Lauralton grads entrusted to make the world 'stronger, smarter, more just'

Lauralton Hall in Milford celebrated its 111th commencement on Saturday, June 3, with the largest graduating class – 129 students — in the history of the all-girls high school.

The occasion also marked the first time that five international students were among the graduating class.

This year’s valedictorian was Rachelle Ambroise of Stratford who will study chemistry and pre-med at Harvard University. Salutatorian Olivia Rubin of Stamford will attend the University of Notre Dame and plans to major in business analytics.

The school’s highest honor, the Catherine McAuley Award, was presented to Hope Hottois of Monroe. This annual award is presented to the senior who best demonstrates the Lauralton mission of Mercy values including compassion, courage, spirit of volunteerism and sound academic performance.

President and Head of School Dr. Toni Iadarola served as the commencement speaker. The ceremony was dedicated to Dr. Iadarola, who will retire after leading the school for eight years.  She congratulated the young women for their outstanding academic and athletic honors as well as their combined 12,000 hours of community service following in the tradition of the school’s founders, the Sisters of Mercy.

Lauralton seniors were accepted at more than 268 colleges and universities in 38 states and four countries. The class received more than $28 million in merit scholarships and financial aid.

In her commencement address, Dr. Iadarola told graduates that the more she got to know them over the course of four years, the more in awe she became of their creativity and vibrancy.   “Although your generation will face many challenges, I am optimistic," she said.  “And you, in no small way, will participate in remaking our world so that it is stronger, smarter, and more just.”