Georgetown Prep celebrated its 218th Commencement Exercises on Sunday, May 21.
Baccalaureate Mass was held in the morning in the Hanley Center for Athletic Excellence. Rev. Scott R. Pilarz, S.J., president of Georgetown Prep, was the celebrant.
In the afternoon, over 1,000 family members, friends, and members of the Prep community gathered in the Yard outside of the George Center for Academic Excellence to celebrate the achievements of the graduating class. Prep's Headmaster, Mr. John Glennon Jr., served as the Master of Ceremonies at the Commencement Exercises.
John Rolle received the Hillenbrand Medal, which is awarded to the President-of-the-Yard. Fr. Pilarz also presented Caleb Wilson with the Jeffrey L. Jones award in honor of Prep's former Headmaster, Jeff Jones.
Ziyu He, who will attend Georgetown University, won the Hamilton Medal, Georgetown Prep's oldest graduation award.
David Malinak, who awarded the Georgetown Prep medal with eleven of his classmates, delivered the Commencement address.
Speaking to his classmates, David shared what Georgetown Prep has meant to him. The following is an excerpt:
But now, we have arrived at graduation, on a beautiful Sunday morning. Everyone, now, become present in this moment. Notice the sky above you, the buildings around you, and the clothes on your back. Look at the person to your left and to your right, and if you can, make eye contact with your family members. Don't think--just feel the gratitude that this moment deserves.
Gentlemen, we are all about to undergo a massive transition into another four years that could go by as quickly as our time at Prep. Given what I have learned, my advice is this:
First, as St. Ignatius would have wanted, look back, and be mindful of where you came from. Remember the deep bonds of friendship that we have formed here together, and be mindful of the privilege we've had to work and play at the best high school in the country.
Then, turn to the present. Hold on to every moment. Each is a gift from God. Each gift represents another blessing--family, health, shelter, education. You'll find that your worry, anxiety, and uncertainty will vanish in a flood of gratitude, even in times of trial. You'll make clearer, better decisions to steer yourself into an unknowable future, even when information is limited. I promise, you'll find God, gently but constantly tugging at your heart to bring you closer to him, and closer to others, even when you feel more distant than ever.
And then, turning to the future, we will go forth with hearts aflame with generosity, ready to embrace the homeless man on Democracy and Old Georgetown, ready to respond with love for family, and ready to give our gifts and talents back to the world.
Class of 2017, don't let the gift of time slip unnoticed through your fingers, for we have an unlimited potential for good. Let's go show the world what we can do. Let's "give and not count the cost." Let's go to work. Hoya Saxa.