Friday, June 10, 2011

Graduation Ceremonies held at St. Bernard Prep

The Alabama Pipes and Drums played “Pomp and Circumstance” which set the tone for a joyous celebration of the Class of 2011 at Saint Bernard Preparatory School in Cullman, Alabama. Twenty-four graduates, their family and friends packed the Abbey Church on Sunday, May 22, 2011, at 2 p.m. to celebrate the final chapter of their high school years.

Dr. Lewis Sumberg was the commencement speaker addressing the graduates on their service to their family, community, and country. Having published many books and teaching in classroom, Sumberg is most proud of his service to his country during World War II and demonstrated his patriotism by morphing from an academia professor with an academic hood to his proud cap identifying him as a WWII Veteran.

Traditionally at St. Bernard, honor is bestowed on distinguished alumni who have shared in the St. Bernard educational experience. Abbot Cletus Meagher and Fr. Marcus Voss honored Dr. Albert Fromhold, and Fr. Richard Martin for their outstanding contributions to society in general and for their impact of the many individual lives they have touched.

After the presentation of diplomas to each senior, Fr. Joel Martin announced this year’s graduation awards. Minji Kang received the valedictorian award while John Russell was named salutatorian. In giving the general excellence medal, the highest award given to a graduating senior, Fr. Joel stated that “the criteria for this award requires that a student must be enrolled at St. Bernard Prep for the last two full years, be dedicated to academic excellence, exercise leadership and represent the values of the school.” The 2011 General Excellence Medal was awarded JC Albritton.

Minji Kang’s farewell address spoke of the challenges facing a new high school graduate, memories created, and friendships made. In her valedictory address she said, “Graduating from high school is not the endpoint of our journey through life; only the beginning. We just finished writing one chapter of our life journey successfully, now it is time for us to write another chapter.”

“You will never know what will happen next when you go to college,” she continued. “Never be afraid of the new beginning, for Helen Lowla said, ‘You will never win, if you never begin…’ Remember when we all first started at SBP we were all afraid, but look at us now,”

She concluded her remarks with a quote from Richard Bach, "Don't be dismayed at goodbyes. A farewell is necessary before you can meet again. And meeting again, after moments or a lifetime, is certain for those who are friends."

The Class of 2011 garnered $1.8 Million dollars in scholarship offers to colleges and universities across the country.

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