Saturday, June 4th St. Mary’s celebrated the commencement ceremony for the class of 2022 at the University of Portland. The ceremony included speeches from valedictorian, Noopur Barve, salutatorian Anja Jolin (congratulations to fellow salutatorian, Ruby Alexander who did not speak) and the Commencement Address from President Christina Friedhoff as well as performances by The Marian Singers.
Salutatorian speaker, Anja Jolin shared a message of hope, saying “despite the pain and anxiety of the current moment, when I look at all of you, all I see is hope. Hope for a future that will bring unity, peace and justice to our world.” She closed her remarks by sharing “Today, class of 2022, I am not only hopeful for our future, but also the future of our world.”
Similarly, Valedictorian, Noopur Barve spoke about the resilience of the class of 2022, “through it all, we’ve been there for each other- we persisted.” Reflecting on a letter Noopur wrote to her future self when she was a sixth grader, she said, “I’ve become someone my freshman self would look up to, and be proud of, as we all have.” She also shared a message of hope for her classmates, “I hope the class of 2022 carries the lessons we’ve learned and the love we’ve felt with us for the rest of our lives,” and reminded her classmates, “you are going to be more than fine- you are capable, you are strong, you are loved. We will all go out into the world to do amazing things, but most of all, I hope we will be happy.”
In addition to the speeches, The Marian Signers performed two songs, with senior Ella Yaris conducting, and featuring senior soloists Sydney-Kate Cottrell, Anabel Cull and Irie Page.
President Christina Friedhoff gave the commencement address and shared the importance of kindness, “a way to change the world for better, and to better yourself for the world.” She spoke of her memories of personal experiences of kindness in her life, and the acts of kindness she witnessed in the class of 2022 over the course of their four years at SMA. “God puts us in a position where we are called to help others, never underestimate the power of kindness and how it can impact others.” President Friedhoff also spoke to the deep roots of kindness and service among the graduating class saying, “you give and serve because a need has touched your heart and you feel called to respond.” She closed her remarks with a reminder that leadership is a form of kindness, that the example the class of 2022 set for their younger classmates will ripple out into the world for years to come and shared a quote from Maya Angelou.
Before the conferral of diplomas, the class of 2022 ASB officers shared a message of gratitude to President Friedhoff for her kindness and unwavering leadership.
We are so proud of the class of 2022 and wish them all the very best as they step into their futures. We know they will all go on to do great things and continue to spread kindness wherever they go.
Update: an earlier version of this post failed to include salutatorian Ruby Alexander. Please accept our apologies for this oversight. We honor Ruby and her achievement!