The 351 students who received diplomas at Graduation on Sunday, May 26, can call a special group of people their fellow classmates. At the annual closing Mass and meeting for faculty and staff on Friday, May 24, nine veteran Saint Ignatius teachers received honorary diplomas from Fr. Ray Guiao, S.J. ’82.
Tony Antonelli (Math), Larry Arthur (Health/PE), Joe Buzzelli (Fine Arts), Hank Gaughan (Health/PE), Mike Howard (History), Ed Nolan (Science) and Nick Restifo (Languages) each were recognized for their significant contributions to Saint Ignatius High School—work that extends far beyond the classroom and has impacted students for decades.
Jean Antonelli (Math) and Linda Gabor (College Counseling) also received the same honor, making them the first women to earn a Saint Ignatius High School diploma—a distinction enthusiastically applauded by the nearly 200 employees in attendance.
Honorary diplomas have been rarely awarded throughout the school’s 133-year history. Previously, English teacher Tom Pasko, Hon. ’96, former Board of Regents chair Mike Frantz, Hon. ’15, and alma mater composer Jack T. Hearns, Sr. Hon. ’18 were the only three people to have received them. This year’s unique honor emerged from the school’s Senior Staff, which also established specific criteria for this recognition going forward.
These criteria include a stipulation that, in future years, a maximum of two honorary degrees may be awarded—and in some years none will be.
For the students of the Class of 2019, some of their most influential teachers will forever share the honor of graduating with them. Indeed, these men and women have contributed to the fabric of our famed Alma Mater in ways that are significant and lasting.
Congratulations to these special new alumni!