On Sunday, May 31, 88 members of the Form of 2015 graduated from Groton School.
It was a day of tradition, tears, and torrential downpours—a day of gratitude paid to teachers and parents, memories rehashed, and insights shared.
Christopher Isham '71, Vice President and Washington Bureau Chief of CBS News, delivered the keynote address, stressing the importance of four values central to a Groton School education—service, critical thinking, confidence, and teamwork.
“Service can take many forms and all of you will find different ways to serve,” Isham told the graduates. “For me, it was telling stories. In my line of work, one encounters many people who rule—presidents, would-be presidents, kings, and generals. But the most impressive people were the unlikely heroes, ordinary people with extraordinary courage.”
He went on to describe a unionist who organized migrant mine workers in South Africa, an Afghan woman who clandestinely filmed an execution “to expose the hidden state of terror under the Taliban,” and a Bosnian man who escaped execution by playing dead—and the extraordinary followup reporting by Isham’s team.
“When we met him, he was not able to tell us exactly where the executions had been committed, but he was able to draw a map from memory of the scene on a remote farm…” Isham explained. “My team matched his hand-drawn map to satellite imagery. We alerted the International Criminal Court in the Hague. They launched an investigation, excavated the site, discovered the mass grave, and confirmed the execution. The evidence of this and other war crimes finally led the U.S. and our allies to intervene and stop the killing.”