On Sunday, June 1, Mount St. Mary Academy graduated its 83rd class. In keeping with school tradition, the young women of the Class of 2014 walked across the school’s auditorium stage wearing long white gowns and carrying bouquets of red roses to receive their diplomas from Principal Dawn Hurley Riggie (Class of 1971).
Attendees of the ceremony, who included members of the Mount St. Mary Board of Trustees, faculty, students and family, were welcomed by Salutatorian, Elise Walsh and addressed by Valedictorian, Allison McGloin.
Commencement speaker, Kenneth Feltges, retired Mount St. Mary Academy and Kenmore West faculty member, addressed the graduates. Feltges encouraged his last class to not give in to the stresses and struggles of life.
Feltges stated, “You are the master of your fate. You are the captain of your soul.”
As part of the ceremony, the Mount St. Mary Award was bestowed on Tonawanda resident Alexis Selak, who was selected by her peers and faculty. This award is the highest honor given to a graduating senior in recognition of her service to school and others, Christian spirit of love, tolerance, loyalty and cooperation, and deep respect for all members of the Mount St. Mary family.
The graduating class took the stage for the last time as Mount St. Mary students to sing the Alma Mater, “The Bells of St. Mary.” Their voices joined with those of all alumnae in attendance.
The graduating class included 27 seniors who transferred from Holy Angels Academy in the fall. Led by Erin McCormick, previously elected HAA Class President, the Angels presented each of their classmates with an angel pin in a sign of sisterhood.
“You truly went above and beyond what was expected from the moment we walked in the doors,” said McCormick as she addressed her classmates. “Although it seemed as though we lost a lot, we actually gained many things, one of the most important being new friendships which we hope to last us a lifetime.”
This year’s graduating class earned over $18 million in scholarships from colleges and universities throughout the nation, an average of over $184,400 per student. Eighty percent of the class received Advanced Regents diplomas, and over 85% of the class earned scholarships.
Class Valedictorian, Allison McGloin earned $374,600. She will attend the University of Notre Dame, where she intends to pursue a degree in Business.
Elise Walsh, the 2014 Salutatorian, will attend Rochester Institute of Technology in the fall. She received over $600,000 in scholarships.
Mount St. Mary Academy, founded by the Sisters of St. Mary of Namur in 1927, is an all-girls Catholic college-preparatory high school located at 3756 Delaware Avenue in Kenmore. Mount St. Mary’s is consistently ranked among the top ten Western New York public and private high schools.