[metaslider id=48221]Scott Mullin photosRain on Saturday did not dampen the spirits of Wilton High School\u2019s Class of 2015, which after four years of challenges finally earned its stripes, 328 seniors clutching diplomas.Around 5 in the afternoon, parents, siblings, family and friends all poured into the field house to avoid weather that prevented the graduation from being held at its original setting of Veterans Memorial Stadium.The crowd talked amongst itself until the Class of \u201915 started filing in, at which point murmurs became cheers as Wiltonians saw their loved ones kick off a ceremony 18 years in the making.After the dust settled, Student Body President Cooper Pellaton, a graduating senior himself, approached the podium.A silence fell.After cordially welcoming the Class of \u201915 and its guests, Pellaton posed a tough question to his fellow classmates.\u201cDo you know what it means to be an adult?\u201d he asked seniors, who will have to answer that for themselves in the coming years.For Pellaton, the answer is best put by Paul Graham, whom he quoted saying it is \u201cone who takes intellectual responsibility for oneself.\u201d\u201cToday,\u201d Pellaton said, \u201ctoday is the first day that you are expected to take control of your intellectual desire and to independently pursue that which interests you.\u201dAs members of the class digested their president\u2019s thought, he urged them to take satisfaction in their accomplishments, whatever they might be.\u201cWhether you accomplished something significant, and were featured in the newspaper, or felt more comfortable going under the radar as a high school student, do not become obsessed with what you have done, or you run the risk of doing nothing else.\u201d\u201cNever, never define yourself by what you\u2019ve done,\u201d he told them emphatically.President Pellaton ended his welcome with a sobering reminder. Graduates celebrating the culmination of their last four years\u2019 efforts will soon be at the proverbial bottom of the totem pole once again.\u201cToday, you are a champion; tomorrow, you are nothing.\u201dHe repeated it.\u201cToday, you are a champion; tomorrow, you are nothing.\u201dThere was a roar of applause, ushering out Pellaton and ushering in Assistant Principal Donald Schels, who announced and introduced Class Valedictorian Grace Nickel, pointing out that her name went well with her \u201cgraceful attributes.\u201dIn addition to a perfect 4.0 grade-point-average across the board, Nickel was a member of Wilton High School\u2019s Top Inclusion Models \u2014 a club for the acceptance and inclusion of all students \u2014 as well as a member of Best Buddies of Connecticut and other clubs.She volunteered as an emergency medical technician (EMT), at Family & Children\u2019s Agency in Norwalk and helped out with the Hole in the Wall Gang Camp famously founded by Paul Newman in 1988.Nickel was an athlete on the Wilton High School track and dance teams.Rather than taking pride in her own impressive list of achievements, Nickel took it in her classmates\u2019 bravery to challenge their \u201cperceived boundaries, even when doing so (was) more trying than remaining satisfied with the status-quo.\u201d\u201cWe are in the company right now of members of our very own FCIAC champion baseball team, a presidential scholar (Evaline Xie), two all-time leading scorers in Wilton High School basketball history (Erin Cunningham, Matt Shifrin) and a member of the National Youth Orchestra of the United States (Isabella Palacpac),\u201d said Nickel of her class.\u201cThese individuals, and our class as a whole, did not triumph without experiencing feelings of occasional self-doubt,\u201d said Nickel. \u201cInstead of succumbing to these emotions, however, we stayed the course, acknowledging the obstacles ahead and conquering them as they presented themselves along the road of our journeys throughout high school.\u201dNickel will enter into Columbia University\u2019s Class of \u201919 in the fall.The graduation speaker was Wilton High School favorite Dr. Kristina Harvey, who spoke of the last four years as if they were chapters of a book, befitting of her role as an English teacher. She kept the first two years brief to make up for the rain delay and described the second two years as Chapter 3: The Year of Courage and Chapter 4: The Year of Gratitude.She advised her students \u2014 and those who never had her as a teacher \u2014 not to exchange the recollection of individual chapters for one memory of high school as a whole.\u201cCarry with you,\u201d she said, \u201cyour curious ninth grade selves, listen carefully like your 10th grade selves, be courageous like your 11th grade selves, and be grateful and generous of spirit like your 12th grade selves.\u201dHarvey did not fail to recognize that while high school graduation may be a day of pure joy for students, it can be a mixture of emotions for parents and others.\u201cYou all know that the strangest moment is yet to come: When we let go of our children and they actually leave,\u201d she said to a silent crowd. \u201cAnd then it happens, and it leaves us breathless with pride and sadness.\u201dThe speech ended on the up with a concise quote: \u201cThey are ready.\u201dPrincipal Robert O\u2019Donnell then presented the class to Superintendent Kevin Smith, who then handed the students to Board of Education Chair Bruce Likly for the presentation of diplomas.Osgood Perry and Evaline Xie, officers of the executive board, presented the class gift: a new patio space behind the cafeteria for lunch and other use by the entire school, and an endowment to go with it.\u201cThese class gifts are traditions for the graduating class to leave its legacy on the school. Yet this year the gift is not just the legacy of our class, but that of the entire school and even the Wilton community,\u201d said Perry before thanking local businesses and other contributors.The closing remarks were offered by Senior Class President Kieran Kehoe, who thanked everyone \u201cfrom the bottom of (his) heart.\u201d\u201cNo matter what, you guys will be successful,\u201d he said to his classmates. \u201cYou did too much hard work not to be. I\u2019m gonna keep this short; now, move your tassels to the left.\u201dCaps went flying and the room erupted in cheers and applause.