The culmination of the Nightingale education, our Commencement Exercises are held each year in nearby Brick Church. The senior class elects one of their own to speak to the assembly in advance of receiving their diplomas. In addition, a Commencement Address is given each year by a guest speaker; recent speakers have included Dr. Ruth Westheimer (2011), Ken Auletta (2010), Arwa Damon (2009), Jon Meacham (2008), Audra McDonald (2007), and Charlie Rose (2006).
Convocation is the official start of the academic year, when students from Classes I–XII gather with faculty and staff to celebrate the return to school. Led by Head of School Dorothy A. Hutcheson, the event features remarks by the presidents of the board of trustees, the alumnae association, the parents association, and the president of the school.
This annual ceremony celebrates the academic excellence of our students by welcoming new members into Nightingale's chapter of the national Cum Laude Society. The Cum Laude address has been given by a number of respected intellectuals, from Director of the Public Theater Oskar Eustis to President of Brown University Ruth Simmons.