Senior Sunrise shines for the Class of 2020


Summer Chen

The Class of 2020 came together to start their last first day of high school at Senior Sunrise.

Imagine this: You have made it to your senior year at The Webb Schools. What better way to kick off the year than spamming your Snapchat story with aesthetic sunrise photos and conversing with your friends as the dark purple sky melts into popping pink hues? As the sun illuminates the backdrop of the San Gabriel Foothills, it transforms the backyard of Webb into the perfect place for candid golden hour Instagram photos. It is hard to believe it, but this picture is your reality.

After three strenuous days of retreat, most seniors wanted to remedy their exhaustion by sleeping in as late as possible on their “last first day” of high school. However, approximately 54 members of the Class of 2020 trekked up Gym Hill to watch the sunrise on the softball field at 5:45 a.m. on August 22, the first day of classes. The goal of Senior Sunrise was to spark a sense of class unity, to strengthen the bonds between friends, and to engage in the beauties of nature.

The class officers borrowed the tradition of Senior Sunrise from a long line of American high schools. Since the sun rises earlier in the summer, the Class of 2020 woke up before the crack of dawn to get an early start on the day.

Sara Hagiwara (‘20), VWS senior class president, said, “Senior Sunrise was an unexpected success because more people showed up than we anticipated, even though the event was completely optional.”

Senior class officers shuttled up pastries from the dining hall for seniors to snack on and enlisted the help of David Martinsen, Senior Associate Director of Admission, who offered to drive members of the class up Gym Hill on his golf cart. Students spent the early morning taking in the panoramic sunset views wrapped in plush blankets and soft hoodies. 

Luke Raus (‘20) said, “Waking up and getting to campus so early was rough but the slowly lightening horizon and class camaraderie definitely made it worth it. There’s no better way to have our final beginning together than rising with intention and experiencing dawn all as one.”

Alia Al-Turki (‘20) said, “I had to treacherously tread around my roommate sleeping to make sure that she didn’t wake up. When I got there, the sunrise hardly rose, but my class rose to the occasion.”

Caitlin Pender (‘20) said, “The girlies and I were very tired, but glad we did it because the sunrise was beautiful. A lot of public high schools near my area do senior sunrise, so I’m happy our class was able to start this tradition here at Webb this year.”

Senior Sunrise marks the beginning of the end for the Class of 2020. With college apps and a new chapter of their lives on the horizon, the seniors who made the early morning trek wanted to celebrate the first of their last 282 days together. They created long-lasting memories and initiated a new annual tradition for the oldest batch of Webbies on campus. 

Sometime in late-May, the seniors will gather on the softball field one last time to watch the sun set. Senior Sunset will mark the end of the end their high school careers at Webb. More details will be posted as the school year comes to a close.