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Work to ‘bridge differences’ in the world beyond Deerfield

  • Deerfield Academy seniors react to a student speech during graduation ceremonies on Sunday.<br/>Recorder/Micky Bedell

    Deerfield Academy seniors react to a student speech during graduation ceremonies on Sunday.
    Recorder/Micky Bedell Purchase photo reprints »

  • Katharine Williams Gina speaks in front of her classmates during graduation ceremonies at Deerfield Academy on Sunday.<br/>Recorder/Micky Bedell

    Katharine Williams Gina speaks in front of her classmates during graduation ceremonies at Deerfield Academy on Sunday.
    Recorder/Micky Bedell Purchase photo reprints »

  • Diplomas sit neatly stacked on a table during commencement ceremonies at Deerfield Academy on Sunday.<br/>Recorder/Micky Bedell

    Diplomas sit neatly stacked on a table during commencement ceremonies at Deerfield Academy on Sunday.
    Recorder/Micky Bedell Purchase photo reprints »

  • Deerfield Academy seniors react to a student speech during graduation ceremonies on Sunday.<br/>Recorder/Micky Bedell
  • Katharine Williams Gina speaks in front of her classmates during graduation ceremonies at Deerfield Academy on Sunday.<br/>Recorder/Micky Bedell
  • Diplomas sit neatly stacked on a table during commencement ceremonies at Deerfield Academy on Sunday.<br/>Recorder/Micky Bedell

DEERFIELD — It was “Lehman weekend” in Washington D.C., during the 2008 financial crisis. In the middle of it all, a Deerfield Academy alum worked with former Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, Democrats and Republicans alike as they tried and failed to pull the financial service firm, Lehman Brothers away from the brink of bankruptcy and prevent the crisis from descending further into a global catastrophe.

“There were differences. They knew they had to compromise,” said H. Rodgin Cohen, Class of 1961 and vice president of the school’s board of trustees.

Before the 190 graduating seniors of Deerfield Academy, Cohen, senior chairman of Sullivan & Cromwell, advised the students to find that bond and bridge differences as they enter the world beyond the Pioneer valley.

Cohen is a prominent corporate lawyer whose practice focuses on commercial banking and financial institutions. Part of the team to help prop up the banks and prevent a global financial meltdown, Cohen is known as the country’s leading banking lawyer and Wall Street’s trauma surgeon.

Giving the senior address to his fellow classmates, Gresham Reichert said, “Don’t be afraid of the dark. Trust your instincts. Our confidence will lead us on.

“Our Deerfield experience is the sum of all the small steps we took together. We made it,” Reichert said.

“I’m grateful to my teachers and friends for telling me when I was wrong,” said Katharine Williams Ginna, graduation speaker. “I’m grateful to Deerfield for not making things so easy ... I wouldn’t be the person I am today without you.”

Local graduates

The following Franklin County students graduated from Deerfield Academy Sunday. The list, which includes awards won, is in alphabetical order by towns.

Deerfield:

Cody Anderson-Salo.

Andrew Bishop: Cum Laude Society, Dessauer Award in Physical Sciences and The Mitchell Award for Excellence in Technical Theater.

James Freda.

William Freda.

Greenfield:

Nathanael Lane: Cum Laude Society.

Michael Lively.

South Deerfield

Rebecca Harrington

Maegen Killeen.

William O’Neil.

Patrick Ononibaku, Jaffe Award.

Lauren Stobierski.

Peter Stobierski.

Sunderland

Victoria Wetherby.

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