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COVID-19 has presented a tremendous challenge for Saint Ignatius High School to balance our mission of providing an academically rigorous, Catholic, Jesuit education along with the health and safety recommendations of leading healthcare experts. A team of administrators and faculty worked diligently so that our students and teachers could return to the classroom.

Saint Ignatius High School

Class of 2019 Graduates from Saint Ignatius

On Sunday, May 26, the Class of 2019 officially graduated from their famed Alma Mater and entered into the long line of proud alumni. The ceremony took place at Cleveland Public Auditorium as 351 young men received their diplomas and headed out into the world.
The first floor administration hallway of the Main Building is home to offices, reception, a chapel, and the so-called “wrestling Ignatius,” a statue that watches over the area. This space, however, is also home to the unforgotten faces of Saint Ignatius High School in the form of more than 100 class picture composites.
 
Each one is similar to the others—the collection of individual student portraits and names arranged in an orderly fashion. Yet each one is also unique, reflecting the traits of the men who compose the individual classes.
 
The tradition continues with the 351 members of the Class of 2019, which graduated from Saint Ignatius High School on Sunday, May 26, at Cleveland Public Auditorium. In the presence of the faculty, families and friends, the young men in their blue blazers crossed the stage to receive their diplomas from President Fr. Ray Guiao, S.J. ’82, Principal Dan Bradesca ’88 and Chair of the Board of Regents Bill Koehler ’83.
 
Class Valedictorian Dillion Gallagher recognized the significance of the occasion—one chapter ending and another beginning—in his remarks to his classmates, calling the ceremony a “unique point between our storied past and our unknown future.”
 
“As members of the Ignatius community, we are used to being put between past and future,” he said. “After all, the same building that boasts our age-old tower, now houses a machine that can 3D print pancakes. ... The same dining hall that crams tables with the new faces of freshman also has a wall with the faces of beloved teachers from past and present.”
 
Doug Huff, Jr., was Salutatorian, and spoke about the shared experiences of his Saint Ignatius family that helped each graduate.
 
“Whether we knew it or not, that mid-August day in 2015, when we stepped foot on campus, we became part of a family. A family that gave us only one option: succeed. And that family wasn’t going to let us do anything other than that.”
 
“With growth, we all learned that we’re not always going to be who we were supposed to be, but we always have to try and be ourselves. Being ourselves is enough,” Huff said. “And yeah, we might’ve dwelt on that for a little, but we came back and embraced who we actually are. As a family, we failed together. We learned together. And then we grew together.”
 
Several special awards were presented to graduating seniors as part of the ceremony, including students whose achievements ranked highest in their class.
 
Danny Brennan received the highest honor presented at graduation, the Brendan Carey Award, which is determined by a vote of the senior class. Ryan Grace was presented with the Conor J. Murphy ’98 Bellringer Award. With the highest cumulative GPA after seven semesters, Dillon Bangasser received the Jorge Mario Bergoglio, S.J. Award.
 
Eventually, after the conferral of diplomas, abundant applause, and a final blessing, the graduates processed off the stage and out of the auditorium, into the city.
 
It would be the last time that all of them would ever be assembled together—save for the composite of their photos hanging forevermore in the halls of their famed Alma Mater.
 
Congratulations, Class of 2019!