Congratulations to the Class of 2019! They went out in style at Commencement on June 8, with an inspiring commencement address from Sumara Thompson-King ’76 and an emotional valedictory address. The Thrall Family accepted our highest alumni award, the Richard L. Duchossois ’40 Integrity and Values Alumni Award, in memory of their late father and grandfather, Jerome Thrall ’44.


Visit our photo site at to see the full gallery of photos from Commencement 2019.

Commencement Address

As General Counsel at NASA since 2014, Sumara M. Thompson-King ’76 serves as the chief legal officer for the agency and oversees its team of attorneys responsible for all aspects of NASA’s legal affairs around the world. Ms. Thompson-King is a frequent panelist and speaker on legal matters related to government and commercial space activities and has received the Meritorious Presidential Rank Award, NASA’s Outstanding Leadership Medal, and NASA’s Exceptional Achievement Medal in recognition of her litigation achievements. After graduating from Morgan Park Academy, she earned an A.B. in Government at Smith College and a J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center.

Richard L. Duchossois ’40 Integrity and Values Alumni Award

The late Jerome A. Thrall ’44 was founder and chairman of Thrall Enterprises in Chicago and, for many years, Executive Vice President of Thrall Car Manufacturing Company. A U.S. Navy veteran and devoted family man, Mr. Thrall counted the Academy among the many community and civic organizations that he supported generously. His family has continued that commitment to his alma mater, creating a scholarship fund for outstanding rising seniors and making possible our new MakerSpace for collaborative and hands-on learning, building, and designing.

The award is named for Richard L. Duchossois ’40, founder and chairman emeritus of the Duchossois Group, and is given annually as the Academy’s highest alumni honor in recognition of his lifetime achievements, professional success, and service to the school, his community, and society.

Valedictory Address

Equally passionate about academics, arts, athletics, service, and leadership, Angela graduates as a member of the Cum Laude Society, National Honor Society, and French Honor Society; and as a recipient of the Global Scholars Award and the Dr. Larry Brown Science Award. Last year she won the Thrall Junior Leadership Award. She plans to study biology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. (A transcript of her address is available here.)

Full Ceremony

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