A Graduation Morning Like No Other

At just around 7:30 on the morning of Bridgton’s 213th Commencement Exercises, a legion of bleary-eyed students made their way up the hill to Goldsmith Dining Hall and loaded into Academy transportation. Some were functioning on only a few hours of sleep after enjoying final night festivities on campus, including a jump into Long Lake in the wee hours of the morning. Three vans and a bus headed to nearby Bridgton Hospital for an epic last-day event: getting the second dose of the COVID-19 vaccination.

Earlier in the spring, Bridgton Academy was thrilled to partner with Bridgton Hospital to provide a COVID-19 clinic for our students. When the age range expanded in Maine to include 18+ for vaccination, Bridgton students had just enough time left in their year to receive two shots of the Moderna vaccine. Because the window was so small, their second shot had to be scheduled on the morning of graduation.

Academy students were greeted by a wonderful surprise when they showed up at the hospital that Saturday morning. Health care workers were standing outside of the hospital rotunda holding a giant “Congratulations, Graduates” banner and cheering as the boys arrived. The nurses and vaccine clinic staff had even taken the time to make personalized masks for each student featuring their name and

Bridgton Academy logo. As students checked in, you could hear “Pomp and Circumstance” piping over the hospital’s sound system. Once inside, there were graduation balloons and decorations, and even a table with donuts and drinks. It was a tremendous welcome for the soon-to-be graduates of Bridgton Academy and a vaccine clinic experience that these young men will not soon forget. Over sixty members of the Class of 2021 were fully vaccinated by the time they walked across the stage on commencement morning. A heartfelt thank you to the above-and-beyond caring displayed by the staff of the Bridgton Hospital, and congratulations to our newly vaccinated Wolverines!