Following a year of unparalleled challenges, 130 Catholic young men donned their white dinner jackets on Friday, June 4 and received their Regis High School diplomas. In a continuation of the many instances of ingenuity undertaken this year, the 104th graduation exercises took place at the historic St. Patrick’s Cathedral, which allowed enough space for family, friends, faculty, and staff to commemorate the Class of 2021 in a safe manner as the graduates prepared to step away from 84th St ready to set the world on fire.
Prior to awarding Regis' newest alumni their diplomas, Interim President Christian Talbot '93 made this bright group of young men a promise. “Regis High School on 84th Street is now and always will be your home," he told the Class of 2021.
Talbot was joined on the altar at St. Patrick's by Board of Trustees Chair Tony DiNovi '80, who praised the class for their perseverance in the face of many challenges, from a global pandemic to an unexpected and public leadership change at the school, over the last two years.
“I'm sorry that you've had to experience some of life's inevitable ups and downs sooner than you might have wished. But I promise that the resiliency you have demonstrated is an important component of the education you have earned these past four years," DiNovi said. "I could not be more proud of how our Regis students and in particular this senior class have responded and risen to meet these challenges head on. You have been tireless and ready to do.”
By Regis tradition, one member of the graduating class is nominated by his peers to deliver celebratory remarks. This year’s speaker, Thomas Barone ’21, reflected on the important work he and his classmates have done and will continue to create a more just, loving world. (The full text of Barone's speech is available here.)
“We, the class of 2021, will each carry our own little stories of our particular string of moments at Regis. We’ll live the rest of our lives in the pages after they conclude, the pages that will flip open, blank and clean, when the doors of St. Patrick’s close behind us today,” Barone said. “As we fill those blank pages, we must not forget to dream, because we need to dream to envision better realities. Question those dreams. Do not let them lay complacent. Make them honest. But clutch to them tightly nonetheless, because, sheathed in our dreams and our blank pages, we can create the stars in our night skies, and because those stars are what is meant when we are told to go forth and set the world on fire.”
This year’s graduation exercises concluded with a benediction to the Class of 2021 delivered by Mathematics teacher Carol Remsen. Remsen, who is leaving Regis after 21 years of valued service to the school and its students, thanked the senior class for their fortitude and enthusiasm over the past four years.
“Four years ago, each of you accepted an invitation to put out into the deep,” Remsen said. “You chose to explore deeper waters in search of your true potential at Regis High School. Tonight’s benediction is simply a culmination of this four year-long prayer.”
Immediately prior to the graduation, Regis held its annual Baccalaureate Mass in the cathedral. Regis Principal Fr. Anthony D. Andreassi, CO, was the primary celebrant and was joined on the altar by Fr. Arthur Bender '67, SJ; Fr. James Ferus, SJ; Fr. Brian Konzman, SJ; and Fr. A.J. Rizzo, SJ.
“While the future is by definition always uncertain, we at Regis still have cause to have great hope of the ultimate success of our labors," Fr. Andreassi said in his homily. "And since the past is usually a good indicator of the future, we would be wise to remember what the 103 classes of Regis graduates who have preceded these 130 men today have done with the gift of their Regis education — what they have done with their lives. We would be wise to call to mind the countless ways they have become leaders in society and in the Church and have worked to improve the lives of others in their chosen professions and ways of life.
“So like so many who have gone before you, members of the Class of 2021, we encourage you to do as Saint Paul urged the early Colossians in the second reading. Remember that you are God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, gifted now with your Regis education. Go forth and live lives rooted in compassion, in kindness, in humility, in patience, and in justice. And whatever you do in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus giving thanks to God through Him.”
A full video recording of the ceremony and a selection of photos are available below. Congratulations to the 104th graduating class of Regis High School!