On Tuesday, June 12, 23 young men graduated from Princeton Academy of the Sacred Heart. The 16th 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 2018, 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 a quote from St. Rose Philippine Duchesne, "Strength of character is certainly needed to face life in the world and to stand by right principles, especially in the age in which we live." Dugan continued, "I am going to be candid - You are growing up in beautiful but also very complex times. You are living in a divided world where others are not making good decisions. People are hurting and saying hurtful things. Racist and derogatory remarks are being normalized. We are becoming desensitized to violence. My advice is to believe in something and pursue with purpose. Because I've got news for you, there are young people all around our country and our world right now that are devoting themselves to causes that they believe in - that is how you benefit humankind. How are you going to make our world a better place for others?" In conclusion, he added, "Know that Princeton Academy is always a home for you... A nest; A place where you can be you and be loved; You have peace; You are cared for; You are cherished here; You have roots; You can do anything!"
Graduating eighth grader Daniel Yanni was chosen to give the speech on behalf of the Class of 2018, "Eighth grade did not seem like the end but rather a new beginning. As we went through the secondary school application process, we persevered through the SSATs and the application process as we balanced our responsibilities as Princeton Academy students." Yanni continued, "After this year, we will go our separate ways, but it will never change the brotherhood that started in 2004. Thanks to our founders for laying the foundation of our spirit and our moral compass."
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 Luke Kavulich.
In the spirit of Goal II, a deep respect for intellectual values, this honor was presented to Perry Howe.
In the spirit of Goal III, a social awareness that impels to action, this honor was presented to Louis Marius III.
In the spirit of Goal IV, the building of community as a Christian value, this honor was presented to Luke Jeanes.
In the spirit of Goal V, personal growth in an atmosphere of wise freedom, this honor was presented to Kaiwen Wang.
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 2018; it has been an honor to watch you lead!"
Princeton Academy is proud to congratulate the 23 gentlemen scholars of the Class of 2018:
Nicholas Sebastian Bede Brennan
Kurby J. Brown
Russell C. Clark
Benton (Cason) de la Houssaye
James (Jiajun) Deng
Phineas James Hogan
Perry Stevenson Howe
Ryan Daniel Jahn
Luke Guevara Jeanes
Louis Marius III
Massimo C. Mazucci
William Elliot Chase Quijano
Coleman J. Seabert
Luke Joven Seruma
Xavier Colina Silverio
Andrew Constantine Stournaras
Luke Webster Trowbridge
Click here to view a photo gallery of the event.