the Lights) it felt official.”

After signing the MSMS pledge, juniors were ceremoniously given an MSMS puzzle piece and scroll.

MSMS alumnus and journalism teacher Thomas Richardson presented the creativity ideal at the Ceremony.

“Even though I’m here regularly, I haven’t been to the Ceremony of Lights in a decade so it was cool to think about what we were (doing during my Ceremony of Lights) and what I must’ve been thinking (at that time).” Reflected Richardson, “One thing that always been special is the puzzle. This time when I went to sign the pledge, I looked at (the puzzle) and realized that it will never be whole again.”

For more recent alumni, similar feelings of nostalgia were expressed.

“The opportunity to come back to speak at the Ceremony of Lights gave me perspective of my two years at MSMS,” stated guest speaker and class of 2018, Gary Nguyen.

For Nguyen, the ideals of creativity, community, and service struck a special chord with him.

“Pretty much like any other incoming junior, I came here to only focus on scholarship. I think its difficult at first to see how the other three play into the experience that is MSMS, but you have to immerse yourself into the school to find out how the ideas form into all the institution has to offer”