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Actor Lily Rabe ’00 Delivers Commencement Address

Actor Lily Rabe ’00 Delivers Commencement Address

Actor Lily Rabe ’00 Delivers Commencement Address


Tony-nominated actor returns to campus

Staff Writer

June 2, 2023

Teo Everts '26

Actor Lily Rabe ’00, familiar to many as a recurring performer on FX’s American Horror Story, delivered the commencement speech for the graduating Class of 2023 today. 

Recent commencement speakers from the field of entertainment have included Cheo Hodari Coker ’90, showrunner of Marvel’s Luke Cage, Adam Sharp ’96, president and CEO of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, and filmmaker Gabe Polsky ’98. 

While a day student at the school, Ms. Rabe was active with the Hotchkiss Dramatic Association. She performed in the musical A Chorus Line and Beth Henley’s The Wake of Jamey Foster, directed by Sarah Tames, former instructor in theatre and English. Ms. Tames said, “[Lily] was brilliant. She tapped right into her core and brought that presence to the character.” 

Ms. Rabe was highly regarded by peers and faculty during her time as a student. Mr. Keith Moon, instructor in English, said, “She was a really fun-spirited person. She really blossomed here and became a confident person.” As predicted in a profile in The Record from her Senior year, Ms. Rabe pursued acting after studying at Northwestern University in 2004. 

She went on to perform numerous roles on stage and in television. Her portrayal of Portia in The Merchant of Venice on Broadway garnered her a nomination for a Tony Award for Best Actress in 2011. Ms. Rabe is also well-known for portraying many characters in the popular series American Horror Story. She has been featured in eight seasons and played notable characters including Sister Mary Eunice McKee and Lavinia Richter. 

Mr. Moon said, “I think it is rather hard for an actor to do both television and theatre, but she has managed to do both successfully. She has been really loyal to the community. She comes back here, and we’ve had the chance to see her at a few different events. It’s great that she’s both a Hotchkiss alum and a Lakeville alum.” Mrs. Maggie Crain, dean of the class of 2023, who oversaw the commencement planning, said, “When I was approached about the decision, I said I’d really like a woman, possibly someone in the arts. This [class] is the group that [reinvigorated] HTV and WKIS, so, to me, this is a uniquely artistic group.” 

Harry Morelli ’23, Chris Mudry ’23, Richie Mamam Nbiba ’23, Eli Rippetoe ’23, Sydney Jean ’23, and Mary Tyree ’23 had a Zoom meeting with Ms. Rabe to welcome her to campus. Mrs. Crain, the meeting’s organizer, said, “The students were all curious about what it was like to be at the school 25 years ago. They talked about the experiences of being a female at a boarding school at the time, the bad days, the good days, the incredible education, the good friends, and the mentors who shaped her path at the school.”

Teo Everts is a staff writer for The Record.

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Editor's Note: This article was recovered from The Record's online archive. There may be stylistic and visual errors that interrupt the reading experience, as well as missing photos. To read this article as it appeared in print, view our print archives.

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Editorials are written by members of The Record's Executive Board. They typically center on issues related to the school or student life on campus.

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