Aspen High School seniors say goodbye, graduate Saturday |

Aspen High School seniors say goodbye, graduate Saturday

Apsen High School seniors are presented with awards and scholarships Thursday night at Senior Awards Night.
Jeremy Wallace/The Aspen Times (mandatory)

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What: Aspen High School Class of 2019 Graduation Ceremony

When: 1-3 p.m. Saturday, June 1

Where: Benedict Music Tent, Aspen

Nearly 130 seniors will bid adieu to Aspen High School and say hello to their futures when commencement exercises take place from 1 to 3 p.m. today at the Benedict Music Tent on the Aspen Meadows Campus.

The commencement speaker will be Neal Katyal, whom Principal Tharyn Mulberry referred to as a “Washington pundit,” and there’s little disputing that. Katyal is the Paul Saunders Professor at Georgetown University and a former acting solicitor general of the United States. He has argued more cases before the U.S. Supreme Court than any other minority member, breaking Thurgood Marshall’s record in December 2017.

Katyal also joined Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser on Friday for a discussion at Paepcke Auditorium as part of fundraiser for Alpine Legal Services, and was selected by the senior class to speak at today’s commencement exercises, Mulberry said, crediting graduating senior Nick Galambos for leading the effort.

Cole Petersen, who is Harvard bound, is the class valedictorian, while Sophia Springfield and Josh Uhlfelder are the salutatorians, Mulberry said.

On Thursday, members of the graduating class were showered with scholarships and senior awards during a ceremony held at the Aspen School District Theater.

Among the 47 scholarships awarded (some organizations gave multiple scholarships), 87 seniors were recipients, Mulberry said. All told, $473,450 was awarded to the seniors, with the sums ranging from $100 to four-year rides.

This year’s scholarship event was moved closer to today’s graduation ceremony so that more out-of-town families could participate, Mulberry said.

“It was a really nice event,” he said, “and I thought it went really well.”

Two anonymous donors gave full-ride scholarships, while a number of local organizations and businesses handed out awards.

Students receiving scholarships worth at least $10,000 included:

• Alex Buysse and Arnold Muasa were awarded $15,000 each from the The Aspen Promise, courtesy of the Lichtenwalter and Styslinger families.

• Jesse Lopez was awarded a full ride through the Daniels Fund Scholarship.

• Donovan Bronstein received $12,000 from the Aspen Rotary Club.

• Henry Morrison and Fernando Ruiz Zuniga received $15,000 each from the Aspen Thrift Shop.

• Trey Thorpe, through the Flatirons/Chapin Wright Memorial Scholarship, was awarded $24,000.

• Alex Ilic and Jaydon Richardson each received $20,000 scholarships from Trashmasters.

• Through an anonymous donor, the Snowmass Chapel awarded a $20,000 scholarship to Davy Brown and $10,000 to Kaelin Harris.

Aspen Fraternal Order of the Elks Lodge Scholarship also distributed $83,500 to 25 students, the Thrift Shops handed out a total of $45,000, the Lichtenwalter and Styslinger Families gave away $69,000, the ABOR/Bill Heldman/Stark King Memorial Scholarship awarded $17,000, The Esrick Family Opportunity Fund handed out $10,000, and The Glah Family Opportunity Award totaled $10,000 in scholarships.

Scholarships were awarded in the memory of former students including Alex Terral, Chris Severy, Gunilla Israel and Haley Rinaldi and Robbie Wade.

Other scholarships came under the names of Alpine Bank, Aspen Cancer Conference Science, Aspen Chapel, Aspen Community Theatre, Aspen Square, Aspen Volunteer Fire Department, Buddy Program, David H. Gibson, Kemo Sabe, the Esther, Jacqueline, and Remy Pearlstone Scholarship Fund for Education, the Futures Fund Scholarship, Harley Baldwin, Jake Foerster Music Arts Fund and Jazz Aspen Snowmass, Jasper Mountain Lecht Ideas and Inventions, John Haines, John Noonan, Les Dames D’Aspen, Nikolai Wells Petkov, Patricia H. Hodgson, Philanthropic Educational Organization, Pitkin County Healthy River, Poppycock’s, local law enforcement, Snowmass Village Community Foundation, Dan VanDomelen, Tom Peirce and William Sandersen.