Family, friends, faculty and students gathered at McCallum Stadium on Friday as 33 seniors from Bishop Thomas K. Gorman Catholic School walked across the stage to receive their diplomas at the school’s 63rd commencement ceremony.
Valedictorian Maria Kariampuzha spoke to the seniors about the special nature of their class.
“From the outside looking inside, you cannot understand it. From the inside, you can’t explain it. I may be biased, but I think we’re different from a lot of schools and classes because each of us are such unique individuals coming together to create something so special,” he said. she said, as she reflected on their time together, many of them since pre-K at St. Gregory’s Cathedral School.
Kariampuzha will be a freshman at Texas A&M University in Mays Business School’s Business Honors program.
Salutatorian Monica Herrera and senior Sid Cleofe won the Christus Award, the school’s highest honor that celebrates seniors who live out their Catholic Christian faith in everything they do. Both Herrera and Cleofe plan to attend the honors program at the University of Texas at Tyler.
Speaking about the value and support of parents and family, Cleofe thanked her mother, father and sister for “giving [him] the traits necessary for Christ to shine through (him),” and, like Kariampuzha, focused on how close the Class of 2022 was to Bishop Gorman.
“This class was never the biggest and never had those parties you hear about in the movies, but we were definitely at everyone’s senior night, always supporting each other in the Cru section and excited to go to school dances,” he said.
Herrera addressed the value of a Catholic Christian education and the impact on his own faith.
“You don’t have to do anything fancy to become a saint and live a full life that impacts others, … But we can take the time to love those we meet every day,” she said.
Bishop Joseph Strickland closed the ceremony with a blessing for the graduates and their parents which again emphasized the importance of love in wishing the graduates success in their selected colleges and universities.
Class of 2022 members have received over $7.6 million in college scholarships and been accepted to 80 different colleges in the United States and Canada.