The 87th annual OLSH Baccalaureate Mass and Commencement Ceremony were held on Sunday, June 6 at Sts. John and Paul Church in Wexford. This was the second year for graduation to be held at that location due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Class of 2021 gathered on a beautiful day to celebrate Mass together one last time as a class, and to receive their diplomas.
Four students addressed the audience this year. Andy Besong '21 shared his perspective as one of 11 senior-year transfer students, who came to OLSH after the closure of Quigley Catholic High School last spring. He shared that while he and several of his classmates were saddened by the closure and just planned to "get through" their senior year at a new school, OLSH had other plans for them. He shared his appreciation to the school for helping to make him and his friends feel welcomed and encouraged to take advantage of opportunities presented to them, including the opportunity to wear the Quigley colors in the form of honor cords on graduation day. Several former Quigley teachers also participated in the ceremony, joining the OLSH faculty in the procession.
Co-Salutatorian Alaina Marks '21 spoke next, encouraging her classmates to lead a life filled with kindness, purpose, and gratitude. She reminded her peers that true purpose has nothing to do with career or salary, but with glorifying God in all things, serving others with their gifts and talents.
Co-Salutatorian and Class President Finn Sweeney '21 also had a message of gratitude. He appreciated that OLSH has helped him and his classmates to grow and be prepared to make a difference in a world where faith and the Felician Core Values are much needed. It is because of OLSH, he said, that the best is yet to come for the Class of 2021.
Valedictorian (and legacy student) Ella Wrabley '21 shared of the many accomplishments of her class - in academics, athletics, and the arts. She reminded everyone that their success came with the help of God's grace and guidance. She encouraged her classmates to use the tools they have been given during their time at OLSH to live out the values and keep their faith central to their daily lives.
After remarks from Principal Tim Plocinik, diplomas were given out to each student, tassels were turned, and the Class of 2021 was officially welcomed into the OLSH Alumni Association.
The OLSH Class of 2021 came to OLSH from 27 previous schools and 24 zip codes. Five of the graduates were Legacy Students with at least one parent having graduated from OLSH. This class recorded over 6,701 service hours over the past four years. Members of the Class of 2021 were offered acceptances to 88 schools, 23 of which are ranked in the top 25% of National Universities by US News & World Reports.
The OLSH Class of 2021 will attend 38 colleges, universities, and other post-secondary institutions in 10 states. 25% will attend a Catholic institution and 64% will attend a school in Pennsylvania. The class has earned over $7,255,276 in documented scholarship and grant offers.
The future plans of the OLSH Class of 2021 cover a wide range of subject areas:
- 41% of the OLSH class of 2021 will go on to study a STEM or medical-related field.
- 7 students will study natural sciences, 2 will study computer science, 7 will study engineering, 8 will study nursing, 5 will study health sciences, and 2 will study architecture. 4 will study education
- 4 will study education
- 14 plan to pursue a liberal arts major
- 13 will study business
- 2 will study arts
- 6 students are undecided
- 1 student plans to enter the work force
- 2 students plan to enter the military
- 4 student-athletes will play sports at the collegiate level
To read more about the OLSH Class of 2021, you can view the Commencement Program below.
Click here to watch the Mass and Commencement: https://youtu.be/zgLu764pbro