Grace Graduate News – Miriam Clapp

It is always a pleasure to spotlight the incredible journeys of our alumni, and today we focus on Miriam Clapp, a shining example of the values and education we encourage at Grace Lutheran School. Miriam graduated from Grace in 2016 and has since continued to exemplify determination and resilience in every aspect of her life.

This past spring, Miriam made an indelible mark at St. Olaf College and nominated herself, with the support of her peers, to give the commencement speech at graduation—a move that underscores her boldness and self-drive. Despite her nerves upon learning she would be the sole speaker, Miriam embraced the challenge wholeheartedly and delivered an inspiring address to her peers.

You can listen to Miriam’s commencement speech here (begins at 30:45):

Miriam’s academic journey is as impressive as her personal achievements. Graduating with a major in Chinese and quantitative economics, she received the prestigious Princeton in Asia Fellowship. This opportunity will take her to Taiwan in a few months, where she will work for a startup incubator company dedicated to helping fledgling businesses succeed. This won’t be Miriam’s first time in Taiwan, as she studied abroad for a semester at the National Taiwan University. She loved her time there and looks forward to returning. Miriam’s drive doesn’t stop there; she has already applied to two graduate programs in China, continually seeking new opportunities and pushing forward with an unstoppable momentum.

Reflecting on her time at Grace Lutheran School, Miriam fondly remembers the teachers who played pivotal roles in her development—particularly Mr. Schultz and Mrs. Wolfanger who are still teaching at Grace to this day. She enjoyed the music opportunities provided at Grace, which laid the foundation for her continued pursuit of musical interests throughout college. Miriam was not only a member of the choir (a staple at Grace) but also played the violin in the Grace Orchestra. Her enthusiasm for participating in every possible activity was so pronounced that Ms. Dennen had to set limits for her involvement in the Fine Arts Festival, an event that remains a highlight for Grace students and is now hosted on our campus.

Community was another significant aspect of Miriam’s experience at Grace. The camaraderie she experienced in junior high set a standard for the kind of supportive environment she sought in her later years. This sense of belonging and connection has been a guiding force for her ever since.

Miriam’s love for math flourished under the guidance of Mr. Schultz, whose memorable phrase “plug and chug” still resonates with her. His teaching style, which balanced independence with collaboration, left a lasting impact. Additionally, Mr. Schultz’s passion extended beyond the classroom; he was also an exceptional basketball coach. Miriam recalls with a smile how he would sing Taylor Swift lyrics on the sidelines during games, adding a touch of fun to their practices and competitions.

As Miriam prepares for her next adventure in Taiwan, we are reminded of the values that Grace Lutheran School aims to instill in all its students: a commitment to excellence, a sense of community, and the courage to pursue one’s passions through faith. Miriam Clapp embodies these qualities, and we are incredibly proud of her achievements.

Miriam, you continue to inspire us all. Keep moving forward and embracing each opportunity with the same boldness and enthusiasm that have brought you this far. Your Grace family is cheering you on every step of the way!

We encourage you to read the article that St. Olaf published about Miriam’s fellowship: