Phoenix Mellow '08 served as the 2022 Commencement Speaker.
Since her graduation from Friends, Phoenix has been…busy! She attended The Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City for fashion design and The Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising for fashion design and film and TV costume design in Los Angeles and has since dove head-first into the entertainment industry.
Her costume design and assistant design work have appeared in film, television, commercials, web-series, and music videos, including Sylvie’s Love, A.P. Bio, Detroiters, Black Panther, Mad Men, Mindhunter, The OA, and Katy Perry’s “Hey Hey Hey” and "Small Talk" music videos, among many others.
Phoenix has a passion for design detail, modern and historical fashion, and bringing characters to life through investigative research. She found her calling in the film industry, which amalgamated her interest in the history behind clothing and the psychological connections between people and garments.
"I am what you call a WFS "lifer,'" Phoenix said in her commencement speech, "Which means I attended WFS from preschool through senior year. So Friends is a part of me, in my foundational bones and core beliefs. I’ve carried around those core values…the “SPICES”...and I like to sprinkle them on everything…a little simplicity here…peace there, a pinch of integrity, stir up community and equality, and clean up with some stewardship. Graduates, I assure you, WFS gave you a fantastic set of spices that are going to continue to season your dish called life!
...Friends school teaches us to be open to life's challenges and to be adaptable. It was during this time that those tools were the most beneficial to me outside of a school setting. I used to believe that College was the only route to becoming successful. I thought the most important thing was getting into the best school, getting good grades, and being accepted by my peers. But what I’ve learned is your degree isn't the only thing that defines you, your character is. Hard work, perseverance, determination, and confidence hold just as much weight on your future as your education.
...Never underestimate the power of networking (especially face-to-face). Social capital is more important than we think. Many new jobs come from previous jobs or acquaintances—recommendations and who you know can give you a foot in the door. Tell people what your goals are, put yourself out there. You never know who you are talking to—it can put you in the position of being presented with amazing opportunities." Thank you, Phoenix, for sharing your insight and perspective with the Class of 2022!
Statement of Nondiscrimination as to Student Enrollment
Wilmington Friends School admits students of any race, color, gender, national and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students of these schools. Wilmington Friends School does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, gender, national and ethnic origin in administration of their educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other school administered programs.