Congratulations, FGR Class of 2021!
One hundred and thirty-one FGR students graduated this past May in an evening ceremony on the Irish home athletics field. Several Summa Cum Laude graduates had the chance to speak to the gathered audience of teachers, families, and friends. Among them, Anthony Krakowiak shared that what stands out most to him from the second half of his high school experience is “the courage and determination of our faculty and staff to give their students an exceptional high school experience in the face of a pandemic.” The senior further reflected that, “while other schools were online completely or in part, we were given the opportunity to come to school nearly every day to experience as much of our senior year as possible. We were able to remain safe while seeing our teachers and friends on a daily basis to gain the social interactions that are critical to our maturation and development.” Anthony concluded that the example of the faculty and staff “was the greatest learning experience I will take from high school. It was a lesson in love and sacrifice.”
Anna La Forest, another Summa Cum Laude graduate, remarked that, though several FGR traditions could not continue this year because of Covid precautions, the Senior Class got to make new traditions “like class walks, block schedules, and Lee’s chicken lunch on the football field.” FGR’s Class President and Summa Cum Laude graduate Margaret Roelant quoted Evelyn Waugh, who insists that “to know and love another is the root of all wisdom,” and paired Waugh’s words with John Paul II’s affirmation that “man finds himself in the sincere gift of himself.” She concluded that “if there is just one truth we should leave this place knowing, it is that we are deeply loved by God and are called to bring this radical love into the world. We have been blessed at FGR with the opportunities to go to weekly Mass, receive reconciliation, adore the Lord nearly any time in the school day, pray all-school rosaries, help the needy when fulfilling our service hours, perform the Stations of the Cross, and do Sophomore service.” She then encouraged her fellow seniors to “not leave behind our experiences and what we have learned these past four years at FGR, but rather stand firm and spread God’s love at our colleges and throughout the rest of our lives.”
The Class of 2021 will do just that. This year, they will matriculate to universities and colleges all over the country to pursue their dreams. Among their destinations are the United States Military Academy at West Point, Carnegie Mellon University, UC Santa Barbara, the University of Michigan, and Hillsdale College. Three of our graduates are entering the military, including two seniors who will head to the United States Marine Corps this July, and fifteen student-athletes will continue their athletic careers in college. Two members of the Class of 2021 will pursue their love for aviation at Liberty University and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.
As Anthony noted in the conclusion of his speech, “More than academics, we have been taught to love one another and to sacrifice for each other, we have been taught to take risks while being prudent, but most of all, we have been taught to embrace the challenges set before us and to be fearless.”