The Class of 2018, family and friends came together for the Baccalaureate service on Thursday, May 24, at St. Raphael's Catholic Church. The ceremony began with the Junior Marshals escorting the Upper School faculty, staff, guest speakers and lastly the graduating class into the church.
Ed Durham, Upper School Algebra teacher, opened the ceremony with kind and encouraging words: "May your faith guide you and your decisions be wise. May you find personal success and happiness."
Head of School Doreen Kelly welcomed family, friends, faculty, staff and loved ones. Her welcome was followed by two scripture readings, by Elizabeth "Tate" Russell '18 and RuthAnne Winston '18.
Camilo Gil '18, senior class president, introduced the alumni speaker, Mary Grady Bell '14.Senior girls from the Ravenscroft choir performed "Omnia Sol (Let Your Heart Be Staid)," directed by Cameron Bolin (photo at top right).
"To me, leading with positivity inspires persistence," Bell said. "Persistence is having the grit to keep interviewing for jobs, even after you've been turned down. To keep taking classes that challenge you. Persistence is also having the courage to make tough decisions and to stand by them."
Bell ended her speech by encouraging the senior class to stay positive, even through tough times. "In college, the power of positivity still holds true," she said. "Choose positivity, not only for yourself but for those around you."
The second speaker was introduced by Matthew Sheaffer '18, SGA president. Pastor Charles Reed of the Summit Church in Durham delivered an inspiring and rousing speech about the importance of a name.The second speaker was introduced by Matthew Sheaffer '18, SGA president. Pastor Charles Reed of the Summit Church in Durham delivered an inspiring and rousing speech about the importance of a name (photo below).
"Rarely do we give thought to what makes up a name. But that is important. You are being commissioned to go out there and make a good name for yourself," he said. "But I actually want to challenge you to something. I don't want you to go out and simply make a name for yourself. I want you to go out and make a name that not only benefits you, but it will also benefit others."
He encouraged everyone to reflect on their "names," asking if their name is one that "others can respect. A name that others can depend on. A name that communicates honor and integrity. A name that adds value to your life and to others."
Watch part of Pastor Reed's address here.
Senior Christopher Barnette '18 ended the ceremony with the Benediction, followed by the seniors, faculty, staff and Board of Trustees filing out into the courtyard, where they met with family and friends for photos and fellowship.
See photos from the Baccalaureate ceremony here.