The 131 young men who graduated—wearing the traditional white graduation jackets—gathered as a class one final time in the Church of Saint Ignatius Loyola to receive their diplomas and celebrate the academic and extracurricular successes on the Class of 2014.
In his remarks to the graduating class, Mr. Peter Labbat '83, Chairman of the Regis High School Board of Trustees, reminded the seniors of the significance of having spent four years at Regis.
"Regis is unique because it aims to develop students for life. Regis is a calling. An invitation to live ones life according to a code." Labbat encouraged graduates to "find your passion and give it everything you've got."
"Thank God for the excellent education we received and for the wonderful experiences we had here. Thank God for those three-to-five page essays, for those traumatizing pop quizzes, those commutes home on the subway, bus, railroad, and ferry after a long day at school. Thank God for all of these things and much more," said Vascones in his address.
(Pictured: David Vascones '14 addressing the Class of 2014 at the graduation ceremonies inside the Church of Saint Ignatius Loyola)
Vascones, who will be attending Williams College in the Fall, also focused his address on challenging his classmates to continue to be men for others and to carry with them the lessons of a Jesuit education.
"In sophomore theology class," Vascones said, "I remember learning about the idea of a charismatic leader in the Old Testament. Mr. Hannon said that a charismatic leader is not one with great charisma, but one with a great charism, a great gift. We each have our own charism, a gift given uniquely to every person by God. But in fact we receive many gifts. I am proud to say that Regis is a gift that we all have in common."
"Share your gifts with others," added Vascones. "Be generous with your gifts. Sharing your gifts, your charism, this is true service and love. Perhaps this, then, is what we finally understand about being a 'man for others,' that famous saying of Father Pedro Arrupe that has motivated us since day one. Now that we are leaving Regis, how will you use, how will you share the things that you learned here and carry them with you throughout your life?"
Following the class speaker, Dr. Gary Tocchet, Principal of Regis High School, acknowledged several accomplishments earned by members of the Class of 2014. This year's graduating class boasts 17 National Merit Finalists, 3 National Achievement Finalists, 11 National Hispanic Recognition Scholars, and 48 National Merit Commended Students.
Also worth highlighting were a few significant individual achievements. John Clarke '14, who will be attending MIT in the Fall, finished ninth in the nation in the very competitive and prestigious Intel Science Talent Search. Two seniors were also part of the Regis team that finished third in the nation at the National Science Bowl competition hosted by the Department of Energy.
The 131 graduating seniors will attend 59 different colleges and universities. Many members of the senior class were awarded major academic scholarships at various institutions including the University of South Carolina, Cooper Union, University of Richmond, Fordham University, Loyola University Maryland, Northeastern University, and New York University.
Vascones concluded his speech to his classmates by returning to the theme of thanksgiving.
"Give thanks for all the people at Regis, especially our teachers. Give thanks for everything we have done at Regis, for all of the friends we have made, and all the experience we have gained. So I say again, thank God! As we go out into the world, remember Joshua 1:9: 'The Lord, your God, is with you wherever you go'."
Above: Seniors, anxious for the graduation ceremony to begin, patiently pass time in Wallace Hall by posing for a photo with the Regis Owl.
Above: Regis seniors excitedly enter the Church of Saint Ignatius Loyola and take their places in the pews reserved for them.
Above: "Thank God for the excellent education we received and for the wonderful experiences we had here," said David Vascones '14 while addressing his classmates.
Above: Dr. Kristin Ross poses for a photo with the members of her 4J advisement.