Stuart Country Day School celebrates graduation of 34 young women
In a ceremony rich with tradition, 34 young women adorned in white dresses reflected on their years together and celebrated all that they have, and will, accomplish.
Parents, loved ones and other guests gathered to support the graduates at Stuart Country Day School of the Sacred Heart, Princeton, some of whom attended the institution from kindergarten through the end of their high school career.
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“We have had the privilege to become who we are,” said graduate and class speaker Alisha Mehndiratta.
Together, the young ladies overcame challenges along the way, both in the classroom and out, learning more about themselves and the world around them, Mehndiratta noted as she recounted memorable happenings during their time at Stuart.
“As Stuart girls,” she continued, “we are conditioned to not only challenge others, but to challenge ourselves.”
The graduation ceremony was preceded by a Baccalaureate Mass celebrated by Msgr. Gregory E. S. Malovetz, pastor of St. Charles Borromeo Parish, Skillman.
“The textbooks have been put away…and the tests have been scored,” Msgr. Malovetz said during his homily. “On this day, our daughters will leave this place of learning. But the lessons are far from over.”
The lessons that are most important in life, he said, don’t require a Facebook account. And many take place outside of the classroom. This is something he said the newest class of graduates knows well.
“You have the open mind and open heart that (St.) Madeline Sofie desired for her daughters,” he said.
He said that the gifts the graduates take with them from their years at Stuart are many.
“You take a message. You take a memory. You take a mission,” he said. The message, he continued, is fundamental to the faith. “Your life matters to God.”
And the memories they will foster, he added, are about the people who were beside them along the journey.
“Our memory is always about people, and how God’s spirit works through people in our lives and comes to us,” he said.
Finally, Msgr. Malovetz said their mission is to continue to grow and learn, and to maintain their faith in the process.
Dr. Patty Fagin, head of school at Stuart, said that the graduating class was one of the most diverse in the history of the institution. “You are a microcosm of the world,” she said.
She added that the faith element incorporated into the education of the women is nothing short of moving.
“It is really just overwhelming. It is just so lovely,” she said. “They are going to go out as women of faith.”
Senior class president Susan Knox said that their collective experience at Stuart served to enhance their awareness of community issues, and their passion for education.
“Our Sacred Heart education has strengthened our love of learning,” she said.
The ceremony included the traditional turning of the ladies’ class rings. The rings are worn with the seal facing the student until their graduation, when the ring is turned and the seal faces outward to symbolize their moving out into the world.
“I have had this on for 41 years,” said commencement speaker Katherine Feeny ’71 while showing off her class ring.
“Because of what my experience was at Stuart, I have had the ability under any circumstances to be okay being me,” she said. “You all have a head start. You don’t know just how much of a head start you have.”’
Monica Gallagher, whose daughter, Angela, graduated and received the school’s sportsmanship award, could not have been more pleased with her daughter’s experience at Stuart.
“It has been wonderful every step of the way,” she said. “She has really grown here.”[[In-content Ad]]