(Speech Given at the Commencement Ceremonies for La Salle Academy on the evening of June 5, 2014)
Your Excellency, Bishop Evans; Brother Thomas; Mr. Kavanagh; Representatives of the Diocese and the Brothers of the Christian Schools; Members of the Board; Faculty; Alumni; Parents; Guests; and fellow members of the graduating Class of 2014.
It is my honor to welcome each and every one of you to our graduation. It’s remarkable to think that our past four years here at La Salle are coming to a close. Let’s take a moment to think about this journey that we have taken together. It’s been full of twists and turns and marked by countless challenges to overcome, whether they were academic, athletic, artistic, or personal.
It is a fantastic achievement for each of us to have made it here today, and I am proud to share this moment with all of you. But we have not made it here on our own efforts alone. On behalf of the class of 2014, I’d like to take a moment to acknowledge those who have gotten us to where we are today, because the truth is, none of us could have made it here without them.
Our parents are here today to support us, as they always have. Parents, though I know we don’t often show it, and though many of you are probably ready to get us out of the house – I know my family already has plans to convert my bedroom into a dance studio for my sister- we are truly grateful for all that you have done for us, and are delighted that you are here to share in this occasion.
Our teachers, too, are here with us today. The distinguished faculty at La Salle Academy, and their dedication to their students, is a hallmark of La Salle’s tradition of excellence. These teachers do their utmost to ensure the success of their students, and we are excited to share this celebration with them. I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge the administration that has been vital to our success at La Salle as well, including Mr. Kavanagh, our principal, our president Brother Thomas and former president Brother Michael, and our dean Mrs. Richard, all of whom have worked arduously to get our class where it is today.
Through their efforts, with the support of each other, and by the grace of God, whose presence we recall several times each day, we have survived the past four years. But more than just survived, we have thrived here at La Salle. More than just completing our studies, we’ve become an integral part of the vibrant Lasallian community. We’ve clinched state championships, starred in fantastic theatrical productions, and put in hours of dedicated service to our community. We’ve grown close in the vast amount of time we’ve spent together, from relaxing at La Salle Bakery after school, to the one time we shared Pinkberry together on the lawn in front of the cafeteria, to the many occasions we’ve cheered on our athletic teams as part of the famous “Beehive,” a school spirit movement that is just one example of our class’s contributions to the Academy. By just looking around this assembly, we can pick out the faces of those friends who have been with us through the best and the worst; the people without whom most of us probably would have lost our minds by now, and the people who will be our lifelong friends thanks to our shared experiences at La Salle.
As we students know very well from our time spent here, La Salle Academy is a Catholic institution that follows in the tradition of St. John Baptist de La Salle’s ideals of faith, service, and community. Our education here at La Salle is rooted in the gospel values and teachings of Jesus. In essence, our Lasallian education has nourished not just our minds but our spirits, enriched not just our brains, but our hearts.
To borrow the words of the late Nelson Mandela, “A good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination.”
In this regard, we are here to celebrate the graduation of an outstanding class; a distinguished class; a formidable class. A class brimming not only with knowledge, but with compassion and ambition: the La Salle Academy Class of 2014. Thank you, and welcome to our graduation.
Naryan F. Murthy (Class of 2014)