The 116 girls in the Class of 2018 celebrated their graduation from the Academy with ceremonies to mark the occasion. This class earned over $14,000,000 in scholarships from the colleges to which they were accepted—a record amount in the Academy's history.
The Cap and Gown Honor Awards ceremony took place on Thursday, May 31. The seniors were recognized for their numerous accomplishments. Two students, Nya Myrie '18 and Elizabeth Haywood '18 were recognized with Social Justice awards. Claire Guarini '18 took the Naval ROTC Commissioning Oath of Office delivered by her father William, who is a Navy officer. Valedictorian Brigid Johnston '18 and Salutatorian Chewon "Chelsea" Kwak '18 received honor medals for their accomplishments. To conclude the program, Senior Class President Sydney Bruno '18 gave a final address to the assembly.
On Sunday, June 3, 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 1968 walked in the procession.
In Chelsea's salutatory address she reflected on the ways in which Holy Cross helped her to broaden her perspective. She said, "the Academy has given me and all of us the opportunity to learn more about each other and investigate new ideas and world views, ones we may agree with and ones we may not."
In Brigid's valedictory address she spoke about the solid bonds she feels among her classmates even though they may not be together physically any longer. "High school is a starting point on the path to knowing ourselves, and now we are leaving for the next part of that journey."
Sylvia Cole Mackey '59 delivered the commencement keynote address. In her moving speech, she shared from her own educational experience which included attending a segregated public primary school in Washington, DC. She spoke about how impactful her Holy Cross education was in her life and how important a solid educational foundation is today. She also offered words of advice to the graduates as they venture forward to college and beyond.
Following the conferring of diplomas, President Kathleen Prebble and Principal Melissa Huey-Burns presented The Cardinal's Award (Kathryn von Heeringen '18), the Sister Grace Award (Jeannie Cyrus '18 and Theresa Brogan '18), the St. André Bessette Citizenship Award (Samantha Miller '18), the Spes Unica Award (Mary Muldoon '18 and Samantha Miller '18), and the Sisters of the Holy Cross Award (Grace Mulkins '18).
At the conclusion of the ceremony, the graduates met family and friends outside the Basilica in the beautiful spring weather.
Kiara Beckham '18 is featured in the Catholic Standard's recent edition highlighting graduating students from area Catholic high schools. The article focuses on Kiara's hope for a career in women's health and how her Senior Project supported her plans. Kiara interned at Holy Cross Hospital in the High Risk Perinatal Unit and Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. The article quotes Kiara saying, "I'm going to school for biomedical engineering, and I want to work in women's health. That's why I gravitated to this opportunity, to understand what doctors and nurses go through and what's demanded of them during the day."
Additionally, Kiara spoke about being part of the all-girls environment at Holy Cross and how that helped her to take on leadership roles. "This school has given me a lot of confidence. The community wants the best for you. What you have to say is important, and say it with conviction."
Kiara will attend Union College in Schenectady, NY in the fall, where she will study biomedical engineering and Spanish and will play on the women's golf team.
Photo by Jaclyn Lippelmann, Catholic Standard