In these unprecedented times, a different kind of anticipation and excitement filled the air this past weekend. That’s when members of the Cardinal Gibbons Class of 2020 virtually joined in fellowship for Baccalaureate Mass, and two days later came to campus to participate in the Class of 2020 Walk, an opportunity for a photo and a lasting memory.
On Friday, May 22 and Sunday, May 24 seniors and their parents commemorated academic achievement, friendships, family, and faith. But given the complexities of COVID-19, they did so in an untraditional fashion, making, many said, for a most unique time.
Leading up to the weekend was the first-ever Senior Sendoff. It comprised five days of online tributes, honors, and accolades focused on the Class of 2020, which has had to forego some Gibbons traditions due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Following state and local restrictions, Friday evening’s Baccalaureate Mass was live-streamed from our school’s Queen of All Saints Chapel. Gibbons Chaplain Fr. Daniel Oschwald celebrated the Mass and gave an inspiring homily. (Read Fr. Daniel’s full homily; watch the Mass)
Later that evening, Gibson Weber ’20, a member of the executive student council, gave a heartfelt reflection, describing Gibbons as his second family. (Read Gibson’s full speech.)
On Sunday, starting at 1 p.m. under a bright May sky seniors – girls dressed in white caps and gowns, boys dressed in green caps and gowns – drove alone or with loved ones to campus. As each car pulled up to the school’s main entrance, the graduating senior stepped out of the car and, as Principal Nancy Barkan called his/her name, walked in front of a backdrop adorned with the San Damiano cross for a photo. Loved ones watched and cheered from their cars, many of which were decorated for the occasion.
The parade of cars continued for three hours with seniors and their families enjoying the event. When its 4 p.m. conclusion drew near, however, the sky darkened and heavy rain poured down, ending the Class of 2020 Walk.
But in true Gibbons fashion, all seniors and families still waiting for their “special moment” were escorted into the school’s main lobby. There, the seniors, one by one, had their names called and their photo taken.
And there is still plenty to look forward to in the coming weeks. An in-person, on-campus graduation ceremony is planned for August 1. Also planned is a commemorative graduation video.
The hope is that all these recent and future events will create some special moments for the Class of 2020. The added hope as Principal Nancy Barkan has often stated is that the seniors will hold on to these and other memories that bind them now and always to Gibbons.
View the slideshow below of Class of 2020 Walk!