PROVIDENCE, R.I. — The Prout School conferred degrees upon 115 graduating seniors during a ceremony at the Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul in Providence on Sunday.
Hundreds of family members and friends gathered to watch the students cross the stage, with a short profile read for each to outline their accomplishments. The day’s speakers focused on themes of personal growth and the possibilities that await as the graduates move on to the next phase of their lives.
Senior class president Nicholas Mahar encouraged his peers to embrace the change and be “eager to see what’s out there for us.”
“Sadly, these four years had to come to an end, but it’s the start of a new chapter in all of our lives,” he said. “Here and now, it’s time for celebration. We finally figured out our dreams have no limitations, and that’s what it’s all about.”
Salutatorian Kelby Anderson, who will attend Lehigh University in Pennsylvania this fall, said she “grew and prospered” during her time at Prout. She shared some humorous anecdotes from her time at the school, recounting a dizzy bat challenge gone wrong and an ill-timed walk into a glass door.
“If you take anything out of this speech, it’s to have fun,” she said. “To have good fun with life, even when you fail. It is far to easy to fall into the trap of pressure and stress when things do not go your way, but this is just life. Our next adventure awaits, and it is sure to come with disappointments and rough points, but it is all part of God’s plan.”
Valedictorian Markos Verissimo, a native of Brazil, said he has attended Catholic schools his entire life. He said Prout has offered him the most opportunities of any of them.
“I have made so many memories, and all of that was made possible because of you,” Verissimo, who will attend the University of Rhode Island in the fall, told his classmates. “I am proud of every single accomplishment because they all came from your heart.”
Fifteen graduates were full International Baccalaureate, or IB, diploma candidates, while 49 were IB certificate candidates. According to a school press release, Prout is the only Rhode Island high school that offers the program.
It was announced during the ceremony that the graduating students have received more than $5.8 million in combined scholarships and grants.