On Tuesday, June 13, 32 young men graduated from Princeton Academy of the Sacred Heart. The 15th Commencement Exercises were preceded by a Baccalaureate Liturgy with Monsignor Thomas J. Mullelly presiding over the celebratory mass. After mass, the attendees gathered in the majestic gardens and Alumni Courtyard of Kalkus House (formerly Manor House) on campus. With blue skies, bucolic greenery and the vintage Princetonian stone facade of Kalkus House as a backdrop, the stage was perfectly set for the graduates. Faculty and staff led the procession followed by the Class of 2017, Headmaster Alfred (Rik) F. Dugan III, Head of Middle School Kathleen Humora and Chair of the Board of Trustees Kenneth Harlan.
Headmaster Rik Dugan welcomed guests and addressed the graduating class with zeal and inspiration, "In a global context that is ever shifting, uncertain and demanding, you should feel most confident and hopeful that you have timeless, tested, true tools to help you navigate, succeed and make the world a better place." Dugan reminded the young men and the audience of His Holiness Pope Francis' TED Talk, The Only Future Worth Building Includes Everyone, as the students viewed the talk earlier in the year. He cited Pope Francis' call for a Revolution of Tenderness and how "Our world requires tenderness... Tenderness means to use our eyes to see the other, our ears to hear the other..." Dugan noted, "Tenderness is not for the weak. It takes courage to be compassionate and that is our mission."
Graduating eighth grader William Bryce Thompson VI was chosen to give the speech on behalf of the Class of 2017.
The recipients of Sacred Heart Honors were then announced:
In the spirit of Goal I, a personal and active faith in God, this honor was presented to Matthew Lepre.
In the spirit of Goal II, a deep respect for intellectual values, this honor was presented to Hayden Messina.
In the spirit of Goal III, a social awareness that impels to action, this honor was presented to Cooper Sugden.
In the spirit of Goal IV, the building of community as a Christian value, this honor was presented to Zakir Zaidi.
In the spirit of Goal V, personal growth in an atmosphere of wise freedom, this honor was presented to Evan Lilienthal.
Head of Middle School Kathleen Humora conferred the diplomas to each member of the graduating class and remarked, "We will hold these wonderful young men in our memories and our hearts. They are and always will be a part of Princeton Academy of the Sacred Heart."
Headmaster Rik Dugan bestowed one last hearty congratulations before the graduates headed towards the Kalkus House fountain for the long-standing graduation tradition of jumping in, "Soar with heart Class of 2017; it has been an honor to watch you lead!"
Princeton Academy is proud to congratulate the 32 gentlemen scholars of the Class of 2017:
Hunter Wood Allen
Matthew William Lepre
Baccalaureate Liturgy and Commencement