T.C. Williams Celebrates Class of 2016 Graduates

U.S. Secretary of Education gives the commencement speech at the T.C. Williams High School 2016 Graduation Ceremony.

U.S. Secretary of Education John B. King, Jr.

T.C. Williams High School celebrated the graduation of 667 students on Saturday at a ceremony where the commencement address was given by U.S. Secretary of Education John B. King, Jr.

Secretary King applauded graduates for their hard work and perseverance and acknowledged T.C. Williams for its role in preparing all students for success in college and careers. He also discussed the importance of renewing our national focus on outcomes in higher education, ensuring students are graduating on time with an affordable, meaningful degree or credential.

Education is — and must remain — the ‘great equalizer,’ ensuring that every student has the opportunity to join a thriving middle class,” Secretary King said.

The numbers of students who graduated on Saturday in T.C. Williams’ 50th anniversary graduation were evenly split between those graduating with an Advanced Studies Diploma and Standard Diploma. A further 36 students will be eligible to graduate this summer during summer school.

Dr. Alvin L. Crawley, ACPS Superintendent

Dr. Alvin L. Crawley, ACPS Superintendent

“Today symbolizes triumph as you have met the requirements for graduation, today symbolizes hope as you look to the future and today symbolizes growth. A famous television host said the goal for all of us is to keep growing out of ourselves, evolving to our best possible lives. Your best possible lives will take you to many corners of the world, allow you to make amazing discoveries, confront challenges in a forthright and just manner, stand tall in the face of adversity and contribute to the betterment of this city, state, country and world. I wish all of you the chance to experience your best possible lives,” Superintendent Alvin L. Crawley said.

Both Valedictorian Laura Wilcox and Salutatorian Hannah Bates went to George Mason Elementary School and George Washington Middle School before they attended T.C. Williams High School, one of the largest and most diverse high schools in Virginia. Hannah will be attending the University of Virginia next year, while Laura will be attending Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania.
Laura Wilcox, Valedictorian

Laura Wilcox, Valedictorian

“I have had some amazing teachers who really got me interested in their subjects and were so passionate about what they taught. I am grateful for all that ACPS has done for me. I’m definitely ready to go out in the world and go to college. Thank you, ACPS,” said Laura.

A total of 331 students from T.C. Williams, or 47 percent, will be attending a four-year college next year, including Princeton University, Dartmouth College and Stanford University. The Lyles brothers, Josephus and Noah, both Olympic hopefuls who have made their name on the track, also graduated on Saturday and will be attending the University of Florida. A further 35 percent will be attending a two-year college, while two percent will be attending a trade/technical school and seven percent are joining the military.

Hannah Bates, Salutatorian

Hannah Bates, Salutatorian

It is 50 years since the opening of T.C. Williams, immortalized in the movie, “Remember the Titans” for the successful integration of its football team in 1971, and the first time in recent history that the school has had a commencement speaker.

Read the full speech given by Secretary King.

Additional high resolution photos will be posted to the ACPS Facebook page.



Watch the full ceremony video:

See highlights from the ceremony:


ACPS, Alexandria City High School, News Release, Video