The 119 girls in the Class of 2017 celebrated their graduation from the Academy with Cap and Gown Honor Awards, Baccalaureate and Commencement ceremonies to mark the occasion.
The Cap and Gown Honor Awards ceremony took place on Tuesday, May 30. The Class of 2017 were recognized for their academic accomplishments, seniors who are alumnae legacies received Legacy pins, and the girls in the IB Diploma Programme received their IB medals. The Congressman Jamie Raskin Public Service Award was presented to Mary Schech ’17. A representative from the United States Coast Guard Academy presented an appointment scholarship to Grace Tarbrake ’17. A representative from University of North Carolina-Charlotte presented the Levine Scholars Award, a four-year scholarship that includes full tuition, room, board, a grant to implement a service project, and four summer experiences, to Faith Frayman ’17. Valedictorian Julia Urban ’17 and Salutatorian Euthymia “Emmie” Stratakis ’17 received honor medals for their accomplishments. To conclude the program, Senior Class President Mikaela Mooney ’17 gave a final address to the assembly.
On Sunday, June 4, the Holy Cross community gathered at Holy Redeemer church in Kensington, MD, for Baccalaureate Mass. During the Preparation of Gifts, graduates carried mementos from significant activities, academics, clubs, etc. in remembrance of their time at Holy Cross.
On Monday, June 5, the Commencement ceremony took place at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. Members of the 50th anniversary Class of 1967 walked in the procession.
In Emmie’s salutatory address she reflected on her classmates, “Debating real world and historical problems in religion, and hearing about the Catholic perspective has ingrained in us a set of ethical values we would not have gotten from a different type of environment. Being in an all-girls school has allowed us to develop, knowing that strength and intelligence have nothing to do with gender.” She then offered, “So, take that moral compass and education Holy Cross has given you and the experiences, knowledge, and skills you will also get in the next four years and go disturb the universe for the better.”
In Julia’s valedictory address she suggested that though we are only a tiny component of the universe, each of us matters. “Decades from now, we may not remember each other’s names. We’re not going to remember who was captain for which sport, who had the lead in which play, or who was the president for which club. But I promise, I will remember the way each and every one of you made me feel.” As she remarked on the fact that many people question if they do in fact matter, Julia concluded, “we were born by no choice of our own and into circumstances we couldn’t control. With so much left to chance, it can be difficult to see meaning. Some of us will find it in God, or the relationships we make, or the work we do. At the end of the day, finding meaning is up to us.”
Sister M. Veronique (Wiedower), C.S.C., President of the Sisters of the Holy Cross Leadership Team gave the commencement address. In her address, she noted: “Each of you has contributed your thread to the tapestry which is the tartan, the lavender and white crossings which the Academy has embraced as its symbol. Those threads will always be connected to the people, the memories, the experiences of your time at the Academy. “Once a Holy Cross girl…always a Holy Cross girl.” Those threads will also continue to be spun out, empowering you to weave new patterns and to be connected to new colors that will shape your future.”
Following the conferring of diplomas, President Kathleen Prebble and Principal Melissa Huey-Burns presented The Sisters of the Holy Cross Award (Faith Frayman ’17), the Spes Unica Award (Lizanne Passaro ’17), the Sister Grace Award (Evangeline McNabb) the St. André Bessette Citizenship Award (Hugh Zhang ’17), and the Cardinal Award (Theresa Rogers). At the conclusion of the ceremony, the graduates met family and friends outside the Basilica in the beautiful spring weather.
The Class of 2017 has earned over $10,200,000 in college scholarships. See additional details about the Class of 2017 here.