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The graduating class of the Cambridge Rindge and Latin School last night heard that the city is "under a state of siege" as School Committeeman David J. Holway told the seniors Cambridge would need their help to survive the 1980s.
"University encroachment on our neighborhoods, millions of dollars in new construction in East Cambridge, and the division the Red Line extension is creating in Cambridge all threaten the city," Holway told the 657 graduating seniors.
"John Fitzgerald Kennedy said in 1961 that we should ask not what our country can do for us but what we can do for our country. I'd like to paraphrase that, and tell you to ask what you can do for your city," Holway said.
Class salutatorian Lisa Gilmore challenged teachers and administrators to "create an environment of mutual respect" in the high school. "Students must be trusted to make their own educational choices," Gilmore said.
The class of '79 was the first to attend the new high school. It also survived the merger of the Rindge and Latin high schools a year ago, and the total reorganization of the high school administration completed this year.
"Despite all that, this class has excelled in every endeavor, academic, athletic and otherwise," Holway told the audience which gathered in the middle of the Cambridge Common for the ceremony. Both the girls and boys basketball teams won state championships this year, and the drama club captured the title in a regional championship.
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