The Villa Maria Academy Class of 2019 celebrated their Baccalaureate Mass and graduation on Saturday, June 1, at St. Elizabeth Church.
Reverend Vincent Smith , O.S.F.S, brother of Sr. Mary Smith, IHM, was the principle celebrant and homilist for the Mass. After the service, Salutatorian Riley Miller gave the salutatory address, taking as her theme the prayer that begins each school day, “Gracious God, may we respect our differences, act with kindness, and realize that we are better together.” Miller told her classmates, “Each and every single one of our classmates is different, bringing her own talents and ideas to the table, but we respected and embraced these differences as they made our class unlike any that came before us.”
Principal Sr. Regina Ryan presented honorary diplomas to this year’s “Golden Girls,” Class of 1969 alumnae celebrating the 50th anniversary of their graduation from Villa Maria. Sr. Regina then presented diplomas to the members of the Class of 2019.
Valedictorian Olivia Hall addressed her classmates, In her graduation address, Olivia reminded her classmates that life is an adventure and that adventures involve taking chances in the face of fear. She likened their high school careers to a great adventure where they learned the importance of trusting God. She closed her speech by stating “thank you for the adventure graduates…now go have a new one.”
The ceremony closed with the singing of the senior class song, “Bridges,” written by seniors Ariana Arrojado and Jillian Williamson. The new alumnae were then joined by other alumnae in the audience, along with faculty and staff, in singing the Alma Mater, before leaving the church to join their families for picture taking and celebrations.