One hundred and twenty-six students crossed the stage to receive their diplomas and celebrate the 67th Commencement of Archbishop Williams High School.
The gathered audience of family, friends, faculty, staff and invited guests were treated to the wit and wisdom of student speakers Eion Varden, Class President, Annika Gregg, Valedictorian and Elizabeth Saltzman, Salutatorian. Each shared a slice of their cherished, memorable AWHS experience that made them ready to move on and meet the challenges that certainly wait ahead. Those sentiments were matched by the guest Commencement speaker, Mr. David McGrath, Class of 1977, who delivered one of the most memorable addresses in commencement history. McGrath encouraged the graduates to be fearless and to not be afraid to “run in the dark.” He recounted his own road to success as so many turns and exits of risk taking and failure and feigned confidence that led to successes and ventures he could never imagine. These successes also enabled him to pursue philanthropic initiatives that have enriched the lives of others while enriching his. Using a prop from the school musical Anything Goes (yes! Mr. McGrath “stole” the prop as a memento of his AWHS theater days) the signage seemed to sum up perfectly the theme of his speech for the seniors: let your future be an experiment of allowing yourself to believe just about anything is doable if you dream it.
The graduation followed the tradition of awarding subject Gold and Silver medals and the awarding of the Williams Award to this year’s recipient, Bridgette O’Reilly. Recognition of given for the retirement of Deans Office secretary, Mrs. Barbara McEvoy.
It was a night to revel in the accomplishments of Class of 2019. They expressed gratitude to parents and family members who provided them with an Archbishop Williams education and celebrated the benefits of being a lifelong Bishop.