2023 Commencement Speaker Announced

May 10, 2023

Headmaster Dr. Sharon Howell is happy to announce that Noble F. Allen ’78 will be the 2023 Commencement Speaker.


Noble is an attorney and partner at Hinckley, Allen & Snyder LLP in Hartford, Connecticut, and practices in the areas of litigation, including civil and business litigation, premises liability/insurance claims defense; commercial landlord/tenant law which includes lease disputes and negotiations and lease litigation and evictions. He also practices in United States business immigration law representing U.S. companies in various industries who are looking to obtain visas for foreign workers. He graduated with a B.A. from Norwich University, Corps of Cadets, in 1982, received an M.A. from American University, School of International Service in 1985, and a J.D. from American University, Washington College of Law in 1991.


Noble arrived at the Academy campus as a sophomore in August of 1975, traveling to Vermont from The Gambia. During his time at SJA, he called Brantview his home away from home. In addition to being a good student, he was also a stand-out soccer player and track athlete. Noble has many fond memories of his time at the Academy, specifically the people: “I absolutely loved St. Johnsbury. I will never forget the genuine warmth and kindness of so many people who cared for me and welcomed me into their homes when I was 5,000 miles away from mine—the Durnans, the Desrochers, and of course spending Thanksgivings with the Shortsleeve family. I am sure that I am leaving out many more. I will not forget those wonderful times, and I am so grateful to everyone for helping me alleviate my homesickness as a teenager.”


In 2015, Noble sat on the fundraising and planning committee for the Brantview renovation campaign. He was later appointed as a member of the St. Johnsbury Academy Board of Trustees in 2020. While reflecting on his board experience so far, he said, “The Board is comprised of an amalgam of experienced talent from all disciplines and walks of life who are so focused and dedicated to ensuring that the Academy continues to flourish and remain a unique and exceptional institution. It just makes me want to do more as a Trustee.”


Noble is honored to be the Class of 2023 commencement speaker. He said, “I was not so much excited as I was extremely emotional when Dr. Howell asked me to be this year’s commencement speaker. I certainly never imagined that I would ever be afforded such a wonderful accolade. It is an awesome honor, and I fully appreciate the tremendous responsibility that comes with it.”


Dr. Howell was thrilled when Noble agreed to address the senior class. She said “Noble’s experience, perspective as an international boarding student, his professional success, and his ongoing dedication to St. Johnsbury Academy will be inspiring to our seniors, who are heading for an uncertain but exciting world, hoping to make it better. I know he will bring his thoughtfulness, warmth and humor to the community gathered to celebrate in an unforgettable way.”


Commencement will be held on the St. Johnsbury Academy campus on Monday, June 5, beginning at 10:00 a.m.  The event will conclude a weekend filled full of reunion activities and honoring and celebrating the Class of 2023. 


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