PROVIDENCE — La Salle Academy graduated its 147th class on Thursday, June 7 at the Providence Performing Arts Center.
Matthew L. Carranza, honors graduate and Next in Merit for the Excellence in Social Studies award, told the class in his welcome address that “we’ve earned the right to be called graduates of La Salle Academy.”
He added that the presence of alumni, particularly the alumni marshals representing the class of 1968, “shows how important this school is,” and that the most important lessons learned in four years at La Salle was the Catholic virtue of care and consideration for the working class and the poor.
Academy President, La Sallian Brother Thomas Gerrow, exhorted the graduates to remember as they celebrate their accomplishments to also “celebrate the presence of the incarnate God.” He then thanked academy faculty and staff, as well as graduates’ parents, especially the parents of international students who “in some cases traveled thousands of miles” to attend the ceremony.
“True personal happiness lies in the integration of the sacred into everyday life,” Brother Gerrow reminded the graduates.
In her student address, La Salle Academy Scholars participant and Rhode Island Honor Society member Christine O. Dapaah-Afriyie compared four years at La Salle and life beyond school walls to skipping rocks at the beach. Just as a stone hits the water differently and turns to point upwards on each “bounce,” academy graduates stood poised for the next “bounce” that would take them to the next steps in their lives.
Dapaah-Afriyie recalled that on the class’ first day at La Salle, no one knew each other as students had come from different schools. Yet their one thing in common, she said, was their choice of La Salle.
“God had a plan for each of us,” Dapaah-Afriyie said. “We are who we are because of La Salle faculty and staff,” she continued, then acknowledged parents who “were our first teachers, coaches and will always be our biggest fans.”
Following the conferral of diplomas, presented by Bishop Robert C. Evans, awards were given for excellence in religious studies, languages, mathematics, science, English, social studies, business and arts.