Jill Clairo has been elected as the valedictorian for the graduating class of 2016. Clairo’s speech will focus on the importance of accepting the unexpected following graduation. She plans to play on Sackville’s unpredictable weather to drive this point home.
Clairo, a psychology honours student, acknowledges that her personal account of Mount Allison cannot encompass everyone’s university experience; however, Sackville’s dubious climate and the uncertainty of life following graduation are two things to which every graduate can relate.
“We know about the fear of having no idea what awaits outside of Sackville,” said Clairo. “Going forward with hands clenched around memories of the past and our knees shaking as we step out into a world filled with way more traffic lights and way fewer familiar faces.”
Clairo said recognizing the value of unplanned experiences is one of the most significant things she has taken away from her time in blustery Sackville. She said the most meaningful moments during her time at Mt. A have often been those that don’t go as planned.
“In Sackville when you wake up and look outside and have no idea what the weather is going to be like, you have to brace for whatever will happen and try to not think too far into the future,” she said.
Clairo was the only female applicant of the seven candidates running for the position, and will be the first woman in three years to serve as valedictorian. She plans to “take the ‘dic[k]’ out of ‘valedictorian.’”
Correction: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that Jill Clairo, the subject of this story, is the first woman in five years to serve as valedictorian. In fact, only three years ago, alumna Katharina Stobbs served as valedictorian.