By Carly York, Correspondent
The Mater Dei Prep Class of 2017 was recognized as a group of students who “have accomplished tremendous things!” said James Hauenstein, principal. “But it was never about the headlines for this class; it was always about just doing the right thing.”
To see photos from Mater Dei Prep's Baccalaureate Mass, click here.
To see photos from Mater Dei Prep's Commencement Exercises, click here.
During commencement exercises held June 6 in Mary, Mother of God Church, Middletown, valedictorian Emma Christine Krall discussed some of the class’s quiet greatness saying, “No matter what paths we choose to take, the common goal seems to be one concept: success.
“We generally associate this with wealth, position, or popularity. However, true success is our ability to find happiness in making a difference in others’ lives,” she said.
Jennifer Quigley, co-salutatorian, echoed those sentiments saying, “We are about to embark on a new journey into the world and it is time for us to leave our own footprint. We cannot forget the place that has molded us into people who are ready to enter society and make a difference.”
Ed “Skip” McLaughlin, a member of Mater Dei Prep’s Class of 1974, gave the keynote address in which he detailed his own trajectory from graduation to the present. Having recently published “The Purpose is Profit: The Truth about Starting and Building your Own Business,” McLaughlin shared how he “documented” his commitment to start his own business by writing out a promise to himself and signing it in front of a witness.
“I knew if I wrote down my desire as a covenant, I would make it happen,” he said, while challenging the students “to write down one aspirational goal.
“Always remember, your aspirational goals represent your plans and your dreams. Don’t let anyone deter you from achieving your full potential!”
Graduation festivities at Mater Dei had begun five days earlier on June 1 when the Class of 2017 gathered for the Baccalaureate Mass in St. Mary Church. In his homily, Father Stanley P. Lukaszewski, episcopal vicar of Ocean County, spoke on faith, family and encouraged the students to always believe in themselves.
Commenting on the importance of attending Mass weekly and receiving the Sacraments, Father Lukaszewski acknowledged that “the college scene doesn’t always place” practicing faith as a major priority.
“Learning about our faith over these years should make us more aware of how important it is to rely on the presence of God especially as we will have to make major decisions in life.”