By Kevin Loftus ’05, Assistant Director of Admissions
Last week, on a decidedly sunny Friday, a 40% chance of rain forced school officials to hold the Class of 2011 Graduation ceremony indoors. After friends and family had taken their seats in the gym (and overflow seating in the auditorium), thunder rumbled above and rain began to fall, proving that the indoor location was indeed the right choice.
Some seniors told me they were disappointed because of the change in location. I understand why they were upset, but I couldn’t help but smile as I stood in the back of the gym watching the seniors walk in wearing their caps and gowns. I watched parents take pictures from the same bleachers I sat in when my brother graduated in ’95. In fact, thousands of Xaverian seniors graduated from that very gym under the watchful eye of the Xaverian Hawk.
I watched seniors take their seats in the same spot that Mr. Morse sat at his graduation in ’71. Friends cheered for each other just like they did at Brother Ray’s graduation in ’70, Mr. Brodeur’s in ’91, and Mr. MacKinnon’s in ’84. Proud Hawks recieved their diplomas on the same stage that Mr. Smith walked across in ’67. And they turned their Graduation tassels together just like when Mr. McPhillips graduated in ’86, Mr. Dacey in ’95, Mr. Puclowski in ’98, Mr. Press in ’03, Mr. Vasta in ’00, and Mr. Palmieri in ’93. When the ceremony was over, their parents made them pose for pictures for an hour, just like Mr. Bowers did in ’87, and Mr. Cavanaugh in ’96 (I could keep going, but I think you get the picture…).
Not only does that room share a rich tradition that spans almost 40 years, but it’s the place where the Xaverian community gathered for liturgy, sporting events, club fairs, dances, charity events, and those are just a few I can name off the top of my head. I think it’s perfect that the senior class graduated in the exact spot they stood five years before as wide-eyed eighth graders attending our open house.
So congratulations, Seniors (I mean fellow Alumni!) and be happy that you were lucky enough to share a Xaverian tradition with thousands of your Hawk brothers!