Alverno Seniors Are “Off to Great Places”

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By SARA A. McCARTHY '05, M.Ed.

12:30 pm | June 19, 2013


On Friday, June 8, Alverno’s Class of 2013 took their final walk across the Alverno terrace as part of their graduation ceremony. Their graduation served as Alverno’s 50th commencement exercises and they now join the more than 4,200 Alverno alumnae who have graduated from Alverno since the school’s founding in 1960.

After their final walk as students, the Alverno seniors were seated for the last time on Alverno’s “Senior Steps.” These are the stairs on the Alverno terrace where the seniors have bonded, created memories, and enjoyed the final moments of each other’s company over the past year—an important part of their final year at Alverno.

Following a welcome and invocation, Co-Salutatorians Lindsay Fisher and Ileana Vior made their address to their fellow graduates. Both Salutatorians will be studying at schools in the Los Angeles area the fall; Lindsay, who will attend Occidental College, will major in history and Ileana, who will be attending Loyola Marymount University, plans to major in business. During their address, Lindsay and Ileana took the time to remind their classmates of many of the memories they created, the friendships they have built, and the challenges that all of them have overcome.

The salutatorian address was followed by a speech from Cleo Wong, the Class of 2013 Valedictorian. In her address, Cleo spoke on many of the memories her class has shared over the past four years and her hope that these would be memories that lasted a lifetime. She thanked her classmates for the impact they had made in her life and encouraged them to continue to be who they are. In closing, Cleo quoted a few lyrics from “We’re All In This Together” from High School Musical, which has been an important theme for this senior class during their years at Alverno. Cleo will be attending UC Berkeley in the fall where she will be majoring in biology.

During the graduation ceremony, Alverno graduates were also recognized for their academic achievements at Alverno and the scholarships they had been offered by various colleges. More than 100 scholarships were awarded to the 47 members of the Class of 2013 from among the 150
colleges to which they were accepted. In total, more than 350 awards were received by the 47 seniors at graduation.

Alverno’s commencement speaker was Ada Gates Patton, female farrier and owner of Harry Patton Horseshoeing and Farrier Supplies. In 1978, Ada became the first woman farrier licensed to shoe thoroughbred horses in the United States and Canada. During her speech, Ada discussed her own challenges of being a woman in a “male profession” and many of the hardships she faced along the path to success. She congratulated each of them on their incredible achievements and encouraged them to continue to work towards their goals because they can be accomplished. Today, Ada is the official horseshoe inspector for the Pasadena Tournament of Roses Parade and an inductee into the American Farriers Hall of Fame. She congratulated each of them on their incredible achievements and encouraged them to continue to work towards their goals.

Graduation ended with a time-honored Alverno tradition, the singing of the Alverno Alma Mater. However, as new alumnae the graduates were no longer able to hold up their four fingers to represent their status as seniors but had to hold up one to represent that brand new beginning awaiting them as college freshmen.

“This senior class was filled with incredible young women with a multitude of talents and ambitions,” said Ann Gillick, Head of School. “Tonight, they joined the ranks of the more than 4,200 young women who have graduated from Alverno over the past 50 years. Among them are future doctors, lawyers, teachers, mothers, and so many other things; however, most important is that all Alverno alumnae and each of these new graduates was empowered by their experience at Alverno to become exactly the person she wants to be.”

About Alverno High School

Alverno High School is a Catholic, private, college preparatory school for young women dedicated to preparing them to function in a society as informed, knowledgeable persons, who have the requisite skills to make and implement mature decisions about complex problems. Enlivened by the spirit of its Immaculate Heart Community sponsors, and mindful of the Franciscan roots of its founders, Alverno’s program—academic, spiritual, aesthetic, social, and physical—is shaped by the staff, trustees, and students in light of the world for which the students are being educated. Alverno’s mission is to empower each young woman to be exactly the person she wants to be and since 1960, Alverno has empowered more than 4,100 women to meet that goal. For more information about Alverno High School, please call (626) 355-3463 or visit www.alverno-hs.org.