Jesuit High School graduated its Class of 2017 on May 23, as the school celebrated commencement exercises at the Straz Center in downtown Tampa.
The graduating class of the school's 118th year was comprised of 173 students. Of the graduates, 155 (90%) received academic, athletic, or service scholarships, and 138 (80%) received Florida Bright Futures Scholarships, with the total scholarship value exceeding $18.1 million. One-hundred percent were accepted into college, with 171 colleges/service academies accepting Jesuit students in 2017.
The Valedictorian was William Yount, who will attend Purdue University, and there were five co-Salutatorians: Hugh Hickman (University of Florida), Salvatore Lumia (University of Florida), Ben Miller (University of Virginia), Blake Motzer (Purdue University), and Justin Virgadamo (University of Notre Dame). Video of the presentations by Yount and Virgadamo, who was selected to speak by his fellow Salutatorians is below.
In keeping with one of Jesuit's earliest traditions, graduates once again wore the classic tuxedo. The tuxedos were revived at graduation in 2015 for the first time in more than seven decades. The traditional cap and gown were worn the night before at the historic Baccalaureate Mass at Sacred Heart Church downtown.
Each year, four special awards are presented during commencement exercises to recognize outstanding members of the graduating class. The recipients of these awards are determined by a vote of the faculty, and are commemorated on the 'Men for Others' monument on campus. The 2017 winners were announced by principal Barry Neuburger at graduation:
- The Charles J. Lashley Award, for outstanding characteristics of leadership of the student body, the highest honor Jesuit High School confers upon a graduating senior: Jack Knipe.
- The Larion J. Elliot Award, for dedication and commitment to Christ and the Church through the example of his Christian Life: Chris Kambach.
- The Pedro Arrupe Award, for excelling as a "Man for Others" through distinguished achievement in community service: Chandler Rodriguez.
- The Joseph P. Gavan Award, for outstanding generosity and dependability in service to the school community: Jack Henry Nouss.
Please see below an extensive photo slideshow from graduation, as well as a photo slideshow from Baccalaureate Mass.
Below the photo slideshows are three videos: the valedictory address by Yount, the salutatory address by Virgadamo, and the President's address by Fr. Richard C. Hermes, S.J.
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