The event marks the 100th Commencement ceremony at the School, which celebrated its centennial in 2010. Cate’s headmaster, Benjamin D. Williams IV, will confer diplomas on the graduates in the presence of the School’s Board of Trustees, faculty, students, families, and friends.

The senior class has chosen faculty member Patrick Collins, chair of Art Department and the William New Jr. ’59 Chair, to deliver the Commencement address. Alex Anderson of Beverly Hills, Ca. will deliver the senior address.

The ceremony will cap a weekend of festivities, award ceremonies, and graduation-related gatherings. The speaker for Saturday’s Baccalaureate is David Harbison ’72, and student Baccalaureate speakers are seniors Rex Chang of Taiping City, Taiwan and Meghan Killea of Palo Alto, Ca.

A June 1920 reflection in the School newspaper El Batidor, recalled the first Commencement ceremony, held in 1914: “… we held our exercises on the present site of the school, then but a bare hillside. The ceremonies were simple indeed, a few well-chosen magisterial words, and a little speech from the first graduate, who then broke the sod for Long House with a silver spade tied with a purple ribbon. With the presentation of the spade as the first diploma, the Commencement Exercises were over.”

Members of the media wishing to cover the commencement exercises should contact Cate School’s Director of Marketing and Communications Sarah Kidwell at 805-684-4127 ext. 241.


Founded in 1910, Cate School is a grade 9-12, coeducational, college preparatory boarding school in Carpinteria, California. What began as a group of twelve boys and a few teachers has expanded into a 265-student, 65-teacher, deeply academic and talented community with the most diverse student body of any boarding school of its size in the United States. The faculty are experts in their fields: 74% hold advanced degrees, 18% of these have PhDs. Cate is one of this nation’s most selective boarding schools, accepting only 20% applicants each year. 52% of Cate’s most recent graduating class attend the 25 top-ranked colleges and universities in the country. The Cate experience combines academics, athletics, art and co-curricular activities in a close-knit, community setting where students are enriched by their relationships with their teachers and each other. When students leave Cate, they have the tools and the conviction to seek out lives of purpose and meaning.


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