On the morning of June 3, 2023, Oratory Prep hosted its highly anticipated senior graduation ceremony. Held on the picturesque school grounds, the event was a joyous celebration of the accomplishments and potential of the graduating class.
Following a Mass celebrated the previous evening at St. Teresa of Avila Church in Summit, presided over by School Chaplain Father Matthew Dooley and concelebrated by Father Andrew DaSilva, this graduation ceremony was a culmination of years of hard work, dedication, and personal growth for the students. Parents, faculty, staff, and the Chairman of the Oratory Prep Board of Trustees gathered on Cavalero Field to honor the graduating seniors and offer their well wishes as they embark on the next chapter of their lives.
The ceremony commenced at 10:00 a.m. with a processional led by the senior class, as they marched proudly in their traditional graduation gowns. Faculty and staff followed, also dressed in traditional academic regalia. The atmosphere was filled with a mix of excitement, nostalgia and anticipation, as the students prepared to receive their diplomas.
Mr. Bob Costello, Head of School, delivered the opening remarks, congratulating the graduates on their achievements and reflecting on the transformative journey one’s educational experience provides.
The class Salutatorian, Pat Feit, delivered a heartfelt opening address to his peers. Speaking on his experience at Oratory, Pat said, “Oratory has successfully prepared me in every way for the next journey of my life, and I am extremely grateful for my teachers and classmates in helping me grow. Any of my accomplishments are a testament to the strength of this community and the people that uplift it!”
Following the Salutatorian’s remarks, Associate Head of School Owen McGowan took the podium to begin the conferral of diplomas. As the names of the graduates were called one-by-one, they walked across the stage, proudly receiving their diplomas from Mr. Costello. A testament to familial culture and the OP Brotherhood, graduate after graduate gratefully embraced the Head of School, diplomas in hand. Waiting just off-stage, Father Matt handed each graduate a prayer card commemorating OP’s Patron Saint, St. Philip Neri, a symbol of the school’s continued prayers for its growing alumni community.
After the traditional turning of the tassels, 2023 Valedictorian Michael Townsend took the stage to offer his closing speech. On closing the chapter of his high school years, Michael said, “Even though this is a great milestone in our lives, I can't help but feel saddened that we are leaving such an inviting place while embarking on our new journey. I'll never forget this welcoming environment; this school has given me my greatest friends and mentors.”
As the ceremony came to a close, the audience of family and friends erupted in applause, their cheers filling the air as the graduates recessed across the field before tossing their caps in celebration of this significant milestone.
Oratory Prep's 2023 senior graduation ceremony was an exciting event that will be cherished by the graduating class and their families for years to come. As the graduates embark on their individual journeys, the OP family remains steadfast in its commitment to their continued success and supports their aspirations.
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