Georgetown Preparatory School celebrated the Class of 2021 at Baccalaureate Mass and Commencement on May 21-22. To accommodate students who were not able to attend in person, Georgetown Prep hosted hybrid events, both in-person and live-streamed.
On the evening of May 21, Georgetown Prep celebrated the 2021 Baccalaureate Mass in the Chapel of Our Lady of Lourdes. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, only members of the Class of 2021 attended the Mass. Rev. James R. Van Dyke, S.J., president of Georgetown Prep, was the celebrant. Follow the link to read Fr. Van Dyke's homily from the Baccalaureate Mass.
On Saturday morning, family members, faculty, friends, and members of the Georgetown Prep community gathered on the Chapel field 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.
Tommy Alexander '21, who will attend the Boston College, received the Hillenbrand Medal, which is awarded to the President-of-the-Yard. Fr. Van Dyke also presented Brendan Falatko '21, who will attend The New Jersey Institute of Technology, with the Jeffrey L. Jones award in honor of Prep's former Headmaster, Jeff Jones. Follow the link to read all the Commencement Award winners.
Aidan Nickerson '21, who will attend the University of Notre Dame, won the Hamilton Medal, Georgetown Prep's oldest graduation award. Aidan also delivered this year's Commencement address.
Speaking to his classmates, Aidan shared what Georgetown Prep and Jesuit education has meant to him. The following is an excerpt:
Just as we emerged with a deeper understanding of ourselves and a heightened sense of commitment to one another and to God, the world shut down. Over the next year, we were challenged in ways unimaginable to most previous classes at Prep, but we relied on each other to persevere through the unprecedented obstacles and uncertainty of the COVID year— We showed up to class, as our teachers valiantly learned to navigate the counterintuitive screen share menu. Matt and TJ Prame welcomed Nari Yamamoto into their home and gained another brother. We followed all thirteen of Prep's new Instagram accounts, and we made each other laugh. We hosted food drives and collected masks. We called our friends and checked up on our classmates.
And when we finally returned to campus, we practiced hard, even though we didn't know if we would even have the chance to compete. Sean Mullery led retreats and we showed the underclassmen that we had no other choice but to keep going. And we did. Matt Strong and Professor Hee completed Wisecarver virtually. Tommy Alexander and Brian McCormick stepped up to the plate and brought the spice back to campus at a time when we desperately needed it. They planned a Christmas week complete with Santa, they successfully lobbied for the return of Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwiches, they put on the first Prom with a petting Zoo, and they worked tirelessly with Mr. Dorn and Mr. Venker to find ways to keep us united, looking forward, and having fun. I think I speak for us all when I say I am tremendously proud and grateful for all that they accomplished.
Our physical removal from campus fostered an appreciation for all that we have here at Prep. During our first mass Freshman year, the late Father Pilarz delivered a homily on the importance of gratitude. He taught us that it is the foundation of St. Ignatius's Examen, the prayer we practice every Wednesday as a community. Gratitude is our recognition of and response to God's presence in our life.
It's the happiness that invariably comes from greeting a friend in the quad. It's finishing your Latin homework during break in the library, while helping a friend cram for his Tangwe test. It's eating chicken patties in the South Room, while laughing with friends from down the street and around the world. It's FaceTiming classmates for the homework you don't understand or spending your summer in Geometry class, while simply enjoying being with your classmates and teachers. It's going on retreats and service trips, while seeing God in everyone and everything. And it's challenging yourself every day to be like your classmates and to look beyond ourselves to serve another.