When the Caps Fly, It’s Official – The Class of 2016 Graduates!
May 31, 2016
On a gloriously sunny, summer-like Saturday morning, in the Philip Paolella Recreational, Jr. Center, the Class of 2016 graduated from Sacred Heart Academy! One hundred twenty-one members of the class, and one alumna, made that special trip across the stage into the ranks of Sacred Heart alumnae. Due to health issues Warner Dixon ’15 was unable to attend her graduation and this year joined the Class of 2016 to make the ceremonial walk.
Diplomas were presented by Dean of Academic Academic Affairs Sibani Sengupta, Ph.D., and conferred by President Sr. Sheila O’Neill, ASCJ, Ph.D., ’71 and Principal Sr. Maureen Flynn, ASCJ, ’81.
Commencement speaker C. Alden Pelker, J.D., ’06 told the graduates, “You are embarking on a wonderful adventure. Leaving Sacred Heart is the next of many changes that you’ll face in your lives. And it’s normal to be nervous about what comes next. I hope all of you, regardless of where your careers take you, are able to find true meaning and passion in your everyday lives.” Alden earned a B.A. from Yale University and J.D., magna cum laude, from Georgetown University and works for the federal government.
The Valedictory Address, delivered by Helena Bui, asked her classmates to consider life’s moments. “Can’t a moment be an hour? A day? A year? Can a moment be a decade? Or a century?” she mused. After reflecting on a moment’s definition for the Class of 2016, Helena concluded, “We know that it’s important to savor these moments that are filled with light and love, but there are moments that challenge us, that we must appreciate as well.” Helena will attend Yale University and plans to double major in molecular, cellular, and developmental biology and the history of science, medicine, and public health.
The Salutatory Address was delivered by Jennifer Piciw, who spoke about Sacred Heart Academy’s core values as a “symbolic box of crayons”…over the course of four years, some crayons were used each day, others broke into pieces, and still others were given away. Jen told her classmates, “Continue to use your core values every day, and if you ever find yourself without one, one of your 120 SHA sisters will give you a piece of hers. Each broken piece helps us to become the individuals we were meant to be. Each broken piece gives us strength and bravery we need in our darkest times. And each broken piece can color beautiful memories for years to come because even broken crayons still color.” The next step for Jen is the University of Richmond as a Science Scholar where she earned a full four –year tuition scholarship. She will double major in biochemistry and molecular biology as well as mathematics.
We also share with you the Graduates’ Prayer, given by Elizabeth Smith, number three in the class. Lizzie is headed to Notre Dame where she will major in neuroscience and behavior in the pre-medical track and minor in theatre.
As has been done by many classes before, our newest grads gathered in front of the porte cochere to toss their caps into the air and say goodbye to Sacred Heart at the conclusion of the ceremony. There were lots of hugs, smiles, and tears of joy as classmates then said goodbye to each other and to the Sacred Heart teachers they leave behind.
Congratulations to the newest members of the Sacred Heart alumnae family! You have left your mark and we expect great things.