Strake Jesuit Hosts Graduates and Families
On May 21 and 22, Strake Jesuit hosted its annual graduation weekend for its seniors in the class of 2021. This weekend is always something that the students and parents look forward to because of two special events: the Baccalaureate Mass and the Graduation Ceremony.
The Baccalaureate Mass on May 21 served as the seniors’ final mass at Strake. Jesuit Parents and graduates attended this mass, which was held in the Competition Gym on campus. Father Jeff Johnson, the school’s president, gave a homily about resisting the temptation to gamify school, life and faith.
The Graduation Ceremony the following day featured awards, speeches and, most importantly, the seniors receiving their diplomas. The Valedictorian, Jonathan Makhoul, and the Salutatorian, Trey Fischbach, both gave heartfelt speeches about their time at the school and what it has meant to them. Then, several seniors were given awards based on accomplishments in athletics, academics, character and service. At the end, the entire class went in procession to receive their diplomas on stage from Father Johnson.
One of the most important aspects to both of these events is community. For the past year, the school was challenged in fostering its community because of the pandemic. However, Strake Jesuit made an effort to make both of these events as normal as possible because they are such integral parts of a senior’s year.
Father Johnson said, “I’m sure we could have celebrated well regardless of the mode, in-person or remote, but being together in person felt like a great gift.”
When asked about this subject, National Merit Scholar Jacob Nguyen said, “It was really nice to have a sense of normality and fulfillment at the graduation events while being able to celebrate with friends and family in person.”
These seniors worked for four hard years to get to where they are today and overcame many obstacles. From Hurricane Harvey in their freshman year to the pandemic in their junior and senior years, this class successfully persevered.
When asked what his favorite aspect of the class of ’21 was, Father Johnson said, “Given the many challenges over the past four years, our graduates came to the stage Saturday night full of joy. It struck me that we are stronger than we sometimes think. Joy is a gift from God and cannot be extinguished. It’s different from happiness or fun. Joy doesn’t ignore tragedy or sadness, it lifts us up so that we may lift up others.”
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