Congratulations Class of 2018!
One hundred forty-two young men and women walked across the stage at Hill Auditorium on Thursday, May 24 and the Class of 2018 graduated from Father Gabriel Richard High School.
The class’s achievements were highlighted in remarks by Principal Christopher Dotson, who noted the intentional discipleship displayed by their 11,000 service hours, as well as the academic accomplishments of the six students recognized by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation, the 34 graduates who earned cum laude honors, the 30 who achieved magna cum laude, and the 25 who obtained summa cum laude honors. Mr. Dotson celebrated the athletic achievements of the 11 student-athletes who will continue in their sports at the collegiate level, and those who have practiced and honed their artistic gifts in Forensics, drama, and music, winning state championships and earning accolades at state and national music festivals. “These are all important,” said Mr. Dotson. “Perhaps the most remarkable quality about your class, however, is your commitment to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. That is what makes me and, I believe your parents, the most proud.”
The graduation ceremony itself was tailored to the class, with their class song “Unwritten” sung by the Madrigals and the Heart of Service Awards, chosen by the class to honor individuals who had a lasting impact on the students. This year’s honorees were Fr. Sateesh Alphonse, SdC and Mr. Tim and Mrs. Shann Patton. While Fr. Sateesh was unable to attend, Mr. and Mrs. Patton received a standing ovation for their dedication to Father Gabriel Richard High School as well as the greater Catholic community in Southeastern Michigan.
Two members of the class were chosen to represent their peers with speeches. Daniella Rupert encouraged her classmates to “embrace whatever comes before us and trust in God that he will help us make the right decision.” She went on to note, “We must use our gifts and our passions given to us to the best of our abilities and always fight for what we believe.” Lindsey Hampo echoed these sentiments as she looked back on her time at FGR. “At no other school are students able to communicate beliefs and affirm others in the way class retreats at FGR allow.” She encouraged her classmates to draw on that in the future as she stated, “We have a solid foundation of trust and friendship with one another that remains unparalleled. Prayer, powerful enough to repair broken friendships on a retreat and bring healing to those in need, is accessible to all of us at all times – no matter the wrong turns we might make or the struggles we are bound to face. … Each and every one of you is destined for Christ so let your next years be a continuation of your search for Him as well as a continuation of education, relationships, and enjoyment.” Class President Zachary Walls rounded out the student speeches with an Irish Blessing for his classmates.
After they received their diplomas, it came time for the traditional tassel turning, which at FGR, has a bit of a twist. Led by Reem Farjo and Anna Vogel, classmates turn each other’s tassels. With brief closing remarks by FGR President, John M. DeJak, and a Benediction by Fr. Lobert, the new graduates moved out into their futures as the band played a beautiful rendition of Beethoven’s Ode to Joy.
Congratulations to our newest graduates! May God bless you now and always.