“In a country racked by a pandemic, torn by political division, and wounded by social injustice, the world needs men for others more than ever. Dons, this is a new chapter, not just for our lives, but for the lives of people across the nation. We will be the first generation of American youth who will write the story as it could be and as it should be—not a story of fear and hostility, but a story of brotherhood and community. We can set the world on fire. So, Loyola Blakefield, thank you for shaping us into Dons who will give and not count the cost, who will fight and not heed the wounds. Thank you to our teachers, our coaches, and the rest of our faculty for showing us that it pays to pursue justice, for inspiring us to never, ever stop being ambitious, whether it be in the classroom, in the lab, on the fields, or on stage—for making this more than just a school, but a home.” – Marlo Lacson '20
Loyola Blakefield celebrated its Baccalaureate Mass and 168th Commencement in the Hollow on Saturday, July 25. Although it was nearly two months later than usual and a little hotter, this was the 38th consecutive year that graduation was held in the Hollow. It was a familiar, yet unique scene as 163 Dons from the Class of 2020 processed into the Hollow in their white tuxedos while donning Loyola-branded face masks and following lines painted on the grass to help adhere to social distancing guidelines. Families and friends (two guests per student) sat facing the rows of Dons with the construction of our new Innovative Learning Center in the background, while faculty and staff looked on from the hill outside of Xavier Hall to witness these Dons' final steps towards becoming men for others.
The Baccalaureate Mass was celebrated by School Chaplain Rev. Bruce Steggert, SJ, which included reflections from Conor Nicholas and Austin Maultsby. During the commencement ceremony, opening remarks were presented by Christopher Doyle, and this year's commencement speech was provided by Marlo Lacson. You can watch the entire ceremony below.
The following awards were presented before the conferral of diplomas:
THE REV. FATHER LLOYD D. GEORGE, S.J. AWARD is presented to that member of the graduating class who has achieved the highest grade-point average through the mid-point of his senior year. This award was presented to Bryan Rose.
THE REV. ANTHONY J. ZEITS, S.J. AWARD, presented by the Loyola Mothers’ Club to a Senior who has demonstrated outstanding sportsmanship and leadership on and off the athletic field. This award was presented to Cian Callahan.
THE DOCTOR FORD LOKER AWARD is presented by the Loyola Fathers’ Club to a Senior who holds a varsity letter and is outstanding for academic excellence. This award was presented to Chase Llewellyn.
THE MATTHEW J. RUSSELL AWARD, established by the graduating Class of 1986, is presented to a Senior whose commitment to God, family and friends has been exemplified by a quiet, sensitive, and selfless concern for others. The recipient of this award was Dylan Monaghan.
THE MICHAEL J. IAMPIERI AWARD was established to honor Mr. Michael Iampieri, a beloved member of the Loyola Blakefield faculty from 1966 to 2007. During his tenure, Mr. Iampieri founded the School’s art department and taught art to generations of young men over four decades. The Michael J. Iampieri Award is presented to a graduating senior who has demonstrated personal and spiritual growth through his pursuit of creative self-expression and his achievements in the arts. This award was presented to Benjamin Ostrowski.
THE REV. JAMES F. SALMON, S.J., AWARD is presented to that graduate who has demonstrated leadership in student activities and scholarship in Science and Religious Studies. This year’s recipient was Justin Hill.
REV. ALOYSIUS P. MCGONIGAL, S.J., was a chaplain whose extraordinary service to his fellow men ended with his death in Vietnam. The Rev. Aloysius P. McGonigal, S.J., Award is presented by the Loyola Fathers’ Club to a Senior who has worked to full capacity in and out of the classroom but has received little recognition for his tenacious spirit. The award was presented to Ethan Delp.
THE DENNIS B. WOOLFORD “CURA PERSONALIS” AWARD is given in loving memory of Dennis B. Woolford class of 2010. Although Dennis was a gifted athlete who started on 8 MIAA championship teams including the undefeated 2008 Football team, Dennis will always be remembered for his kind heart, free spirit and a smile that would light up the room. He considered every Don his best friend and every teammate his brother. This award is given to a student or faculty member of Loyola Blakefield who best represents "care for the individual person." This award was presented to Mitchell McClure.
THE JOHN H. WEETENKAMP III AWARD is presented to a graduating senior who has been caring to his peers and demonstrated dedication to the mission of Loyola Blakefield. He is a young man who has embodied the words of Saint Ignatius by his actions and has served his fellow Dons and others generously through the Campus Ministry and Service programs as well as other opportunities. The recipient of this award was Austin Maultsby.
THE LOYOLA ALUMNI AWARD is presented to the Senior who is most conspicuous for school spirit, leadership and excellence in studies. The recipient of this award was Matthew Smolka.
THE DAVID A. KENNEDY AWARD was established by the Alumni Association to honor Mr. David A. Kennedy, teacher and registrar at Loyola from 1937 to 1977. This award is presented annually to that member of the graduating class who, through unselfish contribution of academic skills, personal talents, and social values in service to Loyola Blakefield and to the community at large, best embodies the Ignatian principle of “men for others.” This award was presented to Michael Nwafor.
THE LOYOLA AWARD, founded in honor of the Rev. John F. Dustin, S.J., is awarded to the most representative member of the graduating class for excellence in scholastic achievement and participation in extra-curricular activities. This award was presented to Jeremiah Hannon.